Johanna Berrigan, PA-C

Johanna Berrigan co-founded the Catholic Worker Free Clinic for homeless, uninsured and underinsured adults in Philadelphia in 1991. As co-director, she volunteers as both an administrator and medical provider. Berrigan also co-founded the Kay Lasante “House of Health” project in Port au Prince, Haiti in 2005 and has since helped train an all-Haitian staff. The project became a primary care clinic after a devastating earthquake in 2010 and offers free medical care to all. She currently is a member of the board of directors, heads up U.S. fundraising efforts and continues to visit the clinic several times a year. In the past, Berrigan has lived communally and has brought homeless persons into her community home for 14 of those years. Currently, she works part-time at the Philadelphia Department of Health in the HIV specialty clinic.

Impact

Berrigan has dedicated her career to underserved populations in the U.S. and abroad. “Johanna has impacted many, many patients both in Philadelphia and Haiti, bringing quality, compassionate health care to places where there was none,” says Appel. “She shows great love toward her marginalized patients while offering competent HIV and primary care.”

Berrigan says that being a PA has given her the opportunity to be of service in impoverished areas throughout the world, which has put her in a unique position to advocate for these communities and connect them with other individuals who want to make a difference. “Much of our work is supported by donations,” she says, “and I am the link, sharing the needs of these people with donors who want to help.”