For a better experience, click the Compatibility Mode icon above to turn off Compatibility Mode, which is only for viewing older websites.

Pulse - Winter 2023 HOP Broadens Reach in Berks County

While the Health Outreach Project (HOP) has been part of the College of Medicine’s culture for more than 25 years, the programming only expanded to Berks County, Pennsylvania, in 2021, when the College of Medicine at Tower Health opened in West Reading. HOP faculty advisor Eugene York, MD, is impressed with the work students have done to grow HOP programming around the campus. “It has been amazing, in a little over a year, to see what they have started and what they’ve accomplished so far,” York says.

Students from the West Reading Campus are engaged in patient care activities with three local clinics and participate in projects to support the health of people experiencing homelessness, and members of the local LGBTQ+ and Hispanic and Latinx communities. The students have initiated a lifesaving Narcan distribution program, undertaken a vaccine education and distribution program, and teamed up with volunteer services at Reading Hospital in the No One Dies Alone program.

Reading Skyline

York said he was especially excited to see the students take the initiative to create eye health and respiratory sub-clinics within the Hope Rescue Mission. Now, people experiencing homelessness can not only receive basic primary care from a physician who is in person at the clinic, but also take advantage of telehealth visits, in which students take patients’ vital signs and perform basic examinations for a doctor who has called in virtually.

Earlier this fall, students partnered with the Hispanic Center of Reading and Berks County to hold a health fair for the region’s Hispanic and Latinx community. Over 100 community members attended the event, where they were able to receive eye screenings, blood pressure screenings, diabetes education, connections to locally available primary care and more.

York said community organizations have been enthusiastic about partnering with students, who create most HOP partnerships themselves and manage the projects throughout the year. Students have also seen a remarkable response from the broader community, according to York. “Not only have the students benefited from their work with HOP, but I think the community has also benefited,” he says. “The community has been really receptive to what the students have been doing. The response has been fantastic in so many ways.”

 Back to Top


Pulse is published four times a year for students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends of the College, highlighting innovations in research, clinical practice and education; key events; and accomplishments. News, professional and academic achievements, calendar items and story ideas may be submitted by email to