Dressed in a clown costume alongside internationally known physician Patch Adams, entertaining patients at Oakwood Care Center, Lance Slatton knew he was living a moment he would never forget.
Patch Adams’ two-day visit, one of the most successful events in University of Michigan-Dearborn history, started simply enough: Lance had a dream of bringing the doctor to campus.
For others, the idea may have gone no further. But Lance’s commitment to seeing dreams through to fruition earned him the title of “Difference Maker.”
“What I have learned so far during my time at University of Michigan-Dearborn is that anything is possible if you have the desire and passion to make it happen,” he said.
Lance has a knack for making things happen around campus. As a former paramedic and future medical school student, he wanted to establish a new student organization for pre-medical students. After nearly a year of work on his part, the University soon will host a chapter of Phi Delta Epsilon, the world’s oldest and largest medical fraternity.
Through this organization, he has motivated his pre-medical peers to give back to the community, holding food and clothing drives for those in need.
Perhaps that work led to his current dream: Lance hopes to build a free or low-cost clinic in the community to provide access to health care for underserved families.
While some may think this project is too large of an undertaking for a student, Lance has a track record that proves you should never doubt the dream maker.
In all he seeks to accomplish, Lance is quick to share accolades with those who help him achieve his dreams. “Dr. Deb [Bandyopadhyay] and Dr. [Lawrence] Radine have been phenomenally helpful and supportive of all my ideas and goals, whether it is academically speaking or regarding the fraternity or healthcare projects,” he said.
As Judy Nesmith, lecturer in biology, pointed out, “Lance is humble, compassionate and tirelessly dedicated to giving back to both the campus and the community. Lance has truly made a difference on this campus that will resonate for years to come.”