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Richard Paat, MD Wins the 2023 Free Clinic Physician of the Year Award

In partnership with the Ohio Department of Health (ODH), the Charitable Healthcare Network (CHN) is pleased to announce Richard Paat, MD as the 2023 Free Clinic Physician of the Year Award winner for his work with the  CommunityCare Clinics (CCC) in Toledo.

“There has never been a week where Dr. Paat did not show up to the clinic unless he was out abroad doing the work of CCC for the underserved communities of the world on one of his many mission trips. Dr. Paat has seen hundreds of patients this year and offered them empathy, compassion, and the support of a physician, which sadly many of them would not be able to afford on their own. Through his leadership, ComunityCares Clinic has blossomed into the University of Toledo’s most prized student organization and a pillar for providing healthcare to the people of  Toledo,” according to the nomination for this award. 

The CommunityCare Clinics (CCC) is an interdisciplinary, student-run organization established to deliver quality health care to the underserved populations in the Toledo Community. Dr. Paat serves as the Medical Director of CCC. In addition, he is a full-time Internist with Mercy Health and is a Clinical Professor of Medicine at the University of Toledo. 

Through Paat’s leadership, the CCC has grown and offered services to patients that no one could have imagined at its inception in 2010, growing into the largest student-run free medical clinic in the U.S., treating 4,000 indigent patients annually while providing comprehensive services to the less fortunate in Northwest Ohio. Dr. Paat runs his free clinics 3 days a week during the early morning, evening, and weekends at local churches and in the parking lots of inner city Toledo.  During the COVID-19 Pandemic, his teams provided 7,000 vaccines throughout the Latino, Black, homeless, and migrant worker communities. Internationally, Dr. Paat has led almost 100 medical and disaster relief missions which treated 140,000 patients. 

The primary goal of the CCC is to raise healthcare awareness in the Toledo Community while offering its volunteers the opportunity to discover societal issues, and practice principles of public health through health promotion. More information about CCC can be found at

The Ohio Legislature, through H.B. 320 of the 130th General Assembly, designated December as Free Clinic Appreciation Month (FCAM) in Ohio. As part of Free Clinic Appreciation Month, the Charitable Healthcare Network and the Ohio Department of Health recognize the accomplishments of Ohio's free clinics with Free Clinic Award presentations.