Exploring Healthcare Education: IU Student Outreach Clinic
Minutes from downtown Indianapolis sits an Eastside neighborhood where access to healthcare proved challenging. Many residents often went without. But, thanks to a partnership between the Indiana University School of Medicine, the Neighborhood Fellowship Church, the Butler University School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, and the University of Indianapolis Krannert School of Physical Therapy, residents are receiving healthcare in a welcoming facility that also functions as an invaluable tool of healthcare education.
The Indiana University Student Outreach Clinic originally opened its doors 11 years ago in the 3100 block of East 10th Street inside the Neighborhood Fellowship Church. It is supervised by founder Dr. Javier Sevilla-Martir who also serves as the Indiana University School of Medicine’s Assistant Dean of Diversity Affairs and Professor of Underserved Patients and Clinical Family Medicine. The clinic has become the largest student-run clinic in the country, serving approximately 2,000 patients annually. But, with more patients than available space—combined with an aging infrastructure—the clinic has outgrown the church, but not the neighborhood it continues to serve.
Plans are now underway to move across the street to the first floor of the Clifford Corners development designed by Schmidt Associates in 2009. The clinic (also designed by Schmidt Associates) will be housed in a 7,000-square-foot, first floor space and will include a pharmacy, physical/occupational therapy suite, a dental suite, a conference room, and four interprofessional exam rooms enabling students to provide holistic care. Legal and social services will also be offered. Across the hall will be a vibrant community area with local art, food, and artisanal coffee.
“Our plan includes designing everything with compassion, efficiency, and ease of use in mind,” said Sarah Hempstead, AIA, LEED AP. “The result will be an integrated space where every patient feels valued and has equal access to the services they need.”
The one-stop approach will not only include medical care and legal and social services, but also dedicated spaces where patients can receive specialty care–all from one room instead of having to travel to different areas during one visit.
“Each exam room has enough space for optometry and OB-GYN equipment, along with areas for student caregivers and their instructors to observe and interface with patients,” Hempstead explained. “Working with our Owner, we wanted to create a real-world classroom where students could learn and patients who have not always had great experiences in traditional healthcare settings could receive care in a welcoming and dignified manner.”
The Indiana University Student Outreach Clinic illustrates the exciting possibilities of healthcare education—filling voids in community services while providing valuable real-world experience to students.
“Through our own observations, we have learned a lot about the importance of community service from Dr. Sevilla-Martir,” Hempstead said. “He is paying it forward and changing the world one student and patient at a time.”