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Helping the Community and Students at the Same Time…MDC and the Miami Rescue Mission Celebrate Opening of Health Clinic May 14

MDC-Miami Rescue Mission Health Clinic Opening

MDC Medical Center Campus Director and the new Health Clinic physician Dr. Peter Gutierrez; Florida State Rep. James Bush III; Florida State Surgeon General Ana M. Viamonte Ros; Wayne Carter, assistant director of constituent services for the Office of the Mayor, Miami-Dade County; and Ronald Brummitt, president of Miami Rescue Mission (at podium in back).

Miami, May 15, 2009 - Greater Miami not only is one of the poorest communities in the nation, but also one of areas with the most residents lacking health coverage. The weather and other factors also contribute to it having a large homeless population.

That’s why Miami Dade College’s (MDC) Medical Center Campus and the Miami Rescue Mission (MRM) have collaborated for many years on initiatives aimed at serving the community while also providing students with the real, hands-on experience they need to be successful in their careers and civic lives.

The latest partnership involves the MRM’s new onsite clinic, which will serve as a clinical site for MDC’s physician assistant, nursing, and other health science students. MDC and MRM officials joined elected officials – including Miami Mayor Manny Diaz and State Representative James Bush, community leaders and Florida’s Surgeon General - Dr. Ana M. Viamonte Ros, to celebrate the opening of the new clinic today, Thursday, May 14, 2009. They held a dedication ceremony and a health fair with educational activities, tours and patient screenings.

“It’s great to participate in this event. This is truly a community that cares. Successful health care delivery requires everyone’s participation. I commend the clinic and all its partners,” said Dr. Viamonte Ros.

More than 100 people attended the ribbon cutting celebration including many students from Miami Dade College who will be staffing the clinic. No one seemed to mind the hot weather and humidity as the event was held on NW 1st Avenue directly in front of the clinic. 

“Today’s event makes me even more proud to be a Miami Dade College alumnus,” added Mayor Diaz. “This partnership serves as a model for other cities to follow.”

“What a great day! I am so excited. Many years ago I too walked the streets as a homeless person and a little love, compassion and attention turned my life around. Today, I am president of the Miami Rescue Mission and I know this clinic will make a tremendous difference in many lives. Thank you to all our partners. Thank you!” said a jubilant Rev. Ronald Brummitt, president of the Miami Rescue Mission.

Located less than one mile apart, MDC and the MRM have enjoyed a symbiotic relationship. Hundreds of MDC nursing and health sciences students and faculty have provided assistance to the men, women, and children served by the Miami Rescue Mission over the years while gaining critical firsthand experience. In fact, many served by the Mission have enrolled at and earned degrees from MDC.

Members of the MDC School of Nursing and the leaders of the MRM created “The Mission Project” in 2000 with the goals of improving student achievement and clinical skills, cultivating civic responsibility, expanding awareness of health needs, and, most importantly, improving the health of the community’s homeless.  The centerpiece of these objectives was the creation of an onsite clinic at the Miami Rescue Mission to serve the primary needs of those at the Mission and in the surrounding neighborhoods.

The MRM serves approximately 1,000 men, women, and children each month.  Many of these people have little or no access to health care. The area of the MRM is designated as a “Medically Underserved Area/Population” and as a “Health Professional Shortage Area” by the Department of Health and Human Services. For these reasons, the clinic is paramount. The MRM has been serving the homeless and indigent since 1922 with meals, clothing, beds and numerous social services.

In 1977, MDC opened its Medical Center Campus on 4.3 acres within the city’s medical/ civic center complex. Along with the other members of this bustling complex - the University of Miami School of Medicine, Jackson Memorial Hospital, Veterans Administration Hospital, the Miami-Dade Medical Examiners Office and Miami-Dade County Public Health Services - the Medical Center Campus forms the backbone of Miami’s health care community.
The campus offers specialty disciplines in nursing and allied health, and state-of-the-art technologies help to ensure that students are prepared in these and other challenging medical careers. It now offers a BSN in nursing as well and awards more nursing degrees than any other institution in the nation.

For more information regarding the partnership, please contact Pete Gutierrez MD, MMS, director of the MDC Physicians Assistant Program, at 305-237-4261 or Joshua Young, director of MDC’s Center for Community Involvement, at 305-237-7477.

Media-only contacts:
Juan Mendieta, 305-237-7611,, MDC communications director
Sue Arrowsmith, 305-237-3710,, media specialist
Tarnell Carroll, 305-237-3359,, media specialist
Alejandro Rios, 305-237-7482,

Miami Dade College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award associate and baccalaureate degrees.
Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of Miami Dade College.
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Contact the Office of Director, Equal Opportunity Programs, ADA and Title IX Coordinator, at 305.237.2577 for assistance.