Midwestern University helping more than just students

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When money is tight, cutting corners is important but not when it comes to your health. An unlikely place is giving Valley people a chance to get help when the economy isn't so stable.

“I think it's great and I would have never known about it if it hadn't been for my son Michael,” Marla Nelson says.

“I think it's a great value and what I understand is that the prices are much cheaper than going to a normal office,” Michael Nelson says.

Nelson and his mom are getting an eye exam at a place people don't normally think to go. They're receiving medical care at the Eye Institute on the Midwestern University campus in Glendale.
“We've got very hi-tech equipment which you wouldn't find in a local office,” Dr. Kathleen Goeppinger explains. “We also have things for special needs. We have a low vision center and a sports medicine center.”

Goeppinger is the president and CEO of the university. She said the Eye Institute opened up its doors last fall joining their dental and multispeciality clinics.

“One of the things we decided to do a number of years ago is let our faculty who teach our students also mentor the students when it comes to patient care,” Goeppinger said. “So we began a multispecialty clinic that has everything from podiatry to a family medicine unit to women's health.”

Not only do these three clinics offer health services to the public, but they also make it more affordable.

“We do take some insurance, but most of the time we have people that pay cash and then we give them what's called a super bill to go back to their insurance companies,” Goeppinger said. “Those people who have no insurance at all, what we do is have a sliding scale for them. This can really help those that are in the most need.”

“I think especially for someone who is out of work and especially for someone like me who is retired and prices are going up,” Marla Nelson said.

While they like saving money, the Nelsons said it is really the level of care that sets the clinics apart and a lot of that is due to the students involved in their care.

“So you can be sitting there knowing that the student that might be taking a little extra time, long term will be a much better physician, optometrist or much better dentist,” Goeppinger says.

“I really enjoy working with the public,” dental student Kevin Maskell says. “I have enjoyed getting to know my patients, not just sets of teeth.”

All of this adds up to healthier patients, even when their budgets are feeling a little sick.

“If we can keep people healthier and they take care of it and do the maintenance things along the way, everyone wins,” Dr. Goeppinger says.

For more information call 623-537-6000 or go to Midwestern University.