News

New clinic offers free healthcare

Second-year medical student Priyanka Handa began volunteering at the Victims Services Center (VSC) as a freshman at the University of Miami. After the VSC performed a “needs assessment” of its members, Handa set out to find a solution to the center’s number one unmet need: Healthcare.

The VSC, which opened in 1994, provides therapy and legal counsel to victims of crime and domestic abuse. It requires volunteers to commit at least five hours of service a week.

Handa started her own project to establish a free clinic at the VSC in January 2006. She received initial funding from the Goldman-Sachs Global Leaders Program, which Handa said “expedited the process of starting the clinic.” Handa worked at the VSC to establish the clinic that summer, and it opened in July with the help of VSC Executive Director and Founder Theresa Descilo.

“It’s really great to be doing something to help people to transform their lives: Spirit, mind and body,” Descilo said.

According to Handa, the VSC clinic is modeled after San Juan Bosco Clinic in Little Havana, which is where many medical students volunteer. Every few weeks Handa sends out an e-mail to recruit medical students for volunteer work at the clinic.
Handa said that working at the clinic is a good way for first and second-year medical students to get additional clinic experience.

The clinic stays free because of its initial seed fund, which was supplemented by an additional grant from the Medical Alumni Association through the John K. Robinson Fund. Handa said that the clinic is also working towards a more “formal partnership” with the Miller School of Medicine. Currently, the clinic is working to sign its children up for Florida Kid Care, the state insurance program.

“It’s been a phenomenal experience,” said Heidi Ashbaugh, a second-year medical student who has been volunteering with the clinic for the past year. “It’s definitely been a terrific chance for medical students to get involved.”

Ben Daniels may be contacted at b.daniels@umiami.edu.

October 8, 2007

Reporters

The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

Throughout the four years he spent as a tackle for the Miami Hurricanes, Tyree St. Louis never consi ...

Finally, a marquee home game for the University of Miami men’s basketball team, a game big enough th ...

University of Miami basketball coach Jim Larranaga, awaiting word from the NCAA on the appeal to rei ...

The Hurricanes officially welcomed ballyhooed new quarterback Tate Martell on campus Friday, and he’ ...

Before Jess Simpson’s final playoff run as the coach of Buford fell short in a Georgia state champio ...

The University of Miami brings together leaders in academia, professional practice, and industry to ...

On Dec. 14, 2018 universal health care programs in both the United States and Mexico were dealt sign ...

For the first time in more than 15 years, two of UMTV’s weekly shows were nominated for the Televisi ...

Miami Transplant Institute performed 681 transplants during 2018, setting a new national record in k ...

Jazz aficionados launch new video series by sharing invaluable performance techniques. ...

"We're excited to welcome these coaches to the Miami family," Diaz said. ...

The No. 17 Miami women's tennis team recorded its second win of the day Saturday evening at the ...

Chris Lykes scored 20 points, but the Canes come up just short against No. 13 UNC. ...

In the first of its two matches Saturday at the FGCU Tennis Complex, the No. 17 Miami women's t ...

Canes have won six of last 10 meetings with UNC. ...

TMH Twitter
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.