Good Samaritan’s REACH Clinic serves nearly 500 in 2016
The Rochester Education and Advocacy for Community Health (REACH) Clinic served 449 patients and filled 717 prescriptions in 2016, with nearly half of those patients saying they would likely go without medical care if the REACH Clinic was not available to them
“REACH offers patients continuity in their care because they feel like they have their own personal doctor during their visits,” says Good Samaritan Pharmacy Coordinator, Jessica Schultz.
The REACH Clinic is a partnership between the Rochester Salvation Army’s Good Samaritan Health Clinic and the Mayo Clinic, where second year Mayo medical students spend one year organizing clinics and examining patients.
Started in 2009, the REACH Clinic has become an institution, averaging 48 students per year and helping hundreds of patients..
“One subject we discuss with our students is the effects of the unequal distribution of wealth, power, and resources on health. The REACH Clinic puts a face to this,” said REACH Clinic Director, Dr. Mark Wieland.
REACH has four main objectives:
- To provide a vital community service
- To explore the social determinants of health through the lives and circumstances of REACH patients
- To understand barriers to healthcare access through experiences of REACH patients
- To practice patient-centered medical evaluation and examination
As part of REACH, students work within groups to complete projects that encompass all areas of clinic operations. For example, they create pamphlets about commonly seen medical concerns, write outreach materials in second languages such as Spanish or Arabic, and re-write educational materials to better suit younger reading levels.
“When you study and work at the World Famous Mayo Clinic, you forget about people that are not doing so well. There’s a huge divide between the working poor and everyone else,” said REACH student, Lipi, “We, as future physicians, want to make the commitment to serve people regardless of their positions in life. That’s what’s important to me.”
The REACH Clinic is able to treat patients with both acute and chronic conditions.
“These conditions include joint pains, cough, shortness of breath, abdominal symptoms, diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol, COPD, coronary artery disease, hypothyroidism, and more,” explained Dr. Wieland. “We’re usually able to treat the patient during that initial visit.”
For some acute issues, however, referrals need to be made in addition to our clinical resources.
The REACH Clinic is open every Tuesday and Thursday mornings from 8 a.m. to Noon. For more information about REACH or to schedule an appointment please call 507-529-4100.