UT Community Care Clinics removing barriers to healthcare for all
TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - At least twice a week students and people affiliated with the University of Toledo Medical School host pop-up Community Care Clinics around the city of Toledo.
The clinics have become the largest student-run clinic in the country, providing over $4 million of care each year. The group met outside of the Queen of Apostles on Monday.
“We service anyone that walks up, anyone that might need care. If they are underinsured as well, we help anyone that we can. We bring supplies with us, we bring a free pharmacy with us as well,” said Addison Sparks, medical student and executive director of the clinic.
Students participating said without their services, many people in the community would be left without healthcare. They said they want to work to remove barriers and provide proper care for all.
“We’re meeting them on the ground, in their own neighborhood. Helping them essentially in their backyard,” said Sparks.
The clinic has translators speaking languages including Arabic, Spanish, Mandarin, and more, that help makes the process easier for everyone. And the help has not gone unnoticed in the community.
”People are really just so grateful to have our help. They say thank you so much for helping us, I wouldn’t be able to have care otherwise. Or people that are low on medication or in need of emergency services, we’re always here to help them,” said Sparks.
Since its creation, the clinic has grown to include pharmacies, Narcan distributions, food pantries, and more as well as clinics. Thanks to grants and other fundraising efforts the clinics are working to broaden their reach even more and make themselves more assessable to everyone.
”It’s important that people have that primary source of healthcare. It’s important they have someone reliable to see, who they trust. Someone that they built that provider-patient rapport. We treat everyone in the community, no matter where they’re from,” said Katherine Esser, medical student and director of public relations for the clinic.
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