The Huiras Family Ozaukee Community Health Clinic is a volunteer-based clinic serving people without insurance and with few resources in Ozaukee County. The Clinic was originally created as part of the Healthy Ozaukee 2000 community improvement process. The Clinic employs a clinic coordinator and nurse practitioner to organize the clinic and provide primary care services. It also depends on more than 15 community physicians for the core of services. Additional nurse and social work volunteers also support the clinic. In 2007, 665 patient services were provided.
On the second Wednesday of the month, a Women’s Clinic is held to offer screening and treatment specifically for women’s health issues. On an ongoing basis, CSM's Seton Pharmacy reviews patient profiles for medication and then processes and fills prescriptions that are distributed to the clinic, offering discounts to both the clinic and patients. Additionally, a volunteer assists some patients in applying for assistance from specific pharmacy companies. Diagnostic support is provided through St. Mary’s Ozaukee. Specialty physician and dental services are provided through a voucher program to purchase needed services for care. The Columbia St. Mary’s Foundation coordinates grant-writing and donations to support the work of the clinic.
Ozaukee Free Clinic Helps New Resident Avert a Medical Crisis
David Sulzer’s year didn’t start out well. He had been laid off from his job at a cheese factory in Monroe. At 57, he had a lot of experience – factory work, landscaping, construction – and he needed a job. At the invitation of a friend, he decided to look for work across the state, in Port Washington.
During the spring, David began experiencing severe abdominal pains. He thought it was a reaction to a medication he was taking for Type 2 diabetes. By July, his symptoms worsened, and he was becoming jaundiced. “It was painful,” he recalls. “Plus, I was hungry, but I felt worse after eating.” After he went to the Columbia St. Mary’s Hospital Ozaukee Emergency Department, he was referred to the hospital’s Huiras Family Ozaukee Community Health Clinic for further treatment. The clinic serves uninsured county residents.
There, David was examined by the volunteer physician, Dr. Cheryl Zuccaro, who admitted him for treatment. During his three-day hospital stay, Dr. Chad Stepke – a GI specialist – treated his blocked bile duct. David has resumed his job search and spreads the word about the kind people he’s met in Ozaukee County. “The people at Columbia St. Mary’s were more than terrific. I couldn’t have had better care,” he says.
The Huiras Family Ozaukee Community Health Clinic provides ongoing care to many patients with chronic and complex diseases. Often it is difficult to see the full impact of our work, but occasionally we see patients who make clear and dramatic turnarounds in their health because of the Clinic. Two such stories show the impact of skillful diagnostics and treatment available to all.
Shelly was a middle-aged woman who worked hard as an in-home caregiver and as a beautician. Unfortunately, neither of these service-industry jobs provided health coverage. When she began to have fluid retention problems, she knew she needed medical help. She came to the Clinic and was diagnosed with severe kidney failure. She was helped to receive fairly expensive medication and now is in full remission. As her health returned, Shelly was able to gain employment in a job with health coverage. She no longer needs the services of the Clinic, but her life is much better for the service she did receive.
John, an uninsured man in his twenties, came to the Clinic for what he was sure was just a chest cold. Since Clinic clients receive the same attention to detail and quality of care as any Columbia St. Mary's patient, his physician was careful to make a complete diagnosis. John’s symptoms were not consistent with a simple chest cold and he was sent to a pulmonologist for further work-up. A bronchoscopy helped to diagnose a rare fungal infection, which required six months of antifungal medication. John was helped to apply for pharmaceutical charity programs to cover the cost. He did make a full recovery from what could have been a disabling or fatal condition. The service provided by the Huiras Family Ozaukee Community Health Clinic made a profound difference in his life.
Ozaukee Community Health Clinic
13111 N. Port Washington Road
Mequon, WI 53097
Sharon Streff, Clinic Director
T: (262) 243-7584
F: (262) 243-7319
Wednesdays from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Located in the Testing and Treatment area of the Columbia St. Mary's Ozaukee Campus.
The Clinic provides service at no charge to the patient for people over the age of 18 who are under 185% of poverty levels and are uninsured. Walk-ins are accepted between the hours of 5:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.; but appointments are recommended. Appointments can be made through Central Scheduling at (414) 326-1800. Patients must see the financial counselor after the first visit to provide eligibility information. No patient will be seen for a second visit without approval from the financial counselor. The Clinic does not provide immunizations or work-required physicals.