Community Outreach

Lighthouse Free Medical Clinic

lighthouse pic 2019.

The Lighthouse Free Medical Clinic is managed entirely by medical students and relies on the UB medical student body and faculty-physicians to provice care to its patients.

This nonprofit, drop-in clinic provides free, routine health care and preventive services to uninsured patients on Buffalo’s East Side.

It is entirely managed and funded through the work of eight UB medical students each year, working in partnership with the community service organization Group Ministries.

The clinic also involves hundreds of volunteers, including UB medical students and faculty-physicians.

William Blymire, MD serves as the clinic’s main faculty adviser.

Providing Needed Care to Underserved Patients

Medical students and UB students in other professional programs help to address unmet health needs in this medically underserved community. The services they provide include:

  • physicals
  • sick visits
  • referrals
  • dermatological examinations
  • gynecological examinations, including PAP smears and birth control education
  • dental examinations
  • screenings for chronic conditions, such as diabetes and hypertension
  • support for social and economic problems
  • counseling and treatment for sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV
  • nutrition counseling
  • legal counseling
  • health insurance information/enrollment assistance

Interdisciplinary Teams Address Care Holistically

Taking a holistic approach to health care and social needs, the medical students work as part of an interdisciplinary team that includes the local health department and UB students preparing to be dietitians, social workers, dentists, lawyers, and public health workers. The clinic is also one of the first in the country to build a medical-legal partnership managed entirely by UB medical students and student attorneys.

A Way to Give Back

The clinic’s story began in 1998, when two first-year medical students, Richard Newell and Gerard Silva, decided to make a difference.

“We thought we were very blessed to be as well off as we were. But in the community right outside the medical school we saw a lot of poverty and a lot of need,” says Newell.

Their idea come to fruition in 2001 when the clinic opened in the basement of Resurrection Lutheran Church at Genesee and Doat streets. It has since relocated to the Towne Gardens Pediatric Clinic at 461 William Street. It has participated in multiple community events, including the Juneteenth Festival, Lorenzo Alexander’s ACES Community Wellness and STEM Festival, and the UB Chapter SNMA hosted Health Fair.

Local, National Awards Recognize Clinic’s Contributions

The Lighthouse Clinic and its participants have been honored with numerous awards, including the following:

  • AIDS Plus Fund of WNY Grant for HIV Rapid Testing (2019)
  • GA-1625: Health foundation for Western and Central NY (2018)
  • Daniel R. Acker Community Service Award - Buffalo NAACP (2013)
  • Medical Student Award of Excellence for Promoting Inclusion and Cultural Diversity (2013)
  • American Medical Association Foundation Minority Scholars Award (2011 and 2012)
  • Shooting Star Award - GROUP Ministries Community Wellness Project (2012)
  • American Medical Association Foundation grant for a preventive health project to address obesity (2011)

Contact

461 Williams Street, Buffalo, N.Y. 14204

Phone: (716) 222-0805

Email: lighthouse.buffalo@gmail.com

Websites

How To Volunteer

Medical students from all class years are encouraged to volunteer.

Email lighthouse.volunteer@gmail.com for more information.

News About the Lighthouse Clinic