Student Health Assistance Fund

Help for students with unforeseen medical expenses.

The Bryan and Kathy Staufer Emergency Health Fund offers assistance to un- or under-insured students faced with unforeseen medical expenses while enrolled at Western Michigan University.  The Invisible Need Project partners with Sindecuse Health Center to help promote the Staufer Fund.

Sindecuse Health Center

This fund can pay for critical health care for students who have extreme, short-term medical needs and a limited ability to pay. For a student meeting eligibility requirements, the fund may cover up to $500 of expenses incurred at Sindecuse Health Center during an academic year.


An application for assistance weighs several factors. Students must:

  • Be currently enrolled, in good standing
  • Demonstrate a financial need
  • Provide documentation of income
  • Have family income at or below 150% of the federal poverty level


Print and bring your completed application to Sindecuse Health Center (700 Central Campus Dr., Kalamazoo, MI 49008).  For students who lack access to a printer, please submit applications via email to: Applicants will be asked to make an appointment with a social worker to identify needs, make an application to Medicaid, and find other sources of support at WMU and beyond.


Awards are administered by the Medical Director at Sindecuse Health Center in conjunction with the Patient Access Services Team.  The fund does not distribute money directly to awarded students, rather is used to pay for medical expenses students cannot cover at Sindecuse. Some services not covered include: routine preventive care, diagnostic procedures or lab tests sent to outside facilities, massage therapy, drug screens, court-ordered services, TB testing and related-care, late/cancel/no-show fees. Assistance is not granted for payments to other medical providers.


Show Support

For some students, the fund makes the difference between finishing an education and dropping out.  Some students arrive to Western Michigan University facing significant financial or medical challenges.  Some are without family or community support.  They may have gaps or challenges with health insurance coverage.  At times, students go without needed prescription medications, among other necessities, due to financial pressure.  In an attempt to self-manage health concerns, they may miss classes, receive lower grades and become more ill until they find themselves in an emergency room or failing school.  Sindecuse Health Center is the place they seek help.  Students may apply for up to $500 in assistance.  Their application is reviewed by compassionate health center staff.

Read one student's story of perseverance

Your contribution to the Bryan and Kathy Staufer Health Emergency Fund enables the health center to provide students with the critical assistance they need to restore health and overcome temporary challenges.

Make a gift now


Bryan and Kathy StauferA former Sindecuse Health Center physician, W. Bryan Staufer and his wife, Kathy started the fund.  Donations made to the fund have helped hundreds of WMU students receive crucial financial support to cover their unexpected or unmanageable health care expenses. 

Read more about the fund's origins