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Motor City Match winner Medicina Scarlett opens in southwest Detroit, boosting local healthcare access for residents

Jun 25, 2024

  • Medicina Scarlett, a bilingual medical service provider, celebrates its grand opening as the 168th Motor City Match business
  • Founded by Scarlett Idema, a native Spanish speaker, Medicina Scarlett was created to help Idema bridge the gap between language barriers and health literacy
  • Medicina Scarlett provides accessible, bilingual, and high-quality medical care to individuals of all ages and backgrounds, regardless of socioeconomic status or insurance coverage.
  • Motor City Match has awarded $18.1M in cash grants; 81% of overall winners are minority-owned businesses, 69% are women-owned and 64% are owned by Detroit residents

JUNE 25, 2024 (DETROIT) — Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan and the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation (DEGC) today marked the grand opening of Medicina Scarlett, a bilingual medical service provider and the latest Motor City Match grant recipient to open a brick-and-mortar. The medical service provider was established to meet the healthcare needs of its diverse community, where a reported 29,485 households speak Spanish as their primary language, according to Data USA.

Founded by board-certified family nurse practitioner, Scarlett Idema, Medicina Scarlett is Idema’s way of building medical trust and serving the health and well-being needs of the Southwest Detroit community. As Idema notes, many cultural and social aspects can impact health and healthcare; at present, 90 percent of the patients being seen are Spanish-speaking.

“One of the reasons I opened this clinic is because I’m an NP and have been working in the area – the need is here. I speak Spanish; I can identify with this community and understand their struggles as an immigrant myself,” said Idema. “To me, the keyword is “access” – access to healthcare and knowing what is wrong with you are the first steps to health.”

Idema had the idea for Medicina Scarlett in 2022. After working for other medical practices in the area, she realized the community needed more personalized, holistic medical services. According to Idema, there is “sick medicine,” where you receive care when something has happened to you, or prevention care, which she prefers to provide.

“I think being able to help and understand the culture helps me treat them better,” said Idema. “I wanted different care for the patients that I see and having my own practice allows me to do that.”

Located at 8631 W. Vernor, the 2,100-square-foot facility offers convenient patient access. Medicina Scarlett plans to introduce in-house laboratory and pharmacy services later this year. These additions aim to reduce medical costs for patients, said Idema.

“I’m so proud of Scarlett making it her mission to offer quality medical care in a location that is close to where a lot of people live, but even more so because she is making it accessible and welcoming to the many Spanish-speaking residents in southwest Detroit,” said Duggan. “This is just another example of how Motor City Match is helping to build stronger neighborhoods.”

The business received a $50,000 grant from Motor City Match to support construction costs and the purchase of medical equipment. Medicina Scarlett currently has three bilingual staff members from the same community it serves.

“Scarlett’s passion for the health and well-being of Southwest Detroit’s residents is inspiring,” said Sean Gray, vice president of Small Business Services at the DEGC, which manages the Motor City Match program. “Medicina Scarlett is strategically addressing issues of healthcare availability, affordability and trust in its community, which is beneficial for the city of Detroit as a whole.”

Through 26 rounds of Motor City Match:

  • Total cash grants: $18.1 million (Total leveraged investment: $99 million)
  • 81 percent are minority-owned businesses
  • 69 percent are women-owned businesses
  • 64 percent are businesses owned by Detroit residents

About Motor City Match

Motor City Match is a unique partnership between the City of Detroit, the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation (DEGC), the Economic Development Corporation of the City of Detroit (EDC) and the U.S. Department of the Treasury through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). Competitive financial assistance is supported by a broad partnership of Southeast Michigan community development financial institutions and corporations including, Bank of America, Fifth Third Bank, Ford Foundation, Hudson Webber Foundation, JPMorgan Chase & Co., Knight Foundation, The Kresge Foundation, New Economy Initiative, and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. Motor City Match applications are available quarterly. More information is available at

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