Female philanthropist organization donates to MedZou

Approximately $18,500 was donated to the student-run medical clinic.

Mizzou Women Give has thrown its support behind MedZou to expand services for women.

“(MedZou) originally had hoped to buy a mammography unit, but because that was not feasible, they asked us if it was okay to use the funds for (women’s health services), and the Mizzou Women Give voting members approved,” said Ellen McLain, Mizzou Women Give spokeswoman.

The clinic had initially pursued a grant from Mizzou Women Give to purchase mammography equipment, hoping to fill a need in the community, said Ashley Kimberling, the student director of business administration at MedZou.

“We had a pretty short timeline (when applying for) the grant, so we didn’t have enough time to research what (we needed),” she said. “Once we got further into the process and did more research, we realized that mammography wasn’t really the biggest priority in Columbia. For the most part, women can find ways to get free mammography already.”

After MedZou submitted an adjusted proposal, Mizzou Women Give approved it and donated nearly $18,500 to expand the clinic’s services for women, Mclain said.

At this time, the clinic has no immediate, specific plans for a new clinical program for women and is forming a committee of student directors at MedZou, attending physicians and a variety of community partners to determine how the money will be implemented.

“The first thing we will have to do is figure out where the biggest need is in terms of women’s services,” Kimberling said. “There’s a lot of different ways we can go with women’s services, so it’s important to figure out which one is the biggest priority in that area. We do know for sure that the donation money will be used for women’s health.”

Currently, MedZou offers primary care services, and diabetes, dermatology and musculoskeletal treatments for men and women.

The clinic will not provide any services geared toward women’s health until sometime in 2014, Kimberling said.

“We currently do not provide women’s services because we have to raise every dollar that we spend to operate MedZou through grants and fundraising,” she said. “By getting this grant, we’ll be able to offer new services that are currently not available in that area.”

The clinic’s proposal was chosen out of 11 other candidates, including Tiger Pantry and the Trulaske College of Business, McLain said.

“They came back with a women’s health initiative that was looking at the working poor, those persons who are just above the Medicaid level and other low income women, and addressing their needs from a preventative standpoint as well as responding to immediate illness,” said Anne Deaton, founder of Mizzou Women Give. “That was immediately appealing to a group of female philanthropists.”

However, it was no easy decision for Mizzou Women Give to make.

“All of the (proposals) were appealing,” Deaton said. “We didn’t have one of the 11 that was not meritorious; they were all meritorious. They were well crafted, but this one at this time, particularly with the great drive to get women involved in preventative health care and to address women’s needs, had received immediate attention.”

There are nearly 20,000 uninsured people with no access to healthc are in Boone County, which the clinic works to service, Kimberling said.

Deaton said MedZou’s proposal seeks to provide medical care for the poor.

“(MedZou’s proposal) is looking at the working poor, those persons who are just above the Medicaid level and other low income women, and addressing their needs from a preventative standpoint as well as responding to immediate illness,” Deaton said. “It addresses the medical concerns of women who might put themselves last given their financial situations.”

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