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SAFE Clinic

What is the Student and Faculty Experience (SAFE) clinic?

The SAFE Clinic is a West Virginia University School of Medicine student-assisted clinic, which operates under the auspices of Milan Puskar Health Right (MPHR). Milan Puskar Health Right is a community-supported free clinic that provides medical care, medication assistance, and individual and family counseling at no cost to the low-income, uninsured, and underinsured residents of North Central West Virginia. SAFE Clinic helps MPHR by lending an extra hand to serve the homeless and working poor of the region. SAFE Clinic also provides medical students with a unique educational opportunity.


In late 2006, Dr. Anne Cather, Dean of Students, and Matthew Thomas, MPHR Volunteer Coordinator and medical student, began discussing the possibility of a clinic in which students could "run the show." The idea was to provide students with a place to practice and learn clinical skills firsthand outside of the classroom. Health Right seemed a good home to foster such an educational experience. In March 2007, Cather and Thomas teamed up with Dr. Lud Gutmann to hold the first SAFE Clinic. Four students volunteered to see the five scheduled patients. Patients mainly consisted of primary care and neurology complaints. SAFE Clinic continued as a monthly project. As the months passed, the clinic grew to include private-practice orthopedist Dr. Steven Miller. The clinic eventually expanded to two or three times per month. As of December 2007, a total of 38 students helped 62 patients with their medical issues, covering 75 different diagnoses. The clinic hopefully will grow to include more physicians, more specialties, more students, and more patients.

Mission Statement

The mission of SAFE Clinic is to establish a sustainable student-assisted clinic through both the West Virginia University School of Medicine and Milan Puskar Health Right. SAFE Clinic aims to provide the following:


  • Aid Milan Puskar Health Right in its mission to provide healthcare to the uninsured, underserved, homeless, and working poor of North Central West Virginia


  • Provide a student-oriented, hands-on educational experience outside of the traditional classroom setting
  • Educate students, physicians, and the community about the medical and social challenges of providing healthcare to the homeless and working poor patient population


  1. SAFE Clinic is a non-profit, volunteer-run student organization at the West Virginia University School of Medicine. Any student currently enrolled in West Virginia University School of Medicine is eligible for membership.
  2. SAFE Clinic will meet during the school year, from September to April, and more often if deemed necessary by the members.
  3. SAFE Clinic will be governed by an elected body of medical students that consists of a president and vice president. Officers will be elected at the last meeting of each year by the members of the organization. The group may decide to have a secretary, treasurer, or other officer positions at their discretion. SAFE Clinic will work closely with a faculty sponsor at Milan Puskar Health Right.

Milan Puskar Health Right: http://www.mphealthright.org

2019 - 2020 Membership


Vice President


  • Sarah Callaham

Faculty Sponsor



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