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OUWB, Cooley students volunteer skills in Detroit

Friday, August 30, 2013
OUWB, Cooley students volunteer skills in Detroit

Several regional medical and legal organizations – including the Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine and Cooley Law School – have joined together to help residents of one of Detroit’s poorest neighborhoods.

The Brightmoor Health Outreach Collaborative is the only partnership of its kind in Michigan. Participants in the collaborative include:

  • Beaumont Health System, providing adult and pediatric medical care and screenings by Beaumont doctors and nurses
  • Student volunteers from the Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine
  • Student volunteers from Cooley Law School.
  • Covenant Community Care, a Detroit-based federally qualified health provider, offering dental services, including exams, fillings, cleanings and basic restorative work, as well as assistance with insurance enrollment
  • Legal Aid for Children and Families and the Legal Aid and Defender Association, offering assistance with legal issues related to housing, disability, insurance, personal protection and guardianship

The Brightmoor Health Outreach Collaborative launched this week with a four-day health fair held at the City Covenant Church and Mission in Detroit. Health care, dental, and legal services will be provided at similar fairs four times a year. The next fair is set for November.

An abandoned home in Detroit's poverty-stricken Brightmoor area. 
Participants screened at the events will be referred to local clinics for follow-up care, including the Covenant Community Care Clinics in Detroit and Royal Oak, the Newton Healthcare Clinic in Detroit and the Outpatient Clinic at Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak.

Service providers will conduct an ongoing assessment of health needs throughout the year to address specific health concerns of the Brightmoor community. For more information on the Brightmoor Health Outreach Collaborative, call (313) 799-2076.

“Beaumont’s mission as a not-for-profit organization includes providing health care for people regardless of where they live or their financial circumstances,” said David Wood, M.D, executive vice president and chief medical officer of Beaumont Health System. “This project fits with our mission and also with our commitment to support revitalization of the city of Detroit.”

A four-square mile area located in northwest Detroit, Brightmoor was originally created to provide inexpensive housing for automobile industry workers in the early 1920s. 

Now half of its 12,836 residents have annual incomes below $25,000 and one-third live below $15,000, according to the 2010 U.S. Census. Brightmoor has the highest child poverty rate, and area children have the highest number of emergency room visits for asthma-related complications in the Detroit metropolitan area.

The project is made possible by a $268,000 three-year grant from the Jewish Fund and corporate donations from Comerica Charitable Foundation. 

“The Jewish Fund is proud and pleased to be a partner in this important health outreach project,” said Richard Krugel, chairman of the Jewish Fund board of directors. “The expertise and compassionate health care provided by the collaborating partners will enhance access to quality health and wellness services for Brightmoor residents.”

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