New Midway clinic hopes to bridge health care gap for underserved children

Leap Pediatric and Adolescent Care in St. Paul is getting ready to welcome patients later this week.

The small, independent nonprofit clinic aims to provide health care to patients who face the greatest barriers to wellness and health. 

Dr. Julia Joseph-Di Caprio is the clinic’s founder and president. She says in this area, only about half of kids on Medicaid have a yearly check-up.  She’s hoping to change that.

“People are dealing with food insecurities, unstable housing — some have family members with mental illness. All of it can impact how they can care for their child,” she said.

The clinic is right in the heart of the Midway neighborhood, and even its location is strategic to breaking barriers: It’s right along the light rail’s Green Line and close to public housing. And it’s in the middle of a health care desert.

“This is a federally designated health professional shortage location, and that’s why we chose this location … because there’s a gap in care for children and adolescents,” Joseph Di-Caprio said.

The next phase of the clinic will open in the spring. The organization is hoping to add up to two more providers then and will be able to serve up to 5,000 patients.