University of Michigan Student Run Free Clinic in Pinckney, Mich., is set to reopen on Saturday after its former location burned down in an electrical fire in February. The clinic shared a space with the Faith Medical Clinic but has now moved to a new location in the Pinckney Community Public Library building, starting with a four-month lease that was signed Tuesday.

“I think we will be stronger after this,” Mitchell Goldman, the Clinic’s co-founder said. “It’s certainly heartwarming to know how many people support us. The clinic will rise from the ashes — literally.”

Fundraising initiatives and donations helped make the reopening possible. The clinic itself raised more than $25,000, while University students raised more than $3,000 and Faith Clinic more $50,000. Close to 350 donors donated to help reopen the free clinic.

Fundraising will be a vital source of income for the clinic, especially with its new rent, which is much higher than the previous location which was $1 per year. The rent for the new library space is close to $2,000.

Goldman, along with his wife Laura Goldman, said they hope to find a permanent location in the same area. Most of their patients live within a 10- to 15-mile radius of Pickney.

The clinic was and will continue to be completely free for patients.

“We don’t take a penny from any of our patients,” Goldman said. “We don’t take forms; there’s no insurance forms; there’s no money changing hands. It’s basically pure medicine. We come in, we take care of them and we follow them as needed.”

Goldman added that the greatest advantage of sourcing the clinic out of the library building is the larger space it provides.

“One of the problems with the old clinic was that it was so small. We were bumping into each other,” Goldman said.

New programs are also being introduced upon the reopening of the clinic. University Social Work students will provide social services and assistance programs for patients and help increase patient access to prescriptions, and plans for University Dental School students to provide dental care for patients are also underway.

Medical School student Eytan Shtull-Leber, a co-director of the clinic, said he misses seeing the patients at the clinic because he formed strong ties while treating them.

“It’s been tough over the past couple months mainly because we just haven’t been able to see patients,” Shtull-Leber said. “It’s why we all got into it, why we all got into medical school and why we all decided to volunteer with the clinic.”

Hari Conjeevaram, an associate professor of medicine and the clinic’s medical director, said returning to helping patients is the clinic’s top priority.

“Probably the most exciting and important thing for me and for students is really getting back to providing service for the patients,” Conjeevaram said. “That’s the goal always and that’s the most important thing. A lot of patients have chronic diseases … so we’ve been talking to patients, trying to make sure they aren’t out of medications.”

He added that the experience the Free Clinic provides for aspiring medical students is beneficial in their learning process.

“And for the faculty, for us to be able to provide that to our students is also really quite exciting,” Conjeevaram said.

The Goldmans and their team have high hopes for the clinic and are confident in its future success in patient care.

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