Important update on COVID-19: We care about you and your health! Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, MEDiC clinics are closed until further notice. If you need medical care, please contact your primary care provider or use a local emergency room. If you think you may have COVID-19, you may call UW Health's COVID hotline at 608-720-5300. Existing MEDiC patients, previously seen at one of our clinics, may call us and leave a message regarding prescription refills at 608-265-4972.
About our clinics
Since opening the first MEDiC clinic in 1991, the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health has partnered with various community organizations to expand health care access among underserved populations. MEDiC currently operates six clinics at various partner-affiliated locations throughout Madison.
These clinics provide a variety of services, including general medical care, physical therapy, dentistry and mental health care. Patients at MEDiC clinics are seen by students enrolled in UW-Madison's various health professional programs, who work in concert with volunteer clinicians.
- Grace Clinic
- More Smiles Wisconsin
- Michele Tracy Preventive Health Clinic
- MEDiC Mental Health Clinic
- Salvation Army Clinic
- Southside Clinic
Other initiatives hosted in MEDiC clinics
The first MEDiC clinic was founded by Ted Goodfriend, MD, in February of 1991 at the Porchlight Inc. men's shelter at the Grace Episcopal Church.
Initially, MEDiC stood for MEDical Information Center and was designed to provide health information and guidance to shelter residents. It quickly became clear that what residents really needed was on-site provision of medical treatment.
Grace Clinic now provides health care to underserved homeless men, who reside in the shelter, while offering health professions students the opportunity to provide a community service and broaden their backgrounds in clinical medicine.
At Grace Clinic, MEDiC student volunteers from different disciplines interview patients, present their findings to a clinician, and together decide the best treatment option for the patient.
Though the setting is minimalist - no formal exam rooms or high-tech equipment - the high level of interaction with both patients and clinicians makes the experience rewarding for students who volunteer.
More Smiles Wisconsin began in 2009 as the Salvation Army Dental Clinic.
It was founded by Lisa Bell, then-state public health dental hygienist, and Drs. Matthew Kutz and Laura Tills, in order to help meet the oral health needs of residents of the Salvation Army homeless shelter. The clinic was established with a grant for set-up costs and equipment and expanded with grants from Delta Dental, the UW-Madison Morgridge Center for Public Service and Heartland Credit Union.
In 2010, More Smiles Wisconsin was established to help ensure the sustainability of this clinic.
MEDiC's collaboration with More Smiles Wisconsin provides student volunteers greater experience dealing with oral health, a topic often touched upon only briefly in the students' respective health professions school. Student roles range from intake and patient history to observing dental procedures and supporting patients throughout their visit.
The Michele Tracy Preventive Health Clinic began as a collection of preventive health clinics designed to benefit the residents of the Porchlight Inc. community.
Porchlight maintains 102 transitional housing units for low-income adults at reduced rates. Many of the residents are either currently or have been previously affected by alcohol and other drug abuse, and a portion of Porchlight residents also suffer from mental and physical health problems.
Lack of education about proper health care and deficiency in self-advocacy skills has made this population more susceptible to illness and poor health care maintenance. In response to this situation, the Michele Tracy Project began to provide educational and emotional support for residents so they might someday assume a stronger role in meeting their individual health care needs.
In late 1999, the project was formally adopted as a MEDiC clinic. It was given the name "Michele Tracy Project" after Michele Tracy, a member of the UW Medical School Class of 2002, was tragically killed during an outreach trip to Africa. The project received a grant to assist in coordination of the clinic, as well as provide funds for various health care supplies needed by the residents.
The following topics are among those that have been addressed at clinic:
- Flu and respiratory health
- First aid
- Men's/women's/sexual health
- Cardiovascular health
- Vision and hearing screenings
- Dental health
- Summer health
The Michele Tracy Project differs from other MEDiC clinics in that it does not provide acute care. The project focuses on prevention and education for residents of Porchlight. MEDiC students give talks and support to the residents of Porchlight.
MEDiC Mental Health Clinic operates, as of July 2018, two Saturday mornings per month at the Beacon, a day resource center for homeless individuals, located at 615 E. Washington Ave. The clinic is run by medical students and staffed by volunteer psychiatrists and residents.
MEDiC's free volunteer psychiatric clinic started in August 1996 at Porchlight's Safe Haven shelter, under the guidance of Ron Diamond, MD.
Typical conditions encountered include:
- Bipolar disorder
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder
- Anxiety disorders
The second MEDiC clinic opened in 1991 under the direction of Murray Katcher, MD, PhD, at the Salvation Army family and women's shelter. It serves homeless families and single women who reside at the shelter.
The Salvation Army has provided a homeless shelter for the city of Madison since the early 1980s. Housing is for homeless single women and families.
The Tuesday night MEDiC clinic has been invaluable for treating acute illness, as well as helping patients to become established within the Madison medical community.
Salvation Army Clinic provides Reach Out and Read services to patients to encourage children's language and literacy. Volunteers read to children during clinic and give a book to each child seen.
The Southside MEDiC Clinic was established in November of 1992 under the direction of Cindy Haq, MD, in response to medical student interest in expanding clinical volunteer opportunities.
In early 2014, the clinic moved to its new location at 2202 S. Park St., where it operates out of the Joyce and Marshall Erdman Clinic, a space generously donated by Access Community Health Centers.
The Southside MEDiC Clinic is currently the only clinic that sees walk-in patients. Most of the patients seen at Southside are undocumented immigrants with limited options for health care.
An increasing percentage of the patients seen at the clinic speak only Spanish, although patients come from a variety of backgrounds.
MEDiC operates three specialty clinics at its Southside location. Once each month, UW dermatology faculty provide specialized dermatologic services. On the second and fourth Saturdays of each month, Physical Therapy student volunteers, together with supervising physical therapists, provide PT services at the Southside Clinic. Lastly, the third Saturday of each month, MEDiC holds the Bridges to Care Clinic that specializes in managing patients with high blood pressure.
Reach Out and Read is a national program that supports children's language and literacy development.
Reach Out and Read's three main components
MEDiC students advise parents on the importance of reading aloud to young children, including age-appropriate strategies for enjoying books with infants and toddlers.
Children receive a free book in the waiting area or the exam room from a MEDiC volunteer and the volunteers also read aloud to children, modeling the behavior for parents.
Reach Out and Read volunteers strive to provide a positive reading experience for the children and model reading aloud for parents. Some parents may have never seen good reading aloud techniques themselves.
Volunteer readers are often the first face of Reach Out and Read that parents and children see when they arrive for their visit. By listening to stories, children learn that they enjoy books and that being read to is a treat - a message that should be reinforced in the medical visit.
By watching volunteer readers with children, parents can learn how reading aloud works and see how their child enjoys the experience. The goal is for the parent to repeat the activity at home.