Alumni Spotlight: Stephanie Peace, MD ‘17

Stephanie Peace, MD ’17

Stephanie Peace, MD ’17, credits her success as a physician to the time she spent in the MedZou Community Health Center clinic. It was one of her first clinical experiences and affirmed her desire to work with underserved populations.

“It's such a great opportunity as a student to get hands-on experience and to be treating patients with complicated health histories, because these are folks who haven't had access to health care in a long time,” Peace said.

Entering its 16th year, the MedZou clinic provides free primary health care services for people without insurance or with high out-of-pocket expenses. In addition, some specialty services are available, like dermatology, mental health care and neurology.

Peace pioneered the start of women’s health services at MedZou, securing funding for follow-ups on abnormal pap smears, breast cancer screenings and other related concerns. Today, Peace’s passion for women’s health is just as strong. She works as an OB-GYN at La Clinica de Familia in Las Cruces, New Mexico, where she continues to serve and advocate for uninsured, underserved populations.

“So many women have not been kept up to date on some of those routine healthcare screenings. To be able to provide them with the same level of care that any other patient would receive, it’s just so important,” Peace said. “We should not be diagnosing women with cervical cancer. We should be catching it early enough that we can treat it before it gets to that point.”

The same is true for many diagnoses and treatments, not just within women’s health. With millions of Americans without health insurance, including about 10% of Missourians, the MedZou clinic is a valuable resource to the central Missouri community. It provides many preventative screenings and tests, as well as resources for patients to connect with insurance and more stable medical care.

Donations support the clinic's week-to-week needs while keeping tests and services free to uninsured patients, fulfilling the mission to save and improve lives. Peace has donated to MedZou since she was a student and cannot overstate the importance of community support for the clinic.

“There are so many people who volunteer an incredible number of hours at the clinic, but the financial support of the community is critical for the continued work of providing free services to Columbia’s most underserved patients.”

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