ACU Member Sister Mary Ellen Howard, Executive Director of the St. Frances Cabrini Clinic in Detroit, MI has her work cut out for her for the next 18 months: she was selected by the McGregor Fund of Detroit to receive a fellowship to study the effect of health reform on the safety net and particularly, on free clinics. Sister Mary Ellen aims to learn how free clinics will manage as Medicaid expansions built into the Affordable Care Act are implemented. “2014 marks a turning point for free clinics that serve uninsured patients,” Sister Mary Ellen said. “That year, many of our patients will become eligible for Medicaid. I hope through my fellowship to identify strategies to help Cabrini Clinic and other free clinics and their patients negotiate this transition.” The Cabrini Clinic is the nation’s oldest free clinic; it was established in 1950 to serve one of the poorest neighborhoods in Detroit.
This column appeared in the December 2011 ACU newsletter, Clinician & Community.