DMC Foundation grant supports Amigos Medicos’ All Saints Clinic

April 07, 2016

The DMC Foundation has given the Wayne State University School of Medicine a one-year, $5,501 grant to support the Amigos Medicos student organization’s clinical work at All Saints Church on West Fort Street in Detroit.

The clinic, founded in May 2015, connects individuals and families in the Springwells Village neighborhood of the city’s southwest side with free medical services and offers student volunteers experience with a high-need patient population.

The All Saints Clinic is run by first-year students on Tuesdays and second-year students on Wednesdays, in a shared space with the church’s soup kitchen and food pantry. Students provide patients with basic health assessments, blood sugar and blood pressure monitoring, health and community resource education and prescription refills under the guidance of a faculty physician. School of Medicine students see patients with chronic conditions such as asthma, diabetes and hypertension who lack consistent primary care.

Students such as Benjamin Ueberroth, one of four first-year clinic coordinators, can refer patients to local clinics for further, more in-depth care if needed. “We also provide an ear for any problems the patient might have, whether they be medical, social or familial,” he said.

During each clinic date, four to six students from the Wayne State University School of Medicine volunteer to attain clinical experience, seeing up to 30 patients per clinic day. Students may earn co-curricular credit for volunteering. Volunteer salaried and adjunct Wayne State faculty supervise the clinic. Materials are donated by Wayne State University School of Medicine Alumni Association.

Medical student Hania Maqbool, Class of 2018, is one of two second-year clinic coordinators. “We like to create a comfortable environment where students feel like they can really get to know patients and get hands-on experience. While educating the medical students, we are also providing basic care and health education to the underserved population who attends the soup kitchen and food pantry,” Maqbool said.

The school’s Clinical Medicine Course Director Joel Appel, D.O., is the program’s faculty advisor on Wednesdays.

“He has been an essential part of the clinic by teaching the medical students who attend and by providing additional services to the patient population that medical students alone cannot, such as writing prescriptions,” Maqbool added.

The DMC Foundation grant will be used to purchase basic medical supplies such as personal hygiene items, over-the-counter medications, otoscopes, adhesive bandages and cotton balls.

Volunteer personnel like Ueberroth hope the clinic continues to grow and expand.

“Clinics like the Robert R. Frank Student-Run Free Clinic and Cass Clinic offer more in-depth services, largely in part due to increased funding. We hope to continue to build our capabilities, as well as our students’ medical prowess, using this grant to make All Saints Clinic a more robust, comprehensive clinic to assist our patient population,” he said. “I enjoy working with patients because it offers perspective of what medical school is all about. It is easy to get lost in the books with all the studying we do, but the patients at All Saints Clinic remind me of the humanity of medicine, and that makes it all worth it.”

The DMC Foundation is dedicated to promoting the well-being of people in the metropolitan Detroit area through the support of health-related research, education and community benefit activities.

“Grants like this are so important in helping little clinics like us stay afloat so we can help patient populations who are in need,” Maqbool said. “I like working at All Saints Clinic because it is a small operation that allows students to have a lot of hands-on experience that they might not get at a bigger clinic. I also think it’s very important for students, and just people in general, to help community members around them who are in need. Interacting with people from different cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds helps students develop into more understanding doctors and more well-rounded individuals as a whole.”

150 years in the heart of Detroit