Our service to our patients is highly dependent on the hard work of many individuals. I am continually amazed and impressed with the compassion and commitment of each one of our volunteers at Hope House Free Medical Clinic From the front desk staff, to our nurses, spiritual care volunteers, board members, and particularly, right now, I think of the physicians and advanced practice providers who have given of their personal time to care for the uninsured for over 13 years. Three individuals in particular have been faithful partners since the very beginning; Marla Vance MD, Eva Bartlett MD, and Sara Smoes PA. Words cannot convey how much I value the knowledge and skill they freely share for the benefit of our community, a gift deeply rooted in faith and their compassion for others. Each of them brings more than just professionalism. They share true love and concern for others which is the essence of what it means to be a health care professional.
Hope House Free Medical Clinic is unique in how we help people find lifelong spiritual health while we provide free medical care. Spiritual health and involvement in a faith-based community are associated with improvements in physical and mental health. In our Spiritual Care area, we speak with patients and their family members at the depth and pace that each will invite. When allowed, we discuss together our daily life struggles and consider how those affect our view of God and our ability to trust Him more fully. Through these care conversations, the volunteers in our Spiritual Care area model and guide into a deeper relationship with God and encourage growing healthy together within a faith-building church family. We help people become more whole and healthier by helping them apply biblical truths in daily life, and through our prayer care after free medical care.
These are exciting times for the Rowe Pharmacy Care Clinic. Last Fall we moved into our new space in the recently renovated Hagerman Pharmacy Building on the campus of Ferris State University. Our new space is more appropriate for our needs and is a fully modern pharmacy. We now have 2 clinical pharmacy rooms that can be used for vaccines or for lab testing. We also started a collaborative practice agreement with Dr. Wright at Hope House. This means that we see patients in the Care Clinic and can stop, start, or change prescription therapy as needed for diabetes, high blood pressure, or high cholesterol. This is much like a physician assistant role and is a very forward-thinking practice model with regards to how pharmacists can provide care for patients. You may also have noticed that we changed our name, the Rowe Pharmacy Care Clinic is named in honor of Jeff and Annette Rowe. Dr. Rowe is a Ferris State Pharmacy alumnus and 2016 Michigan Pharmacist of the Year. He is an integral part of the St. Luke’s New Life Center and the Genesee County Free Clinic.
“Every patient is so very thankful for all we provide! In my area, we have the privilege of engaging in spiritual health conversations if the person is open to that. So many are willing to share their story, struggles, and successes.” –Jim K.
Early in 2020 our volunteers worked to clear out the clinic to enable the installation of new flooring throughout the clinic. Vinyl was installed in the exam rooms, previously carpeted, greatly enhancing our ability to maintain cleanliness. Thank you to Mid-Michigan Community Action for collaborating with us in this endeavor.
Medications, even at our cost, are expensive—a month’s supply of insulin for a diabetic patient costs the clinic $300.00. Most diabetics are on more than one medication and need test strips for their meters, all supplied by the clinic. Our asthmatic/respiratory patients need inhalers at a cost of $60.00 each. We have dozens of patients who are diabetic or asthmatic.