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Spring 2010 Volume 7 • Issue 2 Hospital Volunteer A Glimpse Into the UTHSCSA Mobile Dental Clinic Opportunities The summer is right around the corner, and as such, it is imperative that you S ervice. Although everyone has their own way of defining what service is, not everyone involves themselves in daily, selfless efforts. If you’re thinking begin to make arrangements for secur- about pursuing a future in the health professions, ing your participation in either summer then helping those most in need is to be expected enrichment or volunteer activities. even if it means making sacrifices in your own Doctor’s Hospital personal life. And that is exactly what the staff on the Doctors Hospital of Laredo is seeking 25 UT Health Science Center mobile dental clinic has of the best candidates for their summer been doing since the start of the initial pilot program volunteer program. Only students ages in April 2007. Pictured L-R: Sonia Perez, Griselda Rubio, Violetta Esparza, 14 years and older are eligible to apply. If The mission of the mobile dental clinic is to provide Evalinda Lopez, Eduardo Castaneda, III and Eduardo Perez, D.D.S. interested, you must contact Ms. Rachel Rodriguez at 956-523-2004 to request access to children who have limited dental care Evalinda Lopez, dental assistants, and Eduardo an application. The process will involve services in the surrounding communities of Freer, Castaneda, sterilization specialist/mobile unit driver. completing the application form, taking a San Diego, Benavides, Oilton, Mirando City, Zapata, TB test (provided free of charge) and And in spite of having limited clinical experience, I felt etc. The mobile dental unit essentially serves as an attending a mandatory orientation. that I was still able to contribute to the staff’s efforts. extension of pediatric services from the UTHSCSA My assigned duties for the day consisted of taking Laredo Medical Center Dental Clinic located locally at the City of Laredo each patient’s body weight and blood pressure as Dolores Martinez, volunteer coordinator Health Department. The services provided on the they waited for an unoccupied dental chair on the van. at LMC, will begin taking calls from mobile dental unit include dental exams, X-rays, The most fascinating times of the day for me were seriously interested students on Monday, cleanings, sealants, fillings and emergency tooth when I was able to escort patients to the van and April 19th throughout the month of May. extractions. She will set-up interviews with each then just observe as Dr. Perez and dental assistants, student and an orientation will follow. Having been given approval from Dr. Elaine Neenan Violetta and Eva, warmly welcomed patients in and A parent or guardian must be present. and director, Dr. Eduardo Perez, I accompanied the made them feel at ease as they began their There will be a morning and afternoon dental van staff in Zapata on Tuesday, December 8 th. examinations. It turned out to be a very busy day as shift available to accommodate student The purpose of my visit was to offer my assistance patients were seen just about every half-hour. While college and summer camp schedules. during their day of scheduled patient visits, but I got to return home at the end of the work day, the Volunteering begins June 5th and ends mostly, it was to experience what several of our dental van staff was gearing up to spend the night, July 30th. Med Ed students who in the past have volunteered on sacrificing time away from family, so that they could the dental van in the hopes of writing this article and begin again the next morning. encouraging more Med Ed students to come forward The act of service can be so much more than what and volunteer their time in this capacity as well. you expect if you approach it with a positive attitude I felt instantly welcomed upon initial introductions and an open-mind. My time spent with the dental van with Dr. Eduardo Perez, pediatric dentist, Sonia Perez, staff and helping the Zapata community was so inspir- dental patient services manager, Violetta Esparza and ing and I have only them to thank for that opportunity! The Med Ed Connection ∙ Spring 2010 Page 2 Med Ed Students Visit the UTHSC San Antonio San Antonio (November 7, 2009) Bright and faculty members from departments in the early one fall Saturday morning, nearly 100 School of Health Professions led a variety of Med Ed students boarded two charter buses hands-on morning activities on the Greehey bound for the 2009 Health Professions Fair & North Campus while the Schools of Nursing, Science Expo at the University of Texas Health Dentistry, Medicine and the Graduate School Science Center at San Antonio. of Biomedical Sciences headed up concurrent sessions that afternoon on the HSC’s main Under the direction of Irene