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Local hospitals and agencies coming together to serve vulnerable population

GRAND RAPIDS, MI (July 22, 2020) — Six local organizations are coming together to provide free medical services to increase access to care for individuals experiencing homelessness in the greater Grand Rapids area. Grand Valley State University’s Kirkhof College of Nursing (KCON), Mercy Health Saint Mary’s, Metro Health – University of Michigan, Michigan State University – College of Human Medicine, Spectrum Health, and Mel Trotter Ministries have aligned to open a free clinic onsite at Mel Trotter Ministries’ downtown location.

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.

KCON, Mercy Health Saint Mary’s, Metro Health, and Spectrum Health will each provide a practitioner to be onsite at Mel Trotter Ministries one day per week. MSU College of Human Medicine’s medical students will participate through service learning opportunities with physicians and residents. Mel Trotter Ministries brings to the arrangement two full-time medical support staff, the clinical space and referrals of patients from guests accessing the shelter. This collaboration developed out of the shared goal of meeting the medical needs of some of the most vulnerable populations in our community.

Community Partners Medical Clinic at Mel Trotter will be open Monday through Thursday from 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Walk-ins are accepted. Patients are also encouraged to make an appointment by calling (616) 588-8791 Monday through Thursday, between 1:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.

Grand Valley State University’s Kirkhof College of Nursing

“The social determinants of homelessness and health inequities are often intertwined, and long-term homelessness further exacerbates health issues. KCON is committed to joining Mel Trotter Ministries and our partners in healthcare to address these inequities in our community. Together we can make a difference for those who are most vulnerable.” Cynthia McCurren, Dean, Kirkhof College of Nursing, Grand Valley State University

Mel Trotter Ministries

“We are excited about this unique collaboration in bringing together the healthcare systems, non-profit and universities to serve the medical needs of our communities most vulnerable. We truly believe that there needs to be a holistic approach in caring for the homeless population and the medical care is a key factor in people moving forward. We’re grateful for the partners and their dedication to caring for the guests at Mel Trotter.” Adrienne Goodstal, VP of Community Engagement & Advocacy, Mel Trotter Ministries

Mercy Health Saint Mary’s

“The Clinic is a great example of how collaborative West Michigan can be, and Mercy Health Saint Mary’s is proud to be working with some of our community’s leading organizations to provide free, high quality medical care to some of our community’s most vulnerable persons.” Hyung T. Kim, MD, MBA, President, Mercy Health Saint Mary’s.

Metro Health – University of Michigan Health

“Homeless people are among the most medically fragile in our community, and they deserve access to regular medical care,” said Dr. Peter Hahn, CEO of Metro Health – University of Michigan Health. “An important benchmark of any community is how it treats its most vulnerable residents. Metro Health is proud to partner with our fellow providers to reach our neighbors.”

Michigan State University – College of Human Medicine

“MSU is honored to have our medical students work with area physicians to provide essential medical services to our city’s most vulnerable populations,” said Aron Sousa, MD, Interim Dean, Michigan State University College of Human Medicine. “This collaborative effort fits our mission to respond to the needs of the medically underserved in our communities.”

Spectrum Health

“We are excited to be part of this collaborative effort with Mel Trotter. Partnerships are the most powerful way to improve community health,” said Tina Freese Decker, President & CEO, Spectrum Health. “We continually look for innovative ways to make receiving care more convenient for our community. This is a prime example of meeting patients where they are, in a setting that is comfortable for them.”


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