Institute for Family Medicine launches food pantry-based health clinic

ST. LOUIS, June 13, 2013 – The Institute for Family Medicine launched its 16th community health clinic Monday to serve the disadvantaged clients of Joint Neighborhood Ministry, a south city-based food pantry.

The collaboration between the two nonprofit organizations allows the Institute for Family Medicine to maintain an on-site clinic at Joint Neighborhood Ministry, where a physician and community health nurse team will address health concerns and connect disadvantaged patients to needed resources. The Institute for Family Medicine physician will see patients at the clinic twice per month, and a community health nurse will be on site three days per week to build rapport with patients and provide continuity of care.

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“This new clinic is providing care that this community has needed for a long, long time, because we see so many people who are uninsured and don’t have access to health care,” said Joan Hensley, executive director of Joint Neighborhood Ministry. “I walked in [Monday] morning and thought, ‘It’s really going to happen!’ It’s fantastic – a dream come true.”

Joint Neighborhood Ministry, which operates with the motto “More Than Just a Soup Can,” provides food, clothing, financial assistance and referrals to other resources to low-income individuals and families in the 63118 and 63104 zip codes. The organization identified health care as a major need for its largely uninsured population, which is exactly what the Institute for Family Medicine provides.

“While this is our newest clinic, and our first at a food pantry, it is a classic example of a community organization that represents an underserved population coming to us for help with providing health care for its clients,” said Dr. David Campbell, president and CEO of Institute for Family Medicine.

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This collaborative effort allows Institute for Family Medicine to provide care to its target population at a community location where they are already receiving trusted services.

“My role is to help people sort through their needs to see if health care should be prioritized,” said Margie Diekemper, the community health nurse with Institute for Family Medicine. “I can help refer them for HIV testing, additional care, etc. and it really rounds out the work at Joint Neighborhood Ministry.”

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