Haight Ashbury Free Clinics

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Haight Ashbury Free Clinics
Industry rehabilitation
Founded July 7, 1967 (1967-07-07)
Founder David E Smith
Number of locations
Haight-Ashbury, San Francisco, California
Area served
Northern California
Website Haight Ashbury Free Clinics website

The Haight Ashbury Free Clinics, Inc. is a free health care service provider serving more than 34,000 people in Northern California.[citation needed]


The organization was founded by Dr. David E. Smith in Haight-Ashbury, San Francisco, California on June 7, 1967, during the counterculture of the 1960s. As thousands of youth arrived in the city, many were in need of substance abuse treatment, mental health service, and medical attention. The clinic became the model for the modern form of the free clinic. The Clinics are currently composed of four core programs:[1]

  • Medical clinics
  • Substance abuse treatment services
  • Jail psychiatric services
  • Rock medicine: on-site medical services for public events and concerts
  • Treasure Island Job Corp Wellness Center

The clinics recently merged with Walden House an addiction treatment organization to form Healthright 360.

Rock Medicine[edit]

Through the benefit concerts organized with Bill Graham in the late 1960s and early 1970s, Dr. Inaba and Dr. George "Skip" Gay created Rock Medicine with the support of Dr. Dave. In the spring of 1973, Bill Graham staged two consecutive Saturday concerts at Kezar Stadium in San Francisco, CA featuring The Grateful Dead and Led Zeppelin. Bill Graham asked the Clinic to staff a "medical emergency care tent" during both concerts. These small stadium concerts, about 18,000 at the Dead and 25,000 at Led Zeppelin, evolved into Bill Graham's Days on the Green concert series. The "medical emergency care tent" became Rock Medicine, which is a branch of the Clinic that still exists today and provides medical care at hundreds of Northern California music concerts and events each year.[citation needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Haight Ashbury Free Clinics, Inc". Archived from the original on 2007-09-27. Retrieved 2007-09-30. 
  • Weiss, Gregory L. (2006). Grass Roots Medicine: The Story of America's Free Health Clinics. Rowman & Littlefield. ISBN 0-7425-4070-7. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Seymour, Richard (1987). The Haight Ashbury Free Medical Clinics: Still free after all these years, 1967-1987. San Francisco, California: Partisan Press. 
  • Smith, David Elvin; John Luce (1971). Love Needs Care: A History of San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury Free Medical Clinic and Its Pioneer Role in Treating Drug-Abuse Problems. Little, Brown. ISBN 0-316-80143-7. 
  • Sturges, Clark S. (1993). Dr. Dave: A Profile of David E. Smith, M.D., Founder of the Haight Ashbury Free Clinics. Walnut Creek, California: Devil Mountain Books. ISBN 0-915685-08-6. 

External links[edit]