Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan awarded a $13,000 grant to Project H of the Wayne County Family Center. The funding comes through the insurer’s 2009 Strengthening the Safety Net Free Clinic program.
The grant, said Jennifer Mendez, Ph.D., director of Longitudinal and Co-Curricular Programs at the School of Medicine, provides a “much-enhanced” program for those who rely on Wayne County Family Services.
“Since 2000, the Wayne State University School of Medicine has been a proud partner of this vital clinic at Wayne County Family Services,” Dr. Mendez said. “The volunteered time and effort of the students and physicians is to be commended. Without this clinic the families, and especially children, would not be receiving any health care services.”
As part of the School of Medicine’s co-curricular program, medical students in their first and second years volunteer up to 150 hours at community clinics, agencies and schools. Project H is supported by donations of in-kind service and supplies by faculty, students and the community.
The funding received by Amy Cortis, M.D., and the faculty assisting her at the center -- Michael Stellini, M.D., assistant professor of Internal Medicine, and Stephen Knazik, M.D., clinical associate professor of Pediatrics -- will support services for residents of Wayne County Family Services.
"The financial support provided by Blue Cross Blue Shield is essential to continue providing quality medical services to the homeless families residing at the Wayne County Family Center," said Dr. Cortis, a 2005 graduate of the School of Medicine and a first-year fellow in Pediatric Medicine at Children’s Hospital of Michigan.
Project H began in 2000 and WSU students began volunteering at the clinic in 2001.
“Project H is an innovative approach to health care with the mission of providing resources to the Wayne County Family Center, a homeless shelter for families in Westland, so that all residents have the opportunity to reach and maintain their physical, emotional, spiritual and environmental wellness,” said Dr. Cortis, a graduate student in the master’s of public health degree program co-sponsored by the School of Medicine and the Department of Family Medicine.
Student volunteers and physicians from WSU provide medical services on a weekly basis to adults and children living in the shelter. Medical students also tutor children in the center and provide health education seminars and recreational activities for families. The students volunteer under the supervision of Dr. Knazik and Dr. Stellini.
Project H envisions a multi-disciplinary approach to health care and is working to team with other departments and schools at Wayne State University to provide additional services for the families.