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Scholars and Heroes: Students Who Run Free Clinics

July 27, 2017

Stephen Rogers and Denise Wang presented the HOP project to the Society of Student Run Free Clinics.

Stephen Rogers and Denise Wang presented the HOP project to the Society of Student Run Free Clinics.

The Health Outreach Project, which offers care to underserved Philadelphians through free health clinics and services run by Drexel medical students, won an award at the annual conference of the Society of Student Run Free Clinics, held February 11–12 in Anaheim, Calif. HOP members received the Certificate of Scholarly Achievement for their project "Improving Patient Care Through Advocacy Services at Student-Run Clinics," presented at the meeting by then second-year medical students and HOP co-chairs Stephen Rogers and Denise Wang.

The other authors were Mira Henien, Charles Fencil, Kate Sheridan, Rohit Mukherjee, Hyein Jeon and Christine Quake, now third-year students; Victoria Martino and Maelys Amat, now fourth-years; and Clayton Ruley, MSS, and Elby Katumkeeryil, both of Prevention Point Philadelphia. Steven Rosenzweig, MD, and Annette Gadegbeku, MD, are the HOP faculty advisers.

Heroes for the Homeless

Rosenzweig, Amat and a second group of HOP students were named Heroes for the Homeless in the 2017 Steppy Awards, "honoring Philadelphians working to make life a little easier for those in need." The awards are presented by One Step Away, Philadelphia's "street newspaper," whose vendors are working to overcome homelessness. The students helped to create a free clinic in St. Raymond's House, a permanent supportive housing program.

"I cannot even put into words the amount of gratitude we have for them," says Shannon Morgan, associate director of St. Raymond's House, who nominated HOP for the award. "Even at times when folks were not yet ready to access services from them, they persisted in finding creative and thoughtful ways to engage and build relationships with residents so they felt safe and comfortable."

In addition to Maelys Amat, the students who developed the clinic were Hyein Jeon, Paul Menell, Michelle Fleyshman and Wick McIlvain, all now third-year students.

"I feel fortunate to have met this population and learn more and more from them about the social determinants of health every week," says Amat, who is in the MD/MBA program. "They taught me more about medicine than I could have ever learned from a textbook."

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