link to RWJMS home page





 HIPHOP Promise Clinic



About Us


Promise Clinic is a community of medical students, volunteer physicians, and community partners dedicated to providing patient-centered, quality primary care services; as well educating and empowering the clients of Elijah’s Promise Soup Kitchen in New Brunswick, NJ to live healthier lives. Promise Clinic also serves as an environment where medical students and other health professionals can engage in the New Brunswick community through service-learning aimed at teaching the importance of continuity of care, teamwork, advocacy, innovation, and leadership.


Our goals are aligned to the core missions of Robert Wood Johnson Medical School: patient care, education, community service, and research.

What makes us unique?

The Promise Clinic is an entirely student-run clinic that aims to provide free primary care to the clients of Elijah's Promise Soup Kitchen in New Brunswick, NJ. Our patients are uninsured and many are afflicted with common chronic conditions such as hypertension and diabetes.

The Promise Clinic is built upon a continuity of care model. Each new patient is paired with a team of medical students from all levels of training. The assigned student-doctor team will be responsible for the patient's care throughout the their time  in medical school and/or the patient's stay with clinic, ensuring continuity. Under the close supervision of volunteer attending physicians, medical students are committed to providing an encompassing range of care for our patients.

What care do we provide?

The Promise Clinic provides basic health maintenance, screenings, patient education, access to psychiatric services, medications,  and basic laboratory work ---all free of charge to patients.

Our psychiatric care for non-emergent cases is courtesy of volunteer Robert Wood Johnson Medical School Psychiatry resident physicians. We also assist qualifying patients in applying for Charity Care so that they may meet Specialty Care needs such as Optometry, Podiatry, Endocrinology, Cardiology, etc.

Why get involved?

Through The Promise Clinic, the uninsured and under-served communities of New Brunswick, NJ have access to primary health care that they could not otherwise receive. The clinic also serves as an opportunity for early clinical exposure for medical students in their pre-clinical years. We provide both patient and peer education, as students in their clinical years teach pre-clinical students the basics of the physical exam and management of chronic health conditions.

Who are our Community Partners?

Our facilities are graciously loaned to us every week on Thursday evenings from Eric B Chandler Health Center and we work with Elijah’s Promise Soup Kitchen to register our patient population.


The Promise Clinic was founded in 2005 under the Homeless and Indigent Population Health Outreach Project (HIPHOP) of Rutgers, the State College of New Jersey-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School (Rutgers-RWJMS) to provide primary care to New Brunswick citizens while also giving students a chance to excel in medical professionalism using community-based experiences and a long-term care model. The clinic originated with a needs assessment: in 2004 of  health care access problems of Elijah’s Promise Soup Kitchen patrons by students.  The students found that about one-third of this population did not have a regular source of care. Recognizing this community need, and excellent opportunity to strengthen the medical school’s curriculum and outreach programs, the medical students worked with Elijah’s Promise, Inc, St. John’s Family Health Center, the RWJMS Senior Associate Dean of Community Health and 15 faculty members from the Family and Internal Medicine Departments to develop the clinic.

More recently, the clinic has moved to Eric B Chandler Health Center, expanded its patient population, established additional specialty care resources and changed operational aspects of the clinic to better meet the needs of its patients. The strengths of our organization include Meeting patient’s needs by running evening clinic hours, providing medication cost coverage, and facilitating communication between health care and social service providers.

  • Giving first and second year medical students valuable clinical experience while allowing third and fourth year medical students the opportunity to teach and guide their team.
  • Establishing a continuity of care experience for both patient and student-team. Patients appreciate a consistency in the care they receive while students observe the course and treatment of their patients. This fosters powerful bonds between patients and students and adds a longitudinal continuity of care component to the RWJMS curriculum.
  • Providing an opportunity to conduct community-based participatory research on health conditions, outcomes and heavily used services of The Promise Clinic patient population.