It is cliché that some middle school students would prefer to cut class and hang out in the clinic, but that was not the case at Pierce Middle School. Worn upholstery and dingy walls were not exactly a welcoming presence, but then again, it wasn’t supposed to be a suite at the Ritz.
New Pierce parent Cathy Pomaville remembers her first impression of the clinic in September of this school year.
“The clinic was really tired and needed an update as well as a restock of several supplies,” said Pomaville.
An effort to revitalize the clinic began a few months into the new school year. Pomaville and her husband, John, had many ideas to revamp the worn out space. Cathy formerly worked in the medical industry and the couple have long been well-known for their creativity with costume and set design for Maire Elementary’s annual school play. With an eye for design and a helpful intention, they set out to implement a new look and increased functionality for the school’s clinic.
Pomaville submitted a formal plan to the Pierce PTO which then allocated $765 to cover the cost of two new clinic beds. During the month that followed, clinic volunteers voted on a new color scheme and John patched, caulked and painted the walls. Other families learned of the Pomaville’s efforts and wanted to contribute. Both the Martin and Garberding families combined resources to donate a new desk to the clinic receiving area.
Principal of Pierce, Gary Buslepp, was thrilled to hear about the Pomaville’s plan.
“The Pierce clinic was in bad need of repair from the walls to the furniture,” Buslepp said. “The Pomaville family spearheaded a huge volunteer and donation effort and was instrumental in getting it all together in less than a month--we’re very proud of the way it now looks and serves the students.”
The Pomaville’s pulled together an extensive plan for freshly painted walls, supplies, new clinic beds and tables. John Kollar, store manager for the Sherwin-Williams on Mack Avenue, was eager to assist the project by donating just more than the $200 needed for paint supplies.
Henry Ford’s Cottage Hospital came through with a much-needed donation of clinic necessities, including Band Aids, ice packs and disposable thermometers. Pat Lecznar, community relations representative, said the hospital was eager to help.
“When we were approached by Cathy we immediately knew this was a great way to partner with the community through a grass roots effort,” said Lecznar. “Our emergency room nurse manager, Ruth Queenan, evaluated the needs of the Pierce clinic and pulled together a comprehensive supply box.”
The joint program worked so well that Lecznar has now drafted and submitted a proposal for other Henry Ford hospitals to partner with schools throughout South East Michigan. Pomaville was overjoyed to learn about the potential of a larger program.
“This is what it is all about, some small act that leads to something bigger, involving and helping more people,” said Pomaville. “With cuts to school systems everywhere, it makes a lot of sense to partner with local healthcare providers to make sure the basic supplies are still provided to students.”