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Vulnerable Population Gets Help From Collaboration Of Agencies

Homeless Man
Garry Knight
/
Homeless by a Wall - Flickr

It’s been one month since six local organizations came together to provide free medical services for those experiencing homelessness.  The collaboration allowed for a free onsite clinic at Mel Trotter Ministries.  WGVU has an update on their progress.

“We have some very excited and engaged health partners and our guests at Mel Trotter Ministries have been equally open and excited about the opportunity to have medical providers on-sight to provide general medical care.”

Lori Lynn is the Director of Clinical Services at Mel Trotter Ministries.  She says their recent collaboration of six organizations coming together has been a win-win.  They’ve all come together to open a free clinic onsite at Mel Trotter Ministries downtown location.  Those taking part include, Grand Valley State University’s Kirkhof College of Nursing, Mercy Health Saint Mary’s, Metro Health, Michigan State University-College of Human Medicine, Spectrum Health and of course Mel Trotter Ministries.

“Right now, each health partner is taking different clinic days and time in our medical clinic space and one of the biggest things I’ve seen is the number of people who’ve had access to care that otherwise would not.”

Lynn says the goals of this free onsite clinic are to help patients live healthier lives, treat acute and chronic conditions, reduce gaps in care and reduce unnecessary EMS and emergency room contacts.

“We’ve identified some top five chief areas where we can help guests and that’s in the areas of mental health, diabetes, hypertension, depression and really to re-establish back to primary care-that’s been one of our goals, but we’ve also been able to address a lot of urgent care needs as well.”

Each of the organizations provide a practitioner to be onsite one day per week. And Lynn adds, it’s also been a great opportunity for students in the medical field.

“We are also working with many medical students and soon to be nursing students that are not well acquainted with vulnerable populations. I think for the students we’ve seen thus far it’s been an overwhelmingly positive experience.”

Lynn says in the future they hope to be able to expand services and help even more people in the Heartside District.