Student-run free clinic receives grant and makes national presentation

BUIES CREEK, North Carolina – The Campbell Community Care Clinic is a free clinic for uninsured patients run and staffed by over 150 Campbell medical, pharmacy and physician assistant students and faculty volunteers.  The clinic is among the few osteopathic and interprofessional student-run free clinics in the country.

The business plan was initiated by members of the inaugural class at CUSOM in the spring of 2014, and the clinic grand opening was in March 2015.  Although the clinic founders are now third year medical students on rotation in five regions of North Carolina, they are still advocates for the project.   Recently, their abstract detailing the process of opening the free clinic at an osteopathic medical school was published in the Journal of Student-Run Free Clinics.  Additionally, 2015 clinic co-directors Julie Aldrich (MS-II) and Paul Pikman (MS-II) were invited to present at the January 2016 Society of Student-Run Free Clinics Conference in Phoenix, Arizona.

The conference consists of workshops, poster presentations, and oral presentations where students get an opportunity to present their clinic models with student-run free clinics from various institutions from all aspects of healthcare – Medicine, Pharmacy, Physical Therapy, Nursing, Dentistry, Social Work, etc. The Campbell presentation detailed a patient case to illustrate the hurdles in operating a free clinic and outlined the lack of healthcare resources available in Harnett County as well as the healthcare disparities that exist in the community.

 “The free-clinic society is largely dominated by allopathic clinics, so the opportunity for Campbell to present in our 2nd year of operating one of the few osteopathic and interprofessional clinics was truly exciting,” said Andrew Isbell, MS-II and 2015 clinic director of grants and fundraising.

The clinic is located at the Campbell University Health Center, but its operational budget is dependent on private support.  The clinic recently received a Family Medicine Cares grant from the American Academy of Family Physicians to purchase supplies for the clinic including a refrigerator for vaccines and other medications that require refrigeration.  This is the third grant the clinic has received since its inception.

“Applying for grants is an arduous and necessary task in running the clinic,” said Isbell. “The application involved obtaining letters of support from practitioners and clinics we refer patients to for further treatment.  We are thankful to the Harnett County Health Department for their letter of support and Dr. Wanda Filer, president-elect of the American Academy of Family Physicians, for suggesting we pursue this grant when she visited CUSOM earlier this year.”

In addition to representing the clinic at the Phoenix conference, third year medical students on rotation still volunteer at the clinic when they can and Daniel Moses, one of the inaugural class clinic founders, serves as the conference chair for the National Society of Student-Run Free Clinics.  Moses is joined on the national leadership by Paul Pikman, communications chair and CCCC Co-Director for the 2014-2015 academic year, as well as several other CUSOM free clinic leaders who serve on NSSRFC sub-committees.

“We are thankful for the support this project has received and the opportunity to learn while serving the Harnett County community,” said Julie Aldrich, MS-II and 2015 clinic co-director.  “We have diagnosed patients with serious conditions including cancer and then continued to advocate for them as they navigate getting the healthcare they need.   These are immeasurably valuable experiences.  They shape the way we run the clinic to serve patients well and shape us as future healthcare practitioners.”

To date, the clinic has had over 300 office visits and seen over 100 patients.  The free clinic will host a benefit event on Friday, March 18th in Turner Auditorium at Campbell University – the “Mr. CUSOM Pageant”.  The public is invited to enjoy this entertaining evening and support the free clinic while seeing the talents and silliness of some future Campbell physicians.  Tickets are $5 at the door.

The 2016 medical student clinic leadership team:
Co-Directors – Andrew Astin & Roshni Delwadia, Secretary – Megan Kauffman, Treasurer – Brooke Epley, CoC – Vanessa Adamson and Dylan Malpass, Labs – Brad Anderson, Grants/Fundraising – Sree Chinreddy, Research – Mohammed Elshazzly, Records/Scheduling – Julia Miller, Marketing – Hannah Anderson, Risk Assessment – Sarah Davis, and Training – Sarah Johns