January 23, 2015

March 21 5K run/walk benefits Student-Run Free Clinic and Street Medicine Detroit

Just as they combine to assist the homeless and underinsured, the Robert R. Frank Student-Run Free Clinic and Street Medicine Detroit have teamed up this year to host a 5K run/walk to raise funds to support the efforts of both student organizations.

Proceeds from the March 21 run/walk will benefit Michigan's first student-run free medical clinic and the Street Medicine Detroit mobile clinic.

The event will begin with registration and check-in at 7:30 a.m. in the Visitor's Center at Fort Wayne in Detroit. The run/walk will begin at 9 a.m. with the run, followed by the walk starting at 9:15 a.m. An awards ceremony for the top three men and top three women taking part in the 5K run will be held at 11 a.m.

The registration fee is $25. Those registering by March 1 will be guaranteed an event T-shirt and medal. All participants will be provided with snacks following the 5K. To register for this year's Street Run 5K Run/Walk, visit www.frankclinic.org/streetrun5k or register the morning of the event at the registration/ check-in table.

"The Robert R. Frank Student-Run Free Clinic and Street Medicine Detroit both appreciate the value of providing primary health care services to Detroit's medically uninsured and those otherwise unable to obtain health care," said Cara Crawford-Bartle, a second-year medical student involved with the clinic. "We are excited to team up with a like-minded organization, and by doing so, we hope to reach a larger number of people with which we can share our visions and garner support. Funds raised by the event will be split evenly between the groups and utilized to further our endeavors. By working together we also hope to set the stage for future collaborative efforts allowing both groups to provide the best possible care to patients."

"From our perspective, we were fortunate enough to be asked and welcomed by the Student-Run Free Clinic to jointly host this 5K," said fourth-year Jonathan Wong, founder and president of Street Medicine Detroit. "Ever since we started Street Medicine Detroit, the clinic was a model organization for us as we began to think about our mission and how we might carry out that mission at an operational level. So it's particularly meaningful for us to partner with the clinic for this event."

While organizers have not yet mapped out the course, there is a paved path through Fort Wayne that likely will be used for as much of the run/walk as possible. Organizers selected the Fort Wayne location after holding the run/walk for several years on Belle Isle to offer a change of scenery for participants.

"We are excited to bring this event back after a brief hiatus and look forward to implementing new ideas, like the option to participate as a four-person team," Crawford-Bartle said. "We are confident that the SRFC-SMD Street Run 5K will be enjoyable for runners and walkers alike and we look forward to seeing everyone there."

The Robert R. Frank Student-Run Free Clinic and Street Medicine Detroit serve the needs of the medically underserved in Detroit. With the help of Wayne State University School of Medicine and Mercy Primary Care, the student-run free clinic offers a high-quality, non-emergent, primary care resource to the medically uninsured in the city while providing an opportunity for medical students to gain experience in cultural, competent medicine in an atmosphere of mutual respect and dignity.

Street Medicine Detroit's mission is to ensure access to quality medical care for Detroit's unreached homeless population by bringing the clinic directly to patients. The chapter is run by Wayne State medical students partnering with local social service organizations to provide weekly outreach at shelters and occasionally on the street. Street Medicine Detroit is committed to a multidisciplinary approach to medicine in which patients are offered preventive and primary care, and access to local housing and health resources.

For more information on the 2015 Street Run 5K Run/Walk, contact Cara Crawford-Bartle at 313-444-5490 or srfcsmdstreetrun5K@gmail.com.