The Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine Popoff Clinic, a family health care facility located in Detroit, is set to open on Nov. 29.
Serving as the university’s first clinic outside the Lansing region, it will provide care for eastside residents, as well as clinical learning opportunities for osteopathic medicine students and doctors in training through the Detroit Wayne County Health Authority.
The Mack Avenue clinic is a gift from the family of Michael Popoff, a Wayne County native and family physician who cared for patients at this location for 47 years. Following his sudden passing in April 2015, Popoff’s family offered the clinic to MSU to ensure that residents in the medically underserved community will continue receiving care.
College of Osteopathic Medicine Dean William Strampel and staff have since made facility updates and named alumnus Derrick Williamson the clinic’s medical director. Williamson, also a Detroit native, comes to the clinic from a family medicine practice and will continue his role as program director for the Detroit Wayne County Health Authority family medicine residency.
“The future could be unlimited,” Strampel said. “Michigan State could have a big primary care presence in that area and I think ultimately we are going to look at prenatal issues. We may end up looking at a nurse practitioner or an OB-GYN residency.”
Williamson also has ideas for the clinic and its contributions to Detroit’s renaissance.
“We want to provide more than just health care,” he said. “We plan to bring back that feeling of the family physician who knows the neighborhood. It would be nice to bring this back to this area and to the new rising Detroit and that’s what I’m striving to do—change the perception. I want to introduce a new perception – an old concept with a new spin.”
Linda Popoff, widow of the late physician, is pleased with the university’s decision to reopen the clinic and to carry on his legacy as a family and neighborhood doctor.
“I’m so glad that they agreed and came to realize what a benefit it would be for them and for the community,” she said. “I always thought it would be great for students and for the local residents. It is located in a medically underserved area and many patients don’t have transportation. For a year we had people calling to ask, ‘When are you going to get a doctor?’ It’s great we can say, ‘We have a doctor.’”