By Nyesha Stone
Every Saturday Morning, Medical College of Wisconsin students treat uninsured patients at Columbia St. Mary’s Family Health Center, 1121 E. North Ave., through the pilot program CHECK UP (Creating Health Education for Constructive Knowledge in Underserved Populations).
The CHECK UP Program was created by Meg Cory whose goal was to educate the community through small, simple reminders. Anyone who visits the Saturday clinic, can receive magnets that reminds patients to do daily tasks that will positively impact their health.
Cory said the program started off as a research project about diabetes. She discovered that many individuals didn’t know much about the risk of diabetes, how to prevent it or how to take care of it. Through CHECK UP, patients receive quality care and educational resources to assist them when they aren’t being seen.
This is “a great experience for the medical students,” said Cory. “We all get the opportunity to dive in the medical experience.”
According to Cory, MCW students take vitals, talk with patients about their medical past and more. “It’s a full learning experience,” she said.
The medical director of the Saturday Clinic for the Uninsured, Rebecca Lundh, said the clinic is a “safety net” for the patients who need care but can’t get it. Lundh said the clinic helps the uninsured get covered. The clinic also has a social worker on site.
All of the services are free—the only requirement is that the patient must be uninsured. The services are able to be free because the staff is 100 percent volunteer based, and is funded through grants. Ascension Health provides the space for free, which also helps with cost tremendously.
“We are there for the community,” said Lundh. She added that our society isn’t doing enough when it comes to treating uninsured patients.
The clinic is currently walk-in only, but Lundh said they’re working on making it appointment-based. Lundh is also looking for suggestions or ideas when it comes to what the community needs health wise.
The biggest take away from the clinic that Cory wants is for patients to learn how to maintain their health when at home.
“We’re making sure that we’re aware and sensitive of who is getting the information,” Cory said.
For more information on the CHECK UP Program, visit https://www.mcw.edu/.