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Help Us Help Those in Need

Aspiring doctors honored by international symposium

By Yashini Patel and Sally Tran
Students Yashini Patel (left) and Sally Tran (right) with CVVIM Director of Street Medicine Outreach Rosa Lucas, RN

Thank you for taking your valuable time to read this. We are first-generation college graduates currently applying for medical school. On our days off from work and applying to medical schools, we volunteer at Coachella Valley Volunteers in Medicine (CVVIM), a non-profit clinic that helps the underserved community of the Coachella Valley with medical needs.

As part of the CVVIM team, we participate in a weekly program called Street Medicine during which groups of doctors, nurses, and scribes go out together to provide direct medical care to those in need. In contrast to the pristine white sheets of hospital beds, our volunteer team frequents flimsy cardboard box houses beaten with the heat of summer and park benches that frost up in the coldness of winter.

Through volunteering at Street Medicine, we experience first-hand what an underserved community truly encompasses. It’s not just the basic necessities that these people lack; it’s the attention. Being stricken with poverty is not something that anyone would want for themselves or his or her family, but being rejected by their own community due to their current circumstances poses the greatest challenge for these people.

Working as scribes on the team, we have the privilege week after week to witness the unequivocal attention that the doctors and nurses provide to these patients, even with our constantly limited resources. It is their unprejudiced devotion to care for these patients that drives us even more to one day becoming compassionate healers just like them.

We love to give back to our community and wanted to do it in the most efficient way possible. Therefore, we started doing research to learn about different ways that we can provide quality care to our homeless community. Our research addresses how working collaboratively with different non-profit organizations facilitates the relationship between our Street Medicine team and patients and positively increases the number of patients we see.

After months of studying, we came up with a research proposal entitled, “A Collaborative Approach to Serving the Homeless” and submitted it to the 14th Annual International Street Medicine Symposium which will be held in Rotterdam, Netherland, in October.

We are extremely proud to say that our proposal was prestigiously selected to be presented at the conference on October 6th, so we are working hard to raise funds for our travel expenses. We will be presenting to share new ideas for further intervention and research in the field of street medicine with the hope that our study inspires others to develop their own street medicine teams.

Desert Health supports these two aspiring doctors and encourages you to do the same so they may present their work in Rotterdam in October. For more information, contact Yashini Patel (760) 296.2422, ybpatel@ucavis.edu or Sally Tran (760) 844.0831, trantn@masters.edu. GoFundMe link: www.gofundme.com/street-med-research-presentation.

2 Responses to “Help Us Help Those in Need”

  1. Rosa Lucas, FNP says:

    Thank you for recognizing the work and the promise of Yashini and Sally, two of our excellent future physicians.
    Neither comes from a family of means, so your support for their fundraising efforts to attend this international an important conference end neither comes from a family of means , so your support for their fundraising efforts to attend this international an conference on Homelessness is truly important.

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