July 21, 2010 — National University of Health Science’s (NUHS) clinic in Aurora, Ill., offers on-site medical exams and chiropractic primary care at area soup kitchens, as well as providing free or reduced cost healthcare to homeless clients of community social service agencies.
The Aurora program is part of National University of Health Sciences’ long tradition of community service.
The NUHS Whole Health — Aurora is a full service chiropractic medical clinic in a unique community. Aurora is an outlying suburb of Chicago that has a large Hispanic population, a mix of new suburban homes and older industrial neighborhoods, and a multi-cultural community facing high rates of unemployment and mounting social pressures.
Nick Chancellor, DC, is an NUHS grad and supervising clinician for National’s Aurora clinic. His staff includes one receptionist and usually between two and seven chiropractic interns. Tuesdays and Fridays, Chancellor and his team of interns go to two different soup kitchens.
“We arrive prepared to administer care to our patients right there. We take medical histories, perform physical exams, and bring portable tables in case we need to perform any chiropractic adjustments,” said Chancellor.
“If there is anyone at the soup kitchen who we determine needs additional care, we send those patients back to our clinic. The care we provide at soup kitchens is free, and individuals who become patients of ours from the soup kitchens also receive free service at our clinic. They can usually get a bus pass from another social service agency to help with transportation to and from our center.”
The Aurora clinic also offers medical services to clients of Carpenter’s Place, a life-counseling center that provides tools to rebuild lives of the near-homeless through holistic case management. In fact, NUHS is the initial medical contact for Carpenter’s Place clients with health needs.
Another comprehensive social service agency in Aurora, Aunt Martha’s, manages cases for people whose lives are in transition due to various crises. Aunt Martha’s has a youth service as well as three medical clinics serving the Aurora community.
The NUHS Clinic has recently made arrangements to co-manage patient cases with the medical team from Aunt Martha’s. “We’ve always been pro-active in integrative medicine and this is a unique opportunity to share our expertise with MDs as we work together on these cases,” says Chancellor.
The NUHS interns in Aurora also do outreach to other sections of the local community. “Saturdays we are out at races, lectures or at our local community college to present weekend seminars or volunteer for soccer tournaments,” says Chancellor.
“Our work with community agencies is a win-win situation for everyone involved,” he says. “Not only do we provide benefit to those who need care, but we reap a lot in return,” said Chancellor.
“Our interns have a chance to co-manage cases with MDs and can experience diagnosing and treating a wider range of conditions than you would typically find in a more affluent area. They also learn more about what it’s like to be in private practice, since our relatively smaller clinic has to market itself and be very active in outreach activities. Our clinic benefits by the opportunity of building ties within the community and raising our profile both as a clinic and as a university.”
Source: National University of Health Sciences, www.nuhs.edu