About Us


We believe that more than medicine is needed when providing quality care for our patients. Here at Hope Community Medicine, we want to be the leading deep East Texas health provider recognized for our outstanding patient care, innovative technologies, programs, and medicines as well as a highly motivated, distinguished staff. We plan to achieve these goals by constantly seeking improvements in all aspects of our organizations. Currently, we are taking strides in building new facilities, increasing community and patient outreach through various good-will programs and informational classes.

Our Vision: To give hope to those who seek a better life by caring for their body, mind, and soul; to aid the financially and/or spiritually poor, the sick, the lonely, the elderly, or the powerless.

OUR STORY Hope Community Medicine is a non-profit faith initiative established in 2003 by the Episcopal Church, with the primary mission of providing quality health care to the people of East Texas, regardless of race, religion, socio-economic status or ability to pay. Hope Community Medicine founder and CEO Colonel Jean Diebolt, MSN, began plans for Hope in December 2002 after witnessing an infant in crisis with nephritic syndrome refused medical services because his teen-age mother lacked health insurance. With no free Clinic in Shelby County, and only an un-realistic state-mandated indigent care program available, experiences just like Jean’s were happening all over Shelby County and its surrounding areas daily. Determined to make health care to all East Texans, Jean enlisted the help of her closest friend Melba Gillis and together opened a one exam-room clinic in a warehouse in East Center, Texas, in August 2003. After quickly outgrowing the small facility, the Mayor of Tenaha, Texas, ten miles North of Center, offered the organization use his town’s vacant downtown clinic building late 2003, where it is still located today. The next year was difficult for the clinic. Despite several attempts for funding, Hope Community Medicine struggled to receive support from local and regional organizations. However, in 2004, Hope approached the Episcopal Bishop of East Texas to speak on their behalf to St. Luke’s Episcopal Health Charities (SLEHC) in Houston. As a result, the following year, and every year since, a generous amount has been granted to the organization. With SLEHC funding Hope community Medicine, other Houston foundations gave Hope a second look and more opportunities began to open. Gillis and Diebolt remained determined. After working the week in the clinic, Gillis and Diebolt began to write successful grant proposals on weekends and received $119,472 that year. Local perception of Hope Community Medicine began to change in 2006 when Hope managed a $310,914 budget and cared for 3,374 patients in 5,019 patient visits. With strategic planning and parsimonious expenditures, Hope Community Medicine added prenatal care, mental health services, patient assistance with prescriptions, health education, and podiatry, vision and dental referrals on a sliding fee scale. Looking to expand, Gillis and Diebolt convinced the Hope Community Medicine board to file a federal application to become a Federally Qualified Health Center Look-Alike (FQHC-LA), a move that would give the clinic enhanced reimbursement for Medicaid and Medicare patient visits and ensure self-sustainability. Extra money would then be available for funding the care for patients without insurance and/or money. In December of 2007, after two years of intense work to meet FQHC requirements, Hope was granted FQHC-LA status. It was then that Hope Community Medicine realized that the real goal for the organization was attaining full FQHC status, a designation that brings with it not only enhanced reimbursement but also generous funding for employee salaries. Hope was notified in March of 2008 that they had gained FQHC status and began adding services and personnel. Hope Community Medicine no longer had to count on volunteers. Since its inception in 2003, Hope community Medicine has provided cost-effective health care services to over 5,000 patients. Hope currently has over 30 employees and more than half of the clinic staff is bilingual.

Matthew 25:36