SPECIAL TO THE CATHOLIC HERALD
Ascension Wisconsin is giving uninsured and underinsured Milwaukee residents the opportunity to attend a free medical clinic on Saturday, Sept. 14.
All are welcome to join the one-day clinic, held at North Division High School, 1011 W. Center St., Milwaukee, from 8 a.m. to 2 pm.
Services offered include medical evaluations, laboratory testing, X-ray/mammography, foot care, dental care (first come, first serve), pharmacy/medications, specialty services, spiritual services by trained chaplains and community resources and support services.
Developed by the Ascension Leadership Formation program as a ministry to the uninsured and underinsured, the first Medical Mission at Home began in 2008 in Nashville. This is the first time Ascension Wisconsin is hosting the spiritually centered mission in Milwaukee. Previous clinics in the state included Stevens Point in 2018 and Racine in May, said Tim Waldoch, chief mission integration officer, Ascension Wisconsin.
“Ascension has served tens of thousands of individuals through our Ascension ministries across the country,” he said. “Medical missions are most commonly thought of when volunteer caregivers travel to other countries to provide medical services. The Ascension Wisconsin Medical Mission at Home does the same thing but for our own community. Ascension has made a commitment to expand the Medical Mission at home nationally — a proactive demonstration of our one mission in the community and our commitment to healthcare that leaves no one behind.”
More than 500 providers will volunteer their time, and most have served on medical missions in other countries. Staffing the free clinic will be physicians, associates, administrators, nurses, counselors, dentists, chaplains, podiatrists and others.
Waldoch expects they will serve several hundred participants during the day-long clinic, but the event encompasses more than a single day.
“An Ascension Medical Mission at Home also helps connect those who struggle with access to follow-up care and other resources to help them have long-term success,” he explained. “Our focus is to help on the day of the event as well as ensure these individuals are better positioned to manage their care going forward. We also have partnered with community organizations to provide additional resources.”
Feedback from previous missions is positive, such as the Racine man who stood in line from 4:30 a.m. last May to make sure he received urgent dental care.
“He said the best part of the day was not that he was finally pain free for the first time in months, but that he had been surrounded by love and treated with kindness throughout the day by Ascension caregivers and volunteers,” said Waldoch. “That’s a powerful message to us that what we’re doing is meaningful and is improving the lives of those we are privileged to serve.”
Spending the day in the community is a humbling experience for all the volunteers and rooted in the loving ministry of Jesus as healer. Ascension’s Catholic health ministry is dedicated to spiritually centered, holistic care, which sustains and improves the health of individuals and communities, explained Waldoch.
“Our Medical Mission at Home is an extension of our Mission to provide personalized care for all, by committing to improve the health and well-being of our communities and respond to the needs of individuals throughout their lives,” he said.
Unique to Ascension’s Catholic Mission is a foot-washing station staffed by spiritual services and organizational associates.
“Its purpose is to demonstrate reverence to all and is an act of Gospel love and service toward all those who seek our care,” said Waldoch. “As Jesus states in John 13: 14-17, ‘Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.’”
If you want to go:
Ascension Medical Mission at Home
Saturday, Sept. 14, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
North Division High School
1011 W. Center St., Milwaukee