The Ita Ford Health Team first opened the doors of its free clinic in February, 1997. The Team was initially named after Ita Ford, the Maryknoll nun who was murdered in El Salvador in 1980 for her work with the poor. Her niece, Miriam Ford, is a co-founder of the clinic. In September, 2001, the Health Team was renamed to include the memory of Bill Kelly Jr., killed at the World Trade Center on 9-11. Bill’s sister Colleen was also a co-founder of the clinic, and is active within Peaceful Tomorrows.
The clinic serves the adult, uninsured of New York City, and operates in East Harlem in space graciously donated by the Little Sisters of the Assumption. Clinic staff are all volunteer, allowing patients to be seen free of charge. Medical students who volunteered at the Ita Ford-Bill Kelly Jr. Health Team throughout the years, have since gone on to found two other free clinics in New York City – a true testament to serving others less fortunate.