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The University of Wisconsin Oshkosh has received $191,594 in federal funding for its Living Health Community Clinic, thanks to the efforts of U.S. Rep. Tom Petri and Sen. Herb Kohl, who supported the bill that provided the funding. The grant will allow the clinic to purchase much-needed equipment, such as defibrillators, an elevator with a chairlift, EKG machine, laptops and microscopes.

“This grant will have a huge impact on all areas of the clinic,” said Leona Whitman, the director of the clinic. “The funding will bring the clinic into the 21st century with new equipment, which will allow for greater efficiency at multiple levels and will help us continue making a difference in the community.”

An important training facility for UW Oshkosh nursing students, the Living Healthy Community Clinic serves uninsured residents of Winnebago County. It provides non-emergency treatment of illnesses or injuries, management of chronic conditions, lab tests and prescriptions. In 2007, the clinic provided more than $1 million in medical care and more than 8,000 monthly prescriptions were provided.

The clinic was created at UW Oshkosh in 1995, when the county general relief program ended. Initially involving only UW Oshkosh and Winnebago County, it became one of the first clinics in Oshkosh to offer family practice services to the 16,000 uninsured people in the county. Currently the clinic receives funding and services from many community partners, including Affinity Health System, Aurora Medical Group, Mercy Health Foundation, Oshkosh Area Foundation, Theda Care, Oshkosh Area United Way and Winnebago County Health and Human Services.

“The Living Healthy Community Clinic is a national model for addressing local needs at the local level by forming partnerships and strategic alliances within the community,” said Chancellor Richard H. Wells. “We are deeply grateful for the continued commitment of Rep. Petri and Sen. Kohl to better serve the under-represented populations in Winnebago County.”

Added Rep. Petri, “It’s essential that we strengthen services like this for the uninsured while we develop ways to provide affordable coverage for everybody.”