Dean History: BSP Free Clinic- Dean - WI

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Dean Medical Group's History

A Tour Through The Decades

Dean History: BSP Free Clinic

Providing Health Care to the Uninsured: Dean and St. Mary’s Staff Lend Many Hands at the BSP Free Clinic

Lack of access to primary care is only the first of many problems faced by the uninsured in Dane County. In the long run, lack of preventive and primary health care can lead to more serious health complications. Often these complications require the care of a specialist, and that is usually beyond the reach of the uninsured.

In 2001, Dr. Ernie Pellgrino, retired Dean Clinic physician and former member of the board of advisors to St. Mary’s Hospital, recognized the need to serve the uninsured and founded the Benevolent Specialists Project (BSP) Free Clinic. Since opening its doors, the clinic has provided specialty care to more than 3,000 patients.

The BSP Free Clinic is dedicated to providing quality secondary (specialty) healthcare to uninsured patients, who are referred to the clinic by a primary physician, in Dane County and surrounding communities. The BSP Free Clinic is the only free clinic providing multispecialty healthcare in Wisconsin.  It is staffed by volunteer physicians and nurses, many from the Dean Clinic and St. Mary’s Hospital staff. It’s funded solely by private gifts and donated services from Dean Clinic, St. Mary’s Hospital, Meriter, Turville Bay MRI & Radiation Oncology Center and UW Health, along with various pharmaceutical companies and laboratories.

Dr. Paul Simenstad, BSP’s medical director explained, “The [area] hospitals have been very nice. We want people to think of it as a city-wide volunteer program, not just a Dean program.  …It’s a great example of what people can do when they pull together.”

The service provided by the BSP Free Clinic is exemplified by the following testimonial from one of its patients, “…It’s hard being without a job and no insurance but we are all human and need help from time to time. I felt welcome, and was WELL taken care of at the BSP of Madison. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for treating me like a human being.”

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