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.
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:
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.
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.
The Lighthouse Clinic and its participants have been honored with numerous awards, including the following:
Medical students from all class years are encouraged to volunteer.
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