Larger quarters for SLU clinic

For 20 years, St. Augustine Parish in north St. Louis was the home of a health clinic operated by medical students from St. Louis University.

The clinic had exam areas, a small lab and a waiting room in the basement of a building on the parish grounds. Growth — from about 300 patients to about 1,000 a year — and a vision of increasing services led to a search for a new location. Staying in the nearby community was a priority.

The students eventually were introduced to Dr. Eva Frazer, a former member of SLU's board of trustees. She showed them the Victor Roberts building, a former Sears store on North Kingshighway owned by her husband, Steven Roberts, and his brother, Michael. Just a mile and a half from St. Augustine, it offered twice the space — and, best of all, free rent for 10 years.

The clinic used $50,000 from its surplus and SLU added $150,000 to renovate and equip the site. An auction held in April is the primary fundraiser for the clinic.

The students took a week in August to move in, never missing one of the weekly Saturday clinics.

A tribute with framed photos of African-American doctors who served at the former Homer G. Phillips Hospital is part of the waiting room.

Besides the Saturday morning primary care sessions, the clinic offers school physicals and immunizations during special summer pediatric clinics, a well-woman clinic and cardiology clinics for patients with high blood pressure. SLU Sight, offering vision screenings, is staffed by medical students at the regular Saturday morning sessions and pediatric clinics.

Plans are being made for physical therapy to be offered at the clinic. A nutritionist currently serves at the clinic for counseling patients.

Marilyn Peaston has been helping at the clinic since 2004 by providing social services. She helps address issues that affect people's health or lead them to neglect it, including food, shelter, transportation and employment. Follow-up is especially important for prenatal care, Peaston noted. 

Your rating: None Average: 5 (1 vote)