Services grow at eastside center

Healthy Times, Fall 2003

Photo: Oral health screenings were offered to community residents at the center in September.


Its name may be shorter, but its list of accomplishments seems to be growing longer each day. Activity at the McAuley Health Center – formerly the McAuley Nurse Managed Center – is definitely in high gear.

The University of Detroit Mercy’s McAuley School of Nursing opened the center last January to provide free primary health care to medically underserved patients, primarily uninsured working poor adults. Located on the eastside of Detroit, the center is staffed by UDM nursing faculty, with assistance from graduate and undergraduate students.

College of Health Professions faculty members practicing primary care at the center include Merry Stewart, Janet Baiardi and Pat Rouen. The full-time staff has grown to include medical assistant Melissa Fuller and administrative assistant Lecitia Jones. Mental health faculty include Carla Groh, Joan Urbancic and John Knisely.

Currently, one family nurse practitioner graduate student and eight undergraduates are working at the center. The students often “shadow” the center’s clinical coordinator, Mary Serowky, to observe first-hand how an advance practice nurse functions.

“Our students are involved in wonderful activities,” reports Urbancic, the clinic’s project director. “They’re conducting outreach programs such as health fairs at churches and senior citizen homes almost every week.”

In September, nursing students collaborated with dental and dental hygiene students to sponsor an oral health fair at the center for community residents.

While the center’s patient load has been growing steadily, partnerships with a number of organizations mean its services will reach even more in the community. They’ll soon be treating breast and cervical cancer patients as part of a federal program administered by the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute. The center is finalizing an agreement to see Medicare recipients, and another to treat patients of Havenwyck, a psychiatric hospital.

Going forward, Urbancic says one of the center’s goals is to incorporate spirituality into practice.

“It’s so important to the healing process,” she explains. “We’re exploring how best to do that.”