For decades, U-M faculty, staff and trainees have volunteered at Hope Medical Clinic, Inc.’s location in Ypsilanti to help serve thousands of people who lack health insurance. In 2010, following a proposal in part by otolaryngology faculty members Erin L. McKean, M.D., MBA, and Andrew G. Shuman, M.D., extensions to Hope Clinic’s activities were opened at the A. Alfred Taubman Healthcare Center and the Kellogg Eye Center.
This effort, called Hope@UMHS, hosts clinics staffed by volunteers and helps thousands of patients get free access to advanced care that can’t be offered at Hope’s own locations. The program offers everything from audiograms, endoscopies, ear procedures, biopsies and excisions of cancerous lesions, as well as examinations for serious eye conditions. Hope@UMHS also acts as a gateway for patients who need further care to receive it through UMHS programs for the uninsured.
Feedback has been universally positive, indeed offering various benefits to our health system community. Trainees benefit from additional educational opportunities, the health system volunteers its services to the community at no cost and underprivileged patients receive point-of-service care from expert providers in an expedient fashion. The future remains bright for continued expansion of this program with more patients, additional surgical specialties and further capabilities for outpatient procedures.