McAuley Center looks for a healthy bottom line
Since the University of Detroit Mercy’s McAuley Health Center opened in January 2003, it has served a steadily growing number of patients, primarily uninsured, working poor adults. The UDM nurse practitioner faculty and students who staff the Center are likely to see even more patients soon, as a contract with Medicaid is finalized.
According to Center Director Joan Urbancic, these contracts are important because they’ll produce revenue that will help sustain the Center once federal funding it receives from the Division of Nursing ends in 2007.
“The mission of the McAuley Health Center is to provide primary care to the underserved. But to fulfill that mission we have to generate income to support our services to the poor,” she says.
In addition to the Medicare and Medicaid contracts, Urbancic has been negotiating agreements with various agencies to provide services like sports physicals, admission histories and physicals, and adolescent services. Another challenge for the Center is educating the community about its services, Urbancic says.
“Our students can be a big help with increasing our visibility by participating in health fairs and other community outreach projects,” she notes.
One such effort was the recent “Keep Detroit Healthy Expo” at Ford Field, May 16, where UDM nurse practitioner faculty and students provided free health screenings. The event was part of Cover the Uninsured Week, a nationwide series of events to raise awareness of problems faced by the 44 million Americans, including 8.5 million children, without health coverage.