FernCare Building Underway, Seeking New Director

(Crystal A.  Proxmire, 7/11/2011)


Volunteers are pushing hard for a late summer opening of the FernCare Free Clinic’s long-term home at 459 E. Nine Mile, with renovation work going on daily.  FernCare Board Member Dick Willcock is overseeing the electrical work and Treasurer Bob Babut (of Modern Tax & Accounting) is heading up the IT work.  Others have been busy jack-hammering a path in the concrete floor so that pipe can be laid to a hand washing sink. Others still have been busy putting up walls that divide the space into offices, exam rooms and a reception area.

Currently FernCare sees patients twice a month in a makeshift office that is setup and taken down for the day at the Kulick Community Center.  “It’s about an hour,” said Babut.  “It will be nice not having to lug around the printer, the fax machine, and all the equipment.”  He pointed out that it will also be better for the patients, who currently sit cramped in a row of chairs along the community center’s back hallway while they wait.


FernCare is a grassroots community organization that provides free healthcare to individuals who lack other access.  They cannot accept any new patients until more money is raised, however they continue to provide ongoing care for current patients.

Their six month review gives a good initial view of the need that the community faces.  (Read our previous article here.)  Volunteers and fundraisers have gotten them to this point, though funding is always needed to carry on.

In addition to the work being done on the building, FernCare is looking for a new Clinic Director.  This is an important volunteer position is currently being held by former board member on a temporary basis until a long-term replacement can be found.

Below is the official job description, including contact information for those who may be interested in giving their time to help others through the clinic:


Job Title: Medical Director, FernCare Free Clinic, Inc.

Qualifications: The Medical Director must be a physician in good professional standing with the medical licensing board of the state of Michigan.  Specifically this individual must possess active licenses from both the Board of Medicine and the Board of Pharmacy of the Michigan Department of Community Health.  Furthermore, said individual must be free of any on-going disciplinary or investigative actions against his/her license to practice medicine.

Job Summary: The medical director will supervise the work of all clinic staff directly involved in patient care including nurses, physician assistants and other physicians. S/he will oversee both the laboratory and pharmacy. S/he will answer directly to the FernCare Board of Directors and will serve as the official medical consultant to the Board.  The medical director will be required to attend Board meetings at least once each quarter and as otherwise requested by the Board of Directors.  Although it is not required that the medical director be present at every clinic session, he or she must be available to provide consultation with the clinic manager by phone for the duration of each clinic session.  This is a volunteer and at will position.

Key Responsibilities:

  1. Policy Management


  • The medical director will oversee implementation of all of the clinic’s programs and services.


  1. Patient Care Coordination

  • The medical director will conduct a regular review of all patient charts to ensure that all prescribed treatment is in accordance with clinic protocols and routine standards of medical care.


  • The medical director will help facilitate communication between lab, pharmacy and clinic staff for the purpose of expediting patient care.


  • The medical director will assist in creating an environment in which all patients and staff are treated with dignity and respect.


  1. Strategic Planning
  • In conjunction with data provided by the clinic’s annual reviews, the medical director must identify changes in the health care needs of the community served by the clinic and devise policies or protocols to help address these needs.  This information must be routinely communicated to the Board of Directors.


  1. Policy Management


  • The medical director will work in concert with the clinic manager to ensure that all clinic policies, procedures and protocols of the clinic are properly implemented.

  • The medical director will be required to be an active member of the Clinic Team which reviews and addresses clinic processes.

For questions regarding this position, please e-mail our Clinic Manager, Coni Schmidt at cschmidt@ferncare.org.

E-mail your resume and cover letter to aheler@ferncare.org.  If you prefer, you can mail both to our business address in care of Ann Heler, Board President.


Find out more about FernCare at www.ferncare.org.


Many articles about FernCare are included in our Health News Section.  A couple favorites include:

(Six Month Review, including stats) http://oaklandcounty115.com/2011/05/08/fern-care-releases-six-month-review/


(General FernCare feature) http://www.ferndale115.com/20100101ferncarefeat.html

(Opening) http://www.ferndale115.com/20100807ferncare.html


(Profile of founder Ann Heler) http://oaklandcounty115.com/2011/01/03/more-than-the-founder-of-ferncare-ann-heler/


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