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Message from Dr. Wright June 2024

“Why do you volunteer at Hope House Free Medical Clinic?” That’s a great question. I’ve been fortunate to have been a part of the great team of volunteers at Hope House since it formed in 2006. After spending hours providing medical care in your “day job” why would anyone want to do this on their time off? The answer is at the heart of why we work in health care. People who look to Hope House for their health care needs have nowhere else to go and often have conditions which could result in serious harm or financial failure if neglected. It takes so little to help them get back on track and they are so quick to express their appreciation. Caring for others gives life meaning and providing that care to grateful and appreciative persons renews our calling. Through the generosity of many and our partnerships with other groups we are able to supply their basic needs until they are able to obtain insurance and a permanent source of primary care. Filling this gap gives patients an option besides a trip to the emergency room which for some is their only other choice. In spite of the Affordable Health care Act there are still plenty of people who slip through the cracks and we’re there for them. During the COVID 19 pandemic we were still there, offering video and telephone visits and in-person visits when appropriate. Our partners at Ferris College of pharmacy provide hundreds of prescriptions each year, offer immunizations, medication counseling and chronic disease collaborative care. Our relationship with Corewell Health allows us to cover limited diagnostic testing. And in the future, due to the forward thinking of our great board members, we are making plans to develop a wellness care program so our patients can be built physical, mental, and spiritual health.

Focus on Wellness

It is a good reminder that the recommended age for colon cancer screening was lowered to 45. Although the occurrence of colon cancer deaths has decreased in older adults, primarily due to screening/detection, it was recently announced that there has been an increase in detection in the younger screening population. Hope House is embarking upon a colon cancer detection/screening program aimed at patients aged 45-75, about 60 percent of our patients are in this age group. Patients will receive counseling and brochures recommending they take advantage of the opportunity for screening. Hope House is also eager to support female patients over age 40 to obtain mammograms. Partnering with District Ten of the Health Department, patients will be referred for screening, which is completed at Corewell Health Big Rapids Hospital. All patients have the ability to obtain needed vaccines—influenza, T-Dap, pneumonia and shingles vaccine, and are strongly encouraged to do so. Rowe Pharmacy Care Center, our partnering pharmacy at Ferris State University, administers the vaccines—appointments can be made during regular pharmacy hours.

SPIRITUAL CARE: OUR WHAT, WHY, AND HOW

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.

New Rowe Pharmacy Care Clinic

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.

Thankful Patients

“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.

What’s New?

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.