Join us for EmpowerEd for Student Success...a bold new campaign!

HUG Clinic Awarded $150,000 Grant From Vitalyst Health Foundation to Extend Vital Services

News August 21, 2023

The Maricopa Community Colleges Foundation (MCCF) has been awarded a three-year grant totaling $150,000 ($50,000 annually) from Vitalyst Health Foundation. The grant will extend respiratory care services through the summer and add electrocardiogram (ECG) tests year-round for the Healthcare United at GateWay (HUG) Clinic.

“Partnering with Vitalyst Health Foundation helps fulfill our mission, to do what we do best supporting our world class programs and students,” said Brian Spicker, Maricopa Community Colleges Foundation President and CEO. “The Medical Assistance Grant will positively contribute to the overall wellness of our community, ensuring continued and lasting economic vitality. ”

The HUG Clinic is a state licensed, pro bono clinic operating through GateWay Community College. The clinic treats patients with various chronic diseases such as diabetes, asthma, and cancer. This serves as a lifeline for those in the local community who are underserved, uninsured, or otherwise financially challenged and typically may not have access to healthcare services.

“Our unique clinical environment also acts as a state-of-the-art training ground,” GateWay Community College President Dr. Amy Diaz said. “Students, alongside licensed practitioners, are able to gain the real-world clinical education necessary to develop valuable skills across multiple healthcare sectors.”

As one of the first clinics in the United States to offer this unique combination of specialty care, the HUG Clinic facilitates more than 1,100 patient appointments per year, while saving the community over $100,000 annually in healthcare costs.

The grant will fund direct services such as patient screenings, specialty equipment purchases, and overall program expansion and development for students training in physical therapy, diagnostic medical imaging, massage therapy, pulmonary rehabilitation, and occupational therapy.

The HUG Clinic was initially created as a lab project between the physical therapy and diagnostic medical imaging departments. The founders saw a need to increase clinical hands-on education and to foster a dialogue between the two healthcare disciplines. Countless students have since gained immense confidence and skills that are transferable to their first clinical experience.

Learn more about the hug clinic, here.