News Detail
Justin Starke (left), a fourth-year medical student at St. Louis University, and Matthew Perryman, a first-year student, talked with patient Deanna Johnson at St. Louis University's Health Resource Center. Photo by Jerry Naunheim.
Saint Louis University Provides Free Health Care through Student-Run Clinic

January 17, 2014 — For 20 years, the Saint Louis University Health Resource Center has provided primary care on the north side of the city to those in need. Operated by Saint Louis University (SLU) medical students under the guidance of SLU doctors, the clinic’s mission can be summed up by the sign in the waiting room: "Serving our community in the Jesuit tradition."

Last year, the center provided free primary health care services for 740 adult patients and 231 pediatric patients, with some patients returning for multiple visits. In addition, the center moved to a new location twice the size of its previous space.

Matthew DeCuffa, one of six second-year medical students on the leadership team, said that the university instills a service component, motivating students to give back to the community.

With the Jesuit tradition and a big push toward service, providing primary care for those who are less fortunate is a good fit, said DeCuffa.

"Our school, the students and physicians, everyone here is invested in providing the best patient care we can," he said. SLU provides basic bloodwork and other tests free of charge, with the volunteer physician reviewing lab results and patients contacted afterward.

Katie Gray, another student lead coordinator, said the clinic is an opportunity for students to be a part of the community, "possibly making a difference in people's lives." She noted that the work has a social justice aspect since people have a right to health care.

First- or second-year medical students are the first ones to see patients, taking their vital signs and medical history. A third- or fourth-year medical student does a physical exam. Then the medical students confer with a volunteer physician-faculty member who reviews cases, answers questions and prescribes medication.

About 90 percent of SLU medical students spend some time volunteering at the clinic. Dr. John E. Morley, who has been the medical director of the clinic for the past 20 years, said, "It's phenomenal that the students have managed to keep it going, just amazing. The quality of care is superb. And it still fills an absolute need in the community."

Deanna Johnson has been coming to the clinic for about 10 years. "They really care for their patients. They provide everything you need to be healthy,” she said. “They help with prescriptions and to find resources to help me take care of myself.” [Source: St. Louis Review]





Recent News

November 15, 2017 — Members of Ecojesuit, the Jesuits’ worldwide ecological network, report from Bonn.

November 14, 2017 — In honor of November’s Jesuit Vocations Month, we asked Jesuits across the U.S. and Canada to reflect on what they love about their Jesuit vocations.

November 14, 2017 — On Nov. 3, Jesuit Father Roch Lapalme pronounced his final vows in the Society of Jesus in Montreal.

Nov. 10, 2017 — Six Jesuit high schools are competing to help fill local food banks with provisions for families in need.

November 9, 2017 — St. Louis University High School announced the appointment of new president Alan R. Carruthers, effective July 1, 2018.

November 5, 2017 — Today is the feast of All Saints and Blessed of the Society of Jesus, when we remember the Jesuits who have lived Ignatian values in inspirational ways.

November 3, 2017 — Fr. Michael Sheeran, SJ, asked Jesuit-educated members of Congress to support the Dream Act.

view all news

Search news

Publications
Since St. Ignatius bought a printing press in 1556, the Jesuits have been involved in communications. Today the Society of Jesus publishes a number of award-winning journals and publications. Click below to access our latest issues.

America 11/13/17

America 10/30/17

America 10/29/17



Our Lady of the Oaks Retreat House
Our Lady of the Oaks Retreat House, located in Grand Coteau, La., has provided a beautiful setting for retreats since 1938.