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Cleveland health-care students learn by treating people who have no insurance
Cuyahoga Community College's program provides physical therapy and health screenings for those who can't afford it

Kevin Niedermier
Courtesy of Cuyahoga Community College
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Cuyahoga Community College health care students are receiving real world experience treating uninsured and underinsured patients.

Students studying to be dietitians, medical assistants and physical therapists work under the supervision of licensed practitioners. Heather Foos is director of Tri-C’s Health, Wellness and Preventative Care Center. She says some of the services are free, and others are provided at a minimal cost.

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“For example, if there’s someone who’s had a stroke and still need therapy but has exhausted their health coverage, or never had it, they can receive physical and occupational therapy at a low cost until they see gains in the area the therapy covers. So it gives them the ability to increase their function while being able to afford it.”

Foos says since the program began in 2009, about 1,800 appointments have been booked. The centers are open this fall at the main campus downtown and at the Eastern Campus in Highland Hills. The services are also provided during spring semester.

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