UDM Students Lend a Hand at Corktown Clinic

Healthy Times, Summer 2002

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Call it a match made in heaven.

Five years ago, Judith A. Mouch, R.S.M., assistant professor at the McAuley School of Nursing, needed a good clinical experience for the seniors in her community health nursing class. Her friend Mary Ellen Howard, R.S.M., (NUR '68), director of the St. Frances Cabrini Clinic in Detroit, desperately needed more volunteers to help care for patients. Today, Mouch and her students are mainstays at the Corktown clinic, along with Janet Baiardi, assistant professor of nursing, and many of her family nurse practitioner students.

Located at Most Holy Trinity Church, the Cabrini Clinic has provided free primary health care to economically disadvantaged people for more than 50 years. It is funded by grants and donations, and staffed by physicians, nurses, pharmacists, physician assistants and others who donate their time and expertise. Patients come from throughout Detroit and as far away as Sterling Heights and Waterford.

UDM's partnership with Cabrini has given students valuable clinical experience and allowed the facility to add an afternoon to the clinic's operating hours.

Mouch's students spend 14 weeks at Cabrini each fall and winter semester, assisting in the clinic and completing group projects to benefit patients. Students recently created a lecture series on topics like exercise and stress, and established a support group for the clinic's mental health patients.

"The clients love the students, and the doctors really depend on them," Mouch said. And countless students have told her how much they valued their clinic experience.

"It's the first time some of them have understood what life is like for these people," she said. "As they see them week after week, they realize how complex the issue of justice in health care is, and that it can't be easily resolved."

Alumni interested in volunteering at Cabrini Clinic should call Mary Ellen Howard at (313) 961-7863. Volunteers are especially needed in the mental health clinic.