Chapa, Ph.D., the campus. Office of Recruitment and Science Outreach coordinates a full day’s worth of hands-on The purpose of this one day, annual event is activities, presentations, student information to enlighten prospective students about the panels and tours as a means of exposing health professions and the educational more South Texas students to careers in the pathways that ultimately lead toward these health sciences. This event is open to area careers. Participants were also able to high school and college students as well as gather information about the various degree their parents and teachers. Students and programs available at the UT Health Science Center San Antonio. Pictured L-R: Karina Paez, Alessandra Mendiola, Diana Perez and Eduardo Salinas enjoying their To read more, visit http://www.uthscsa.edu/ morning as they visited the Greehey Academic and Research Building on North Campus. hscnews/singleformat.asp?newID=3309. Med Ed Students Give Back To The Laredo Community Laredo (November 21, 2009) Med Ed volunteers participated in this past Misericordia families enjoying the Feast of Sharing program. Seeing the fall’s big Unity in the CommUnity tree planting project at North Central smiles on everyone’s faces, especially the children as they danced and Park which was sponsored by the City of Laredo. One-hundred trees were played with Med Ed students, was momentous. planted by volunteers to create a true “Central Park” feel for walkers, Due to an overwhelming response from Med Ed students interested in this runners and bikers alike who take advantage service event, two volunteer shifts were organized in an effort to try to of the park’s approximate 2.7 mile trail. accommodate everyone. The first shift was responsible for event set-up of Having enjoyed a complimentary breakfast food and beverages, preparing grocery bags and entertaining the children. and reviewed all safety precautions, project The second shift assisted by distributing meals, serving drinks, clean-up, volunteers were immediately put to work. The assisting mothers with their strollers and carrying their heavy grocery goal of Saturday’s project was to boast both bags and turkeys to their vehicles. A special heartfelt thank you goes out to passive and active recreation space including those volunteers who brightened everyone’s day with their smiles, kindness fitness trails, facilities for sports activities, a and support. Because of your warm and caring attitudes, our group was Pictured Above: Ruben Garza unique nature conservancy area as well as welcomed back next year by Sister Rosemary Welsh. Job well done! clearing out large branches. playground area for the young. For giving so Pictured Left: much of their time and effort to making a difference in our community, we Michelle Nunez is clearly happy to assist. wish to thank each and everyone of our hard-working Med Ed volunteers for all of their contributions. Pictured Right J.J. Martinez went above and beyond by volunteer- Laredo (November 22, 2009) What turned out to be a cold and gloomy ing to dress up as Winnie Sunday morning fortunately didn’t damper our Med Ed volunteers’ holiday the Pooh bear for the spirits who provided such a warm welcoming feeling for Casa de children’s entertainment. The Med Ed Connection ∙ Spring 2010 Page 3 Extra-ordinary Med Ed Students Doing Extra-ordinary Things For Their Communities Have you found yourself wondering when the next Med Ed community Christmas morning is a service activity is going to be? In fact, have you often complained childhood memory that lives on about how we don’t offer enough projects to participate in? forever. Rushing to the Christmas tree, ripping off the If so, then you’ll want to read about how fellow Med Ed students, Zelina Ruiz wrapping paper, feeling and Samantha Perez, have taken it upon themselves to initiate their own surprised and actually seeing acts of service. They’ve both proven that you shouldn’t just sit and wait for that look of surprise on a opportunities to come to you. On the contrary, you should get out and child’s face is what Christmas make a difference either on your own, or better yet, with a group of is all about. Unfortunately, too Pictured Above: Samantha J. Perez, sopho- friends and family. Remember that highly selective universities will favor many hospitalized children do more at Bruni High School and Med Ed student, resourceful student leaders who know how and can make things happen. distributing donated toys to families in need. not get to experience that It was just like every other morning at my excitement on Christmas so when I heard the UTHSCSA Med Ed Program house. I was watching the news with my was having a Toy Drive for the kids in the hospital I immediately knew I family, when a representative from the wanted to help. But donating 3 toys just didn’t feel like enough. I knew if I