DeSales Free Clinic (File Photo)
DeSales University received a Community Partnership grant from the Lehigh Valley Community Foundation that will be used to purchase medical supplies for the University’s student-run Free Clinic that serves homeless men in the City of Allentown.
The supplies will include inhalers and nicotine replacement materials, which are crucial because the homeless population has a high incidence of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease and asthma. Without regular medical care and inhalers, patients cannot manage these chronic conditions. Both conditions are worsened by smoking and nicotine replacement therapy would help patients with smoking cessation.
“This grant has come at the perfect time as we head into a long winter where chronic lung illnesses get worse,” says Corinne Feldman, PA-C, assistant professor of physician assistant studies and executive director of the clinic. “Many of these inhalers cost $300-$400 per inhaler and our patients have no means to pay that cost. The nicotine replacement tools will really help us facilitate smoking cessation in many of our patients.”
The DeSales Free Clinic at the Allentown Rescue Mission, opened by the DSU Physician Assistant Program in 2007, provides completely free primary and acute care, laboratory services and medications to the men seeking shelter or enrolled in a recovery program at the Mission. DeSales nursing students also participate at the Clinic offering screening procedures.
The Clinic has served more than 1,537 individual patients from 2007 to 2015. More than 50 local physician assistants, doctors, and health providers who act as preceptors, providing student supervision, and who volunteer alongside the students support the Clinic. In 2014, the direct care at the Clinic equated to over $110,000 in free medical care based on Pennsylvania reimbursement rates.
The Lehigh Valley Community Foundation promotes philanthropy in order to improve the quality of life in the region and strives to be a major force in the development of philanthropy the region. The Foundation promotes and encourages collaboration among area philanthropists, and is a source of information and expertise regarding charitable giving.
For more information about the Lehigh Valley Community Foundation, click here.
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