Laboratory Technology in Jackson, Mississippi

Within the walls of the Jackson Free Clinic, a dedicated group of students and volunteers are transforming healthcare for underserved communities. Founded in 2001 by Dr. Joyce Olutade, this student-run nonprofit is a place where medical services aren’t dictated by insurance or income and the doors are always open to those who need them most. Every Saturday, they offer free medical, dental, psychiatric, physical and occupational therapy services to uninsured patients over the age of 18 in the Jackson metropolitan area.

Students from all health profession schools at the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson, Mississippi, help provide care to those needing their services.

The clinic also uses other innovative ways to overcome barriers. They welcome walk-ins, schedule appointments, and even offer a free ride program for patients facing transportation challenges, ensuring that care is accessible to all who need it.

This year, the clinic added another innovative way to overcome barriers when it was selected as one of six grant recipients for a point-of-care laboratory program in partnership with Heart to Heart International, National Association of Free and Charitable Clinics, BD, and Henry Schein Cares.

HHI staff and BD volunteers traveled to Jackson in September to install point-of-care lab technology in the clinic. This is proving to be a game-changer in the clinic’s ability to provide timely and effective care.

Now equipped with 11 test systems, this lab delivers immediate results for a range of conditions, from hemoglobin A1c and lipid panels to HIV testing and hepatitis C screenings, all within a single patient visit. This transformative technology will not only streamline care within the clinic but also empower outreach events, bringing essential testing services directly to underserved communities.

With ongoing technical support, mentoring and testing supplies from Heart to Heart International, the Jackson Free Clinic is poised to make an even greater impact in its community.

The laboratory program exemplifies power of collaboration as students, volunteers, corporations and nonprofits unite with a shared vision of a healthier, more equitable world.