Dr. Dennis Hughes serves as the Resident Coordinator of a health clinic for homeless, runaway and at-risk youth. This clinic is part of an agency that provides many services to youth. As a pediatric medical resident with a family of his own, Hughes still finds the time and energy to devote to Spectrum Health Clinic, which he adopted as his volunteer home when the clinic was still in its infancy.
As a result of his involvement, Spectrum Health Clinic is operating at a professional level. His achievements through his voluntary service include marketing the clinic to the community, obtaining important medical supplies to make patients more comfortable and setting up a patient database. He also connects with youth, enabling them to obtain necessary medical treatment, advocates for residents and has helped make the clinic run more smoothly.
Spectrum Health Clinic is meeting an extremely important need in the community. The clinic offers free, confidential medical care to at-risk youth, a population that does not always have access medical care, yet has so many medical needs. These youth often end up in emergency rooms, which could be prevented with early access to medical care, which the clinic provides. Under Hughes’ leadership, doctors at the clinic conduct thorough assessments of patients, knowing that each visit may be their only chance for adequate medical care. Hughes especially spends time with and listens carefully to each patient, which has earned him the respect of his patients.
Hughes has done a superior job of mobilizing both medical residents to staff the clinic and attendees to provide backup help. Hughes’ enthusiasm and dedication to the project enables him to get people excited about the work and get them to volunteer. There have been approximately 20 attendees and more than 20 medical residents who have volunteered at the clinic since Hughes has become a part of the team.
For more than a year, Hughes has been a hands-on, ongoing volunteer with the clinic. Not only does he do the work of examining patients, but he also manages the administrative tasks of mobilizing colleagues and attending development meetings.
“Hughes has been able to offer the health clinic a unique combination of dedication and skill while being able to connect with very challenging youth,” remarked Susan Kelly, Spectrum Youth and Family Clinic Coordinator, “He has helped hundreds of youth through his dedication and enthusiasm for this important program."