Michigan State opens 1st medical clinic in Detroit
Detroit — Gifts of property to universities often are sold and endowments are established in the donor’s name, but the family of Dr. Michael Popoff had other ideas for the Detroit clinic where he practiced for nearly a half-century before his death last year.
The gift to Michigan State University came with a stipulation: The East Lansing school must operate the eastside clinic for at least three years.
That could have been the end of the conversation between the family and the school with no medical facilities outside of mid-Michigan, but a deal was struck when Dr. Derrick Williamson, a university graduate who works in Detroit, stepped up to serve as its medical director.
On Tuesday, the school will open the Michigan State University of Osteopathic Medicine Popoff Clinic at 10809 Mack Ave.
“I’m so glad that they agreed and came to realize what a benefit it would be for them and for the community,” Popoff’s widow, Linda Popoff, said in a release. “It is located in a medically underserved area and many patients don’t have transportation. For a year we had people calling to ask, ‘When are you going to get a doctor?’ It’s great we can say, ‘We have a doctor.’”
University officials say want to sustain the clinic for the residents while helping young doctors and medical students hone their skills. While it’s focusing initially on primary care, officials are looking expanding into prenatal care and collaborations with the university’s College of Nursing to bring in students and nurse practitioners.
If other medical needs are identified, residents in certain specialties could also come to the clinic. Michigan State’s medical school has a partnership with The Detroit Wayne County Health Authority to support 85 residencies.
Williamson will continue his role as program director for health authority’s family medicine residency.