In this month’s episode of Engaging the Community, our monthly program with Missouri State University President Clif Smart, we talk about the MSU Care clinic, a health care facility for uninsured low income adult patients.
“This is one of the projects, or achievements, that I am really most proud of since I’ve been in this position,” Smart said.
The clinic, which opened in 2015, is a partnership with Mercy to serve the working poor.
“Those people that are working multiple minimum wage part time jobs, their employers don’t provide health insurance; they were essentially getting care through the emergency room or occasionally through a volunteer program like The Kitchen clinic,” Smart said.
The Kitchen, a nonprofit agency that serves the homeless in Springfield, closed its free health clinic around the same time the MSU Care clinic opened.
Missouri was among several states in which state lawmakers did not expand the Medicaid program for low income residents for as part of Obamacare. As a result, Missouri has one of the lowest income thresholds in the country for people to qualify for the government-subsidized health care program.
Smart says uninsured adults ages 18-64 who are not on Medicare or Medicaid may seek services at the MSU Care clinic.
“The other piece of this we haven’t talked about—it’s great community service—but the other piece is, it’s tremendous for our students,” Smart said.
MSU students hoping to become physician’s assistants, nurses, dieticians and pharmacists—with that pharmacy program being in partnership with UMKC—all get real-world training by working at the clinic, Smart said.
MSU and Mercy partner with other health care providers like Burrell Behavioral Health and the Ozarks Counseling Center to make referrals.
The clinic is open, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday from 8 am to 5 pm, and Thursday from 10 am to 7 pm.
The O’Reilly Clinical Health Sciences Center is located at 640 East Cherry Street on the MSU campus – that right next to bus stop #12.
For appointments, you can call 417-837-2270.
“A big piece of the O’Reilly family wanting to be engaged with this was that this clinic would operate out of this facility. And so it’s a brand new, state-of-the-art facility, and we have had tremendous growth—you know, this last year we saw almost 5,000 patients,” Smart said.