“The best experience with a doctor that she has ever had” – that’s how a patient described her visit on September 17, opening day of the Northeast Ohio Medical University’s (NEOMED’s) new student-run free clinic.
NEOMED’s new student-run free clinic, located in Rootstown, OH, is open and accepting patients. Under the direction of John Boltri, MD, and managed by medical and pharmacy students, the clinic is located in the NEW Center at NEOMED and is open two Saturdays per month. The clinic provides high quality, non-emergent, no-cost health care to the medically underserved in the community. Individuals without insurance and those unable to afford their deductibles or copays can receive clinic services including primary care, chronic disease management, regular routine care, physical exams, basic labs, and prescriptions for medications.
The student-run clinic also aims to exceed patient expectations, spending extra time with patients, customizing patient assistance, providing extensive follow-up care, and making patient education and patient understanding a priority.
The student-run free clinic is an interprofessional effort. It combines time and talents of medical and pharmacy students and health care professionals with a dual focus of deepening the medical education experience while enhancing the community perspective and addressing local health care disparities. A recent public forum demonstrated robust community interest and recognition of the need for such a clinic. Support of the clinic was represented by area health care agencies, local health departments, public and private local businesses, faith-based organizations, social service organizations, alumni, and private community members.
With funding from the American Academy of Family Physicians Foundation Family Medicine Cares USA grant, the clinic was able to purchase much-needed equipment including examination tables, blood pressure cuffs, lab equipment, and other essential equipment enabling the clinic to provide primary care services to the community.
The clinic offers primary care appointments one Saturday and the second Saturday focuses on medication management. Clinic volunteers hope to expand the clinic access to three to four Saturdays per month.