We continue to work with our school system, local non-profits, churches, and businesses to make certain that all residents have access to food during the COVID-19 pandemic.

At HOPES, our mission is to provide sustainable healthcare services to underserved Hampton Roads residents while promoting a unique learning experience for members of the EVMS community.

In 2011, medical students at Eastern Virginia Medical School (EVMS) recognized a growing need for healthcare within the uninsured population in Norfolk and responded by establishing a student-run free clinic, HOPES (Health Outreach Partnership of EVMS Students), to improve quality of life in the community by providing primary and specialty medical care.

As the only free clinic in Norfolk and the first student-run free clinic in Virginia, HOPES has served more than 1,000 uninsured adult residents with its capacity to provide care to 20-25 patients during two evening clinics per week. The clinic is staffed by volunteer EVMS student clinicians, residents and physicians, who work together to provide patient-centered care.

6-9:30 p.m.
Second and fourth Thursdays of every month

Call 757.446.0366.

Clínica Comunitaria Esperanza
6-9:30 p.m.
First and third Thursdays of every month

Para Español 757.403.2474.


Norfolk Department of Public Health Building
830 Southampton Ave.
Norfolk, VA 23510

Available HOPES/Clinica Esperanza Positions

Teacher (Interpreter)

For additional details on HOPES, click here.

Schedule an appointment

Call 757.446.0366.

Para Español 757.403.2474.

Scheduling is based on availability and is subject to change due to inclement weather and staff availability.

Clinic hours

HOPES: 6-9:30 p.m. on the second and fourth Thursdays of every month

Clínica Comunitaria Esperanza: 6-9:30 p.m. on the first and third Thursdays of every month

What to bring

Please bring the following to your first appointment:

  • Any valid ID (must have your picture on it)
  • Proof of residence (a piece of mail with your name on it)
  • Paystub
  • All current medications

Where to go 

HOPES Clinic
Norfolk Department of Public Health Building
830 Southampton Ave.
Norfolk, VA 23510

Am I eligible?

HOPES patients:

  • Must be resident of Norfolk, Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, Suffolk, Portsmouth, Hampton, or Newport News
  • Must be over 18 and under 65
  • Must make less than twice the federal poverty level, according to U.S. poverty guidelines
  • Cannot be pregnant (would be insured through CHIP)
  • Must be uninsured or underinsured, which means:
    • Limited ability to afford copays and deductibles incurred from physician visits
    • Medical conditions that accumulate cost from multiple physician visits, pharmacies and medications
    • Limited or delayed access to services due to insurance provider

Clínica Comunitaria Esperanza patients:

  • Must be primarily Spanish speaking
  • Must be uninsured

There are no age or geographical restrictions for Clínica Comunitaria Esperanza patients.

Care-A-Van patients:

  • Must be referred through the Care-A-Van Clinic
  • May not be seen in the primary care clinic

There are no geographical restrictions for Care-A-Van patients.

What to expect during your visit

You will be greeted by a front desk volunteer who will check you in for your appointment. A student clinician, or team of two student clinicians, will speak with you about your medical history and perform an initial physical exam. The student clinician will then present your information to the overseeing provider. The student clinician team and the overseeing provider will return to you with a treatment plan. Lastly, you will check out with a continuity coordinator who will schedule any follow-up appointments needed and answer any remaining questions you may have about your visit.

What we offer:

  • Primary care
  • Spanish-speaking healthcare providers for primary care and pediatric appointments
  • Women's health appointments
  • Dermatology appointments (once a month)
  • Ophthalmology appointments (once a month)
  • Mental Health appointments (once a month)
  • Orthopedic appointments (once a month)
  • Ear, Nose and Throat appointments (once a month)

New patients are accepted in both primary and specialty clinics. Wait times can vary depending on the clinic and the availability of the providers.

Students interested in volunteering can visit our GivePulse page.

Become a HOPES volunteer provider

To become a HOPES provider, please email EVMSHOPES@evms.edu.

Physicians, residents and physician assistants are able to mentor and assist EVMS students in providing healthcare to uninsured patients of the Norfolk and Portsmouth communities at HOPES during evening clinic shifts from 6-9:30 p.m.

Providers across numerous specialties currently volunteer at HOPES and have the flexibility to choose a schedule that suits their availability. Benefits available to participating community faculty include:

  • Liability coverage
  • EVMS professorship clock starts
  • EVMS library resources (journals, databases, etc.)
  • Continuing Medical Education credit

To volunteer in Esperanza, the Spanish-speaking clinic, please contact Dr. Alex Leader.

Why volunteer at the HOPES Clinic?

"Working with the HOPES student-run free clinic restores the joy in medicine. The students do all the documentation; I just get the fun of treating patients and watching students pick up on clinic findings and develop diagnoses. It's just a lot of fun!"

– Dr. Bruce Britton, EVMS Family Medicine

Note About Language Services

We are excited by the breadth of languages that our students and community volunteers either speak or have interest. We have received many questions about whether students who are bilingual can act as interpreters in a clinical setting. There are certain qualifications required to be an interpreter in a healthcare setting. Students and volunteers may not act as ad hoc interpreters while participating in CEL activities. Students who have a Community Interpreter Certificate or are Nationally Certified Interpreters should always discuss with CEL whether they may act as an interpreter at a site BEFORE participating in a pre-approved CEL activity. Students who wish to offer their services as interpreters in the community, do so at their own risk and may not hold themselves out as doing so on behalf of EVMS. 

From time to time, we also receive requests for Community Engaged Learning to offer language services other than Spanish. Medical Spanish is the only international language training program supported by EVMS. There are no other international language opportunities available and EVMS will not consider requests for other language services/programs at HOPES/ Clínica Esperanza or other Community Engaged Learning initiatives.   

Whether or not a bilingual student may be a “Spanish Medical Interpreter” at an EVMS Community-Engaged Learning site is based on a multitude of factors including the activity and the student’s level of Spanish medical interpretation experience. Currently, Spanish language services are only available as part of the initiatives outlined below and in accordance with the guidance provided:   

  • HOPES/ Clínica Esperanza
  • Medical Spanish

Finally, be aware that while individuals use the words “interpreter” and “translator” interchangeably, they are very different activities. Interpreters speak orally while translators work with written materials.  EVMS does not have translation services available. 

If you have additional questions, please contact Community-Engaged Learning at communityengagedlearning@evms.edu.