2011: Dr. Barry and Suzanne Saltman, Carefree Medical & Dental Clinic

Lansing Rotarian Rick Foster presents the 2011 Community Service awart to Dr. Barry and Suzanne Saltman

Dr. Barry and Suzanne Saltman are the recipients of this year’s Rotary Club of Lansing’s Community Service Award.

As retirement neared, Saltman—a family practitioner in Ingham County—and his nurse practitioner wife, Suzanne, had considered a more leisurely lifestyle but abandoned that idea deciding, instead, to give back to their community in a new and innovative way: By setting up a clinic to serve patients who otherwise could not afford preventative care or treatment.

In 2004, the duo established the non-profit Carefree Medical and Dental Clinic to serve 50 to 100 uninsured patients in Mason. Today, their clinic has expanded to three locations and serves more than 5,500 patients in the Greater Lansing area. Its mission is to provide affordable, comprehensive and compassionate health care services to families and individuals who would otherwise not have access to the health care system.

“I can’t think of two more deserving people to be honored for their service to our community,” said Rick Foster, a Lansing Rotarian who nominated the Saltmans for the award. “They’ve devoted themselves to this clinic and its cause.”

Foster also noted that the Saltmans regularly speak to individuals, civic groups, clubs, churches, hospitals, medical conventions and other gatherings throughout the area in an effort to secure gifts and donations for medical equipment, medicine, office space, and as a way to recruit volunteers to provide hours of service at the clinics.

The Rotary Club of Lansing’s service award was established in 2010 to recognize people in the Lansing community who personify the club’s motto of “Service Above Self.”