ST. LOUIS – Each Saturday, Saint Louis University medical school students volunteer their time providing free medical services at the Health Resource Center (HRC), their clinic in north St. Louis that provides care to uninsured and underinsured individuals.
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While the treatment is free, the cost to run the clinic is not, so student volunteers are hosting an auction on Saturday, April 12, to help raise funds for the HRC’s annual operating budget.
The auction will begin at 6 p.m. at Il Monastero, 3050 Olive St., on Saint Louis University’s campus. Patrons will have the opportunity to bid on items including tickets to Disney World, a Lou Brock retro jersey, Rams tickets, and much more.
The annual auction is the only large fundraiser benefiting the HRC and is the main source of operational funds for the clinic. Last year’s auction raised more than $43,000, providing roughly 90 percent of the clinic’s operating budget.
General admission tickets for the auction are $55. VIP tables for eight are $520 and include VIP seating at the live auction and personal service to your table. Tickets may be purchased in advance or at the door. To purchase tickets online, visit http://giving.slu.edu/hrcauction.
The Health Resource Center opened in 1994 as a partnership between medical school students and BREM Catholic Social Ministry, a community-based service agency based out of St. Augustine Church. While BREM has long since closed down, the HRC continued to operate out of the basement of St. Augustine until this past August when the clinic relocated to a space in the Victor Roberts Building.
With the recent relocation of the HRC, the clinic has been able to add to and expand its services in adapting to community needs. Since the move, the clinic has added physical therapy services, a health support group, legal counseling, and medical family therapy, in addition to looking forward to the addition of a physician assistant student-led clinic, asthma clinic, hearing screenings, and much more in the coming months.
Part of a growing movement of student-run health clinics in the United States, the Health Resource Center combines the talents of students and faculty to offer free services to one of the most vulnerable areas of St. Louis.
While the clinic offers a clear benefit to the community, it also benefits the students. For many, the experience is their first introduction to real clinical work.
“I love volunteering at the clinic,” said Vishal Patel, a second-year medical student at SLU and one of the student coordinators for this year’s auction. “With most of our first two years spent primarily in the classroom, the Health Resource Center provides a unique opportunity for us as students to not only apply our classroom knowledge to real-life situations but also to directly serve our community.”
Students in their first two years at Saint Louis University School of Medicine generally take patient histories and check vital signs. Third- or fourth-year medical students conduct physical exams while a volunteer faculty member at the clinic reviews cases, answers questions, and prescribes medications.
“The HRC is an incredibly important resource to many of the patients we serve in addition to helping students get involved with the community. Service is a major motivating force that drove many of us to pursue medicine and to come to SLU. The HRC is a huge factor in maintaining that focus on service in the midst of our studies,” Patel adds.
For more information about how to support the Health Resource Center, contact auction co-chair Vishal Patel at firstname.lastname@example.org. For information about receiving care at the HRC, email email@example.com or call 389-0008.
Established in 1836, Saint Louis University School of Medicine has the distinction of awarding the first medical degree west of the Mississippi River. The school educates physicians and biomedical scientists, conducts medical research, and provides health care on a local, national, and international level. Research at the school seeks new cures and treatments in five key areas: cancer, infectious disease, liver disease, aging and brain disease, and heart/lung disease.