Weekly Features


IU School of Medicine-South Bend students launch new public health clinic

May 1, 2014

A new public health clinic operated by students at the IU School of Medicine has opened on the west side of South Bend.

Patrick Davis

Patrick Davis, right, a second-year medical student and president of the Navari Student Outreach Clinic, speaks to volunteers before doors open to the first patient. | Photo By Gail Mancini

The first official session of the Navari Student Outreach Clinic, established by students of the IU School of Medicine-South Bend, took place from 8 to 11:30 a.m. Saturday, April 26, on the second floor of the Marycrest Building, 2015 Western Ave., South Bend, Ind.

The Navari Student Outreach Clinic is the first student outreach clinic opened among the medical school’s eight regional medical education centers. Its goal is to offer free health care to low-income and uninsured residents while helping medical school students acquire clinical skills. 

The clinic is named in honor of Rudolph M. Navari, MD, Ph.D., associate dean and director of the IU School of Medicine-South Bend, who officially departed IU April 30 to serve as the director of the Cancer Care Program in Easter Europe for the World Health Organization.

The clinic will operate on alternate Saturdays throughout the summer in order to “build a bench” of student and physician volunteers, according to Patrick Davis, a second-year student and president of the outreach clinic’s leadership group.

Navari Student Outreach Clinic

Laura Vater, a first-year medical student, staffs the front desk of the newly opened student outreach clinic in South Bend. | Photo By Joe Mancini

"This clinic was founded to provide quality health care to South Bend's under-served citizens most in need while concurrently providing medical students the opportunity to grow as physicians-in-training,” Davis added. “We’re grateful for both the support of the South Bend community in helping make this clinic a reality and also Dr. Navari for his unmatched medical and administrative leadership."

About a dozen students ranging from their first to fourth year of medical school provided treatment to the community members who arrived during the opening. Students worked under the supervision of two faculty physicians, Dr. Navari and Joseph Cerbin, M.D., volunteer clinical assistant professor of family medicine and a physician at the South Bend Clinic’s Granger Campus.

The students and physicians were also supported by a number of professionals who have spent the past several months working to help get the clinic off the ground. Community volunteers included Sam Prahlow of the South Bend Medical Foundation, who walked medical students through the process of drawing blood for tests.

Joseph Serbin

Joseph Serbin, M.D., who volunteered on the first day of the clinic, reviews a patient's case with James Strycker, a fourth-year medical student. | Photo By Joe Mancini

That each student was able to execute at least one test was regarded as one of the morning’s great successes, organizers said.

Other volunteers at the clinic included Evie Nickison and Mindi Dugard of Michiana Health Information Network, which donated an electronic medical records system to the clinic, and Miranda Bueno, a social worker from Indiana Health Center who provided counseling for those trying to sign up for the Affordable Health Care Act.

Gloria Esquivel and Albina Robledo, also of the IHC, provided translation services to Spanish-speaking patrons.

Dave Thomas, commissioner of St. Joseph County, also paid a visit to the clinic to offer congratulations.

The next two sessions of the Navari Outreach Clinic are scheduled for Saturday, May 10, and Saturday, May 24. The clinic opens at 8 a.m. and stops taking patients at 11:30 a.m.

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