South Texas Food Bank was being could get more people involved we could really make a difference. interviewed. She explained that April was So my friend Victoria and the Med Ed group at Bruni High School asked Hunger Awareness Month and that the Food Mrs. Gloria Ramon, our guidance counselor, for her help and support. After Bank would be needing assistance. I wanted getting approval from Dr. David Jones, our principal and superintendent, to participate in this great cause, and of we started the volunteer project! My parents were very supportive Pictured Above: Zelina Ruiz, course at the Food Bank. sophomore at United High School throughout the entire toy drive. My dad even offered to raffle prizes from and Med Ed student. his store, Triple Z Mercantile, to encourage more students to donate. I love helping at the Food Bank. I have volunteered for the Food Bank since I was in the third grade with the Girl Our group designed three huge donation boxes where kids could drop off Scouts. I contacted Mrs. Gloria Jackson at the Food Bank to pitch my idea their contributions. Bruni Med Ed students did an amazing job at helping me of committing at least an hour of my day to walking from house to house each morning hang posters and distribute flyers I created. In fact, one with my Radio Flyer collecting canned goods and monetary donations for morning the group and I passed out candy canes with a reminder note this worthy cause. She provided me with a Food Bank t-shirt and I.D. to which everyone loved. Our group even organized an assembly for the begin my month-long commitment. middle school students to encourage them to donate toys too. Considering my busy schedule, I thought I was setting myself up for Once it was time to stop collecting, we decided to wrap the toys ourselves. failure. Luckily, I have a very supportive family and good friends that would We spent an afternoon together, had so much fun and felt so good about accompany me on my afternoon runs. I set some goals for myself and giving up our winter vacation time to help children and bring smiles to their committed to collecting $1,000 dollars and 1,000 cans of food items. When little faces. Amazingly, we were able to collect 58 toys altogether, and most things looked bleak, I would commit to an extra hour. importantly, we felt really good about ourselves when we were done. Fortunately for the generosity of our community I was able to meet my To our surprise, the UTHSCSA Toy Drive was a huge success and there goals. Along the way, I came across some kind and generous people who was no way all the toys could be given to the hospitals alone. They were so care about our community. Many had heard about my community service generous to let us give some of the toys to children in our very own project on Pro 8 news and were hoping I would come by to accept their communities of Bruni, Mirando City and Oilton. For me to actually donations. Their donations were greatly appreciated by the local Food experience seeing their faces and reactions was just pure magic. I would Bank. April is around the corner, and I have some ideas in mind for this definitely volunteer to do this again. Our Bruni Med Ed group has plans to year. The Food Bank currently has a waiting list for the Adopt a Family make the toy drive an annual volunteer opportunity for students in our program. If you would like to help, please contact the South Texas Food school. Helping all those families and children is a feeling I will never forget Bank at 956-726-3120. and will always cherish in my heart. Regional Campus Academic Building, Suite 2.100 1937 E. Bustamante Street Laredo, Texas 78041 Phone: 956-523-7437 956-523-7440 956-523-7446 956-523-7476 Fax: 956-523-7444 Website: www.uthscsa.edu/meded Executive Director of Health Science Pipeline Programs David J. Jones, Ph.D. email@example.com Director of Medical Admissions and Special Programs Med Ed Calendar of Events Belinda Chapa, M.P.A. firstname.lastname@example.org Event Where Date/Time Director of Student Programs Griselda Rubio, M.H.A. email@example.com Community Service Project: March 13th Laredo-Webb County Food Bank Help End Hunger 9:00 AM—12:00 PM Program Coordinator Rosie Macdonald firstname.lastname@example.org UTHSC Regional Campus March 16-18th Spring Fling Clinic Laredo, TX Must register for time slot Program Coordinator Adella L. Guerrero email@example.com Community Service Project: City of Laredo March 20th Director of Tree Planting North Central Park 9:00 AM—12:30 PM Administrative Services Nora Escalon Community Service Project: firstname.lastname@example.org To Be Announced March 27th Easter Picnic Senior Secretary Yolanda Chapa Community Service Project: email@example.com To Be Announced April 10th Earth Day Believing and Investing in your future career in the health sciences!
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