Since 2006, DeSales University has been offering free medical services to the clients of the Allentown Rescue Mission. The clinic is staffed by more than 50 volunteer doctors, physician assistants, DeSales’ faculty, and physician assistant students from the community. More than 1,000 individual patients have been treated since the program began. No Rescue Mission client is ever turned away or charged for services, and the operation is run entirely on donations.
Prior to the DeSales Free Clinic, Rescue Mission clients either went to a local emergency room or to a family practice. The clinic is housed inside the Mission, in two rooms that have been remodeled as doctor’s offices. Care at the clinic focuses on acute minor illness, prevention, and chronic illness control.
Rotations at the Free Clinic at the Mission are a requirement for students in the graduate phase of the physician assistant program. First-year graduate students perform histories and physical examinations of the patient and second-year graduate students provide guidance and create plans of care. Patients are seen at the Mission on Tuesday and Thursday evenings every week.