December 18, 2012

Grant to Add Cardiac Services, HIV Tests at SLU’s Free Student-Run Medical Clinic

ST. LOUIS -- The Health Resource Center (HRC), a student-run program of Saint Louis University School of Medicine, has received a $10,375 grant from the Episcopal Presbyterian Health Trust to enhance its free services to patients.

A grant from the Episcopal Presbyterian Health Trust will help SLU’s Health Resource Center to launch a cardology clinic.

The grant is the Episcopal Presbyterian Health Trust's first award to the HRC, which will use the money to purchase pharmaceutical supplies and medical equipment, including electrocardiogram machines and rapid HIV testing kits. The grant also is believed to be the first ever to the HRC, which funds its operations largely from its annual spring fund-raising auction.

William Otto, a second year medical student who helped apply for the grant, said the HRC will use the funds to buy antibiotics, asthma inhalers for children and similar drugs. Physicians at the clinic will be able to write prescriptions that patients can fill on the spot and take home, increasing the likelihood that they can follow doctors' recommendations.

"A lot of this grant was focused on making things easier for our patients, and many take public transportation. We'll have some medications available for patients at the clinic so they won't have to go different places to get what they need," he said.

In addition, by funding the purchase of two ECG machines, the grant also helps the HRC launch a new cardiology clinic.

"Obesity and hypertension are common health problems in our patient population and having the ability to do an ECG on patients and check for heart disease is incredibly important," Otto said. "Our goal is to continue building and expanding on what past student leaders have done before."

Conceived of and operated by SLU medical students since 1994, the Health Resource Center provides free medical care on Saturday mornings to patients in the Hamilton Heights neighborhood of North St. Louis.

Under the close supervision of volunteer faculty, SLU students care for uninsured or underinsured patients who otherwise might not receive the medical help they need. Students take medical histories and examine patients before they are seen by a volunteer physician on faculty at SLU School of Medicine.

"No matter how far along you are in your medical school training, through the HRC, you can help out and make a difference in the lives of patients," Otto said.

HRC patients receive a variety of health services, including primary care, pediatric care, well woman care, immunizations, testing for sexually transmitted infections that include HIV, nutrition counseling and social services. For information, visit

The Episcopal Presbyterian Health Trust (formerly the Episcopal Presbyterian Charitable Health and Medical Trust), is dedicated to providing access to health care for underserved people in St. Louis. It awards grants to St. Louis area organizations to expand services and model new approaches to health care delivery. For more information on the Episcopal Presbyterian Health Trust visit

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