Improving Community Health and the Volunteer Experience: The Creation of a New Student-Run Free Clinic

  • Joshua Powell Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine
  • Jenny Truong Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine
  • Brianna Schmidt Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine
  • Anne Dersch Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine
  • Rollin Cook Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine
  • Allen Nelson Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine

Abstract

Over one-third of the population of Pontiac, Michigan lives below the poverty line, so as could be expected, access to healthcare is limited for many of Pontiac’s community members. After years of anticipation and eventually many months of diligent planning, the Family Medicine Interest Group leadership of the Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine, in conjunction with the Gary Burnstein Community Health Clinic, designed and implemented the school’s first organized student-run free clinic in 2015. Currently, the students of Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine operate the clinic one evening per month to provide free care to an average of eight patients each clinic date. A growing group of student leadership has been assembled with the primary goal of providing ethical, high-quality, and cost-free healthcare to our community members in need, while simultaneously working to improve the efficiency of the clinic, enhance student interest in community service and health promotion, and increase community awareness and support of the Gary Burnstein Community Health Clinic. As the student-run free clinic continues to grow and see improved operations, there is hope to open additional days of clinical services and begin offering new student-run health education services.

Author Biographies

Joshua Powell, Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine
Joshua Powell is a second-year medical student at the Oakland University William Beaumont (OUWB) School of Medicine. He is the current Family Medicine Interest Group (FMIG) President at OUWB.
Jenny Truong, Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine
Jenny Truong is a third-year medical student at the OUWB School of Medicine. She is a former FMIG Vice President at OUWB and is currently a Director of Care at the Student-Run Free Clinic (SRFC).
Brianna Schmidt, Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine
Brianna Schmidt is a third-year medical student at the OUWB School of Medicine. She is a former FMIG Secretary at OUWB and is currently the SRFC M3/M4 Student Volunteer Coordinator.
Anne Dersch, Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine
Anne Dersch is a second-year medical student at the OUWB School of Medicine. She is the current FMIG Vice President at OUWB.
Rollin Cook, Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine
Rollin Cook is a second-year medical student at the OUWB School of Medicine. He is the current FMIG Secretary at OUWB and is the SRFC M1/M2 Student Volunteer Coordinator.
Allen Nelson, Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine
Allen Nelson is a third-year medical student at the OUWB School of Medicine. He is a former FMIG President at OUWB and is currently a Director of Care at the SRFC.
Published
2017-07-15
Section
Brief Communication