A student-run free medical clinic that recently celebrated its one-year anniversary is filling a health care gap for uninsured Queens residents. The clinic is housed in the Northwell Health Multi-Specialty Medical Group location at 95-25 Queens Blvd. and is operated and attended by faculty and students from the Hofstra Northwell School of Medicine and Northwell Health. The clinic serves the basic, primary care needs of the uninsured and undocumented.
“In a number of cases, patients have not seen a doctor in many years,” said Delia Kristol, clinic co-chair and a third-year medical student at Hofstra Northwell School of Medicine. “One patient recently told us he hadn’t seen a doctor since he was in high school, and he’s now significantly older. Our goal is to become the patient’s primary care physicians. Patients tend to come back week after week and see the same physicians, so it doesn’t feel like a revolving door. We get to know them and can help them manage chronic conditions.”
Uninsured patients aged 18 or older can come to the facility for annual physicals, sick visits, blood work, electrocardiograms and much more, including referrals at no cost.
“I became involved with the clinic because I am an immigrant, and being able to reach out and help vulnerable populations in need was one of my goals for medical school and as a doctor. I see helping with the clinic as part of reaching that goal,” said Heather Edward, clinic co-chair and third-year medical student at the School of Medicine. “Clinic patients receive first-rate care at a real doctor’s office.”
Prior to the clinic’s opening in February 2016, School of Medicine faculty members and administrators worked with students to get the clinic up and running. The core team of Mitchell Adler, MD; Lauren Block, MD; Nick Fitterman, MD; Jodi Langsfeld, MSEd, associate dean for student affairs; and the school’s medical students, worked tirelessly to bring the clinic from concept to reality. Ms. Kristol and Ms. Edward currently lead the program.
“The clinic is not only a great benefit to the community, but also to our students,” said Dr. Adler. “They obtain hands-on experience with clinical tools, hone their knowledge and listening skills, and also learn how to run a medical practice – an important reality of medicine that can’t be taught in the classroom.”
The clinic is fully integrated into Northwell Health, which provides administrative and clinical support for the effort, including a call center for scheduling, medical records management, lab services and referral sources. The clinic is open every Monday from 6-9 p.m. To make an appointment, call 631-393-5650.
For more information about the free clinic, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 516-874-7662.