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Midwest Express Clinic shows caring simply starts at home

Originally published on November 19, 2019 by Bob Moulesong with the Times of Northwest Indiana

Midwest Express Clinic Salma Hussein Feed My Starving Children Event November 2019Salma Hussein has a passion for others. As a medical assistant for Midwest Express Clinic, she wanted to expand on her love for helping those in need.

“Salma came to us with an idea for helping to feed children who are hungry and lack proper nutrition,” said Kate Cunningham, operations manager for Midwest Express. “She had researched a nonprofit called Feed My Starving Children that supplied nutrition-deficit children with healthy meals through a process entirely run by volunteers and donations. Of course, we said yes and got on board.”

About 30-40 employees of Midwest Clinic participated in a  gathering/packaging effort hosted by FMSC. “We traveled up to Chicago and helped package 14,472 healthy meals. That will feed 40 children for an entire year!” Cunningham said. “It’s amazing that our team got so involved. Our staff works 12-hour shifts, 80 hours in a two-week period. For so many of them to donate their time and effort to travel on a weeknight and help out demonstrates our commitment to making a difference.”

All the food, valued at $3,500, was donated to FMSC, as was the material used to package and ship the 14,000 meals. Midwest Express also contributed financially to break the cycle of malnutrition in children.

According to the UNICEF, approximately 3.1 million children die every year from malnutrition. They are also more likely to suffer from illness. Improving child nutrition can have lasting effects across the globe.

“We always ask our team to bring their ideas for helping the community to us at our meetings,” Cunningham said. “Their enthusiasm and involvement are inspirational for the rest of us.”

Last holiday season, the Midwest Express team went to Pacific Garden Mission, a homeless shelter on the Near South Side of Chicago, and served meals to the residents. “That idea also came from one of our team members,” Cunningham said.

“They donated time and effort, and they donated financially to our cause,” said Gerald Casey, director of Outreach Ministries at the mission. “They worked in our dining room — serving meals, setting up and taking down, and cleaning up afterwards. They’re a hard-working team who also had a lot of fun volunteering in. We’re very grateful for the physical and financial help they donated.”

Casey said that it’s critical to their mission to have volunteers come to the mission. “There are times where we’re shorthanded to help on a given day,” he said. “We’re always joyful when we can get a team like Midwest Express to join us for a meal or two.”

These examples put into practice the value system of Midwest Express Clinic. “Everyone who works here has a deep passion for helping others,” Cunningham said. “We are an urgent care system, so we routinely see people in need of help, usually anxious and not feeling well. Reaching out into the community is an extension of that passion. It takes a certain type of person to dedicate themselves to helping others, and that is what Midwest Express is all about.”

Midwest Express Clinic has 13 locations throughout Northwest Indiana, including Crown Point, Munster and Schererville, and the Illinois suburbs. Services provided include family care, injury and extensive care, lab work and X-rays, and drug testing.

Besides listing its full range of care, its website — midwestexpressclinic.com — includes a page where anyone can propose a charitable project in need of resources. Cunningham said several of the projects the team has undertaken came from these suggestions.

“Ideas to help others can come from anyone,” Cunningham said. “We love when they come from members of our team, but we research suggestions from any source. What’s important to us is that we find opportunities to help those in need and build a bond between team members and community members. It’s really what we’re all about.”