Doing More For Others – Creighton University’s Magis Clinic!
One of Siena Francis House’s most unique partnerships is with Creighton University’s Medical School and their “Magis Clinic”. Overseen and staffed by Creighton medical students and volunteer physicians, the Magis Clinic provides healthcare for people experiencing homelessness and/ or the uninsured of the Omaha community. It is the first free clinic in Omaha that serves this population on weekends – and provides this high quality of care directly on the Siena Francis House’s campus. When the Magis Clinic began operations in 2004, the students and physicians initially provided a weekly acute medical clinic at Siena Francis House, on Saturday afternoons. Over time, though, as the Magis medical team learned more about the particular needs of people experiencing homelessness, they added regular psychiatric and sexual health clinics. It also prompted them to begin providing “specialty” clinics, from time to time, including those related to diabetes, women’s health, dermatology, foot care, eye care and vaccinations. One of the school’s overarching goals for the Magis Clinic is to “foster a lifelong commitment to service in students” who provide medical care for their clients. 3rd year Creighton medical student and Magis Clinic CoDirector, Emma Munger, is clearly on board with this commitment, sharing: “The Magis Clinic is an incredibly unique experience. I have been with the clinic for the past three years and have been challenged in the best of ways. Magis is special because of the patients, the student leaders who operate it, and the mission that drives it.” Siena Francis House board member, and Chief Medical Officer for CHI Health, Dr. Cary Ward agrees: “The Magis Clinic “embodies everything that we try to do in medicine. It is taking care of the vulnerable and underserved. Our role is to make sure that we’re doing the right thing, clinically, for the patients, and at the same time, helping the patients, supporting them, and teaching the students every chance we get.” Volunteer Magis Physician, Dr. Syed Faiz Qadri, reflected on his own involvement: “After learning about the Magis Clinic, I knew I wanted to join and contribute. It’s incredibly rewarding to be part of this mission of service to the community, which is part of the core values of Creighton University.” Another 3rd year Creighton medical student and Magis Clinic Co-Director, Elise Tidwell, succinctly shares what she’s gained from volunteering with Magis: “I don’t think there’s anything more meaningful that I’ve done in my medical school career, so far, than to volunteer here. I just get so much joy from it.” Dr. Ward offers a final reflection: “Being part of the Magis Clinic is a very rewarding experience, and I’m proud to be part of this important endeavor that Creighton is doing. And, to have these students and all of these physicians who come in here with volunteer hearts to work with these people – there’s really nothing quite like it, anywhere.”