The holidays are typically deemed the "season for giving”—for peace and goodwill toward others.
But at the Academic Health Center, staff, students and faculty members give year-round through their work in surrounding communities, making a difference in the lives of underserved populations.
*Indigent care clinics are held for each division in the department of internal medicine, providing needed health services for those who are underserved and uninsured.
*Faculty members and medical students from the department of family and community medicine are continually working with community organizations to provide care and services for underserved populations, including:
· Care delivered to seasonal grooms and stable hands employed at Cincinnati’s River Downs racetrack.
· Work with local agencies—like the Center for Respite Care—to maintain and staff homeless clinics in the area as well as Health Care for the Homeless.
· Joseph Kiesler, MD, has been instrumental in a number of these initiatives and was honored this fall by the Center for Respite Care for all of his efforts.
· Education for Urban Appalachians in the Lower Price Hill community.
*Faculty members from the departments of family and community medicine, internal medicine and pediatrics work collaboratively within the Initiative on Poverty, Justice and Health (IPJH) to help prepare medical students and residents to deal with the cultural, linguistic and socioeconomic barriers their patients will bring to the examining room every day. The IPJH exposes students to a number of activities, including the annual Day of Service and poverty simulations.
*UC’s chapter of Open School for Health Professions, an initiative of the nonprofit Institute for Healthcare Improvement, offers an online curriculum for professionals and students on a variety of topics in health care improvement, leadership and teamwork. One project associated with the Open School is a partnership between St. Vincent de Paul and the University of Cincinnati. Overseen by faculty volunteers, students from the colleges of allied health sciences, medicine, nursing and pharmacy operate a free self-management clinic.
*UC nursing students extend a helping hand by distributing much-needed winter items to Cincinnati’s homeless at the annual "Winterize Yourself” event—a program developed in partnership with the college’s nursing student government and the local administration of a national organization called Health Care for the Homeless.
*Students from the College of Allied Health Sciences travel annually to an Appalachian community for a service trip fitting hearing aids for underserved residents.
*UC physicians and students also make a difference in the lives of patients nationally and internationally, as well:
· After the hurricane that leveled Haiti in 2010, UC faculty, physicians and nurses traveled to Port-au-Prince to volunteer at the nation’s only trauma hospital. More recently, a UC team mobilized to help the victims of Hurricane Sandy.
· Chris Lewis, MD, a faculty member in the department of family and community medicine, has founded the Village Life Outreach Project, Inc., a local nonprofit organization which has been reaching out to provide health care and education to people in the East African nation of Tanzania since 2004.
These are just a few examples of the altruistic work faculty, staff and students do year-round to give back. The Academic Health Center is an asset to the community and is making a difference in the health of our community and our society as a whole.