Local medical clinic provides free care to the uninsured

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St. Vincent de Paul’s Virginia G. Piper Medical Clinic is a collaboration with Creighton University to provide free preventative care to uninsured patients, helping them avoid the costs of waiting to be treated. For more, we spoke with Dr. John Anwar, chief medical officer of the clinic, and Dr. Catherine Todero, vice provost of Creighton University’s Health Sciences Campus.

“We provide access to care to a lot of those who are uninsured and under-insured in the population,” says Dr. Anwar.

He says the clinic provides many services all under one roof. “Once the patient comes to our clinic, everything is just right there,” Dr. Anwar said.

“We treat the entire patient, the whole patient,” Dr. Todero said. “That’s Creighton’s philosophy.”

The school also functions as a teaching hospital, allowing medical students an opportunity to learn in a real environment while providing care to those who need it.

“We realized quickly that our students would need some places to practice their clinical skills,” said Dr. Todero. “So we partnered with St. Vincent de Paul to create learning opportunities for our students, but also to meet the need in the community for this kind of care.”

Specialty care is also provided at the clinic. “It is very important,” says Dr. Todero. “Being able to bring specialty care is very important. It’s not just about having their acute needs but it’s also about learning to live with whatever conditions you have.”

The clinic also leads to lower re-admission rates at hospitals. According to Dr. Anwar, the readmission rate from the Virginia G. Piper Medical Clinic is only 3.4%, much lower than the national average of 11.4%

“It’s growing,” said Dr. Anwar. “We’re getting bigger. We might need a bigger building soon, with the influx of patients we have been getting.  Hopefully one day I will have my own CT and my own MRI.”

Dr. John Anwar, chief medical officer, Virginia G. Piper Medical Clinic
Dr. Catherine Todero, vice provost, Creighton University's Health Sciences Campus

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