UCLA Happy Feet Clinic, Community Outreach at DGSOM
To truly improve lives, UCLA faculty, researchers and students must leave the confines of the campus and connect directly with people in their communities. That is the goal of the community engagement initiative: to engage with a diverse group of partners to improve the health of the broader community. Today, community engagement is, with teaching, patient care and research, among the core missions of UCLA Health and the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.
Click on the organization you would like to work with below to learn more!
Partnership For Progress (P4P) Project Heal (HEAL) Recovering Equipment for Nations Everywhere (RENEW) Anatomy Academy (formerly SAYHI) Sex & Cookies (S&C) Student Run Homeless Clinic (SRHC)
Therapeutic Arts Interest Group (TAG)
Co-Head Coordinators: Methma Udawatta, Alex Winnett, Alast Ahmadi, Alex Mirman Student Advisors: Orly Bell and Jonathan Warren Faculty Advisor: Elena Stark, M.D., Ph.D.
The Salvation Army was founded in 1865 with the goal of bringing spiritual guidance to London's less fortunate citizens. Since that time, the Salvation Army has expanded to provide support to the impoverished masses in many other ways, including education, vocational training and even housing. The Salvation Army has established housing facilities around the globe, providing long-term housing for destitute individuals and families as the necessary resources to get these families living independently. The Salvation Army housing facility in Westwood is unique in both the resident population and the facility arrangement. At any given time, there are around 150 permanent residents. Of these residents, on average nearly two-thirds are children, either living with their families or coming from foster care. Statistically, these children are at increased risk for poor health conditions including diet, hygiene, and disease, as well as being at risk for criminal activity and substance abuse.
Salvation Army Youth Health Initiative is a student-run organization with a commitment to improve the health education of children living in the Westwood Salvation Army housing facility. The primary focus of Salvation Army Youth Health Initiative is to establish monthly visits to this facility to provide relatable, fun and educational experiences in order to promote an understanding of health and good health habits to the children of this community. Members of the group will collaborate with each other and faculty to engineer relevant, interesting and interactive lessons for children of varying ages. Teaching these children lessons such as the importance of exercise, eating healthy, and hygiene from an early age is the first step in the prevention of serious health complications later.
Additionally, the goal of Salvation Army Youth Health Initiative is to provide some level of screening for the adults living in the facility. By bringing blood pressure cuffs, stethoscopes, scales and body fat testers, we hope to increase health awareness of the community as a whole and to promote healthier living among the adult community as well. This will also provide students with an excellent opportunity to gain clinical exposure in addition to some level of health counseling.
Finally, as the Westwood housing facility is a long-term residence, allowing housing for up to two years to each family, Salvation Army Youth Health Initiative and its members have the unique ability to see the same people regularly and to become stable role models to the children. This arrangement not only allows us to present the concepts of health and healthy living, but to reinforce them in the community.
Back to top
Coordinators: Caitlin Oldenkamp, Elyse Conley Faculty Advisor: Gregory Hendey, M.D.
Disaster medicine encompasses the prevention, preparation, response, and recovery from mass casualty incidents (MCIs), defined as any event that overwhelms the medical system in number or severity of patient casualties.
Disaster medicine is relevant to DGSOM students given the rise of gun violence, the looming threat of post 9/11 terrorism, and the school's location in earthquake country.
During MCIs the traditional patient-physician relationship taught in medical school is abolished in favor of doing the greatest good for greatest number of patients. Physicians must have a basic understanding of this MCI-specific system in order to be effective disaster responders.
Successful response to disasters hinges upon preparation, communication and teamwork. It is therefore crucial to teach the next generation of physicians the fundamentals of disaster response so that, no matter their specialty, they might become effective teammates.
Disaster medicine is a new and emerging field within medicine. By creating dedicated disaster medicine learning opportunities, DGSOM will be on the cutting edge of this developing field.
The mission of DMIG is to equip DGSOM students with the knowledge, skills, and confidence to serve as leaders in their work and their communities during times of crisis.
Coordinators: Tam Au, Roberto Gonzalez, Vanessa RangelStudent Advisors: Beatriz Marron, Jorge Ballon, Stephanie ClavijoFaculty Advisor: Alejandra Casillas, M.D.
Coordinators: Hannah Berman and Siamak Khakshoor-Khan Student Advisor: Sahar Askarinam and Michael Lor Faculty Advisor: Lynn Gordon, M.D., Ph.D. Mission Statement:
The goal of the Jewish Medical Student Association (formerly known as Refuah Shlema) is to create a forum for medical students to learn more about Jewish traditions, culture and beliefs within a medical context. Refuah Shlema means "Whole" or "Completeness in Medicine". It is also the greeting you wish to an ill individual for a "complete recovery" from illness. Despite the change in our organization's name, "Refuah Shlema" continues to encapsulate the mission of this group. As future physicians, we come from a variety of backgrounds with a diverse set of experiences and skills that we can contribute to our communities. To have "completeness in medicine" means that doctors bring their complete individualities in addition to providing complete and holistic patient care. The second meaning for "a complete recovery" encapsulates our mission to serve the community and assist the recovery of all patients.
Our organization will be open to medical students of all religious and racial backgrounds. We hope to provide networking events for medical students to interact with faculty and community physicians. Moreover, we hope to sponsor programs in education outreach and invite students to learn more about Jewish traditions (through lunches funded by various Jewish organizations already set up on campus such as Hillel, Chabad and JAM), for events such as Shabbat dinners, Passover Seders etc. Furthermore, through social events such as cooking classes, movie nights, and a book club, we hope to encourage the formation of new friendships and a sense of community among all students, as well as for students with a strong Jewish identity who seek this community atmosphere. One of our goals is to partner with undergraduate organizations (which have worked with us in the past) such as Hillel at UCLA and create a mentorship program for undergraduates who are interested in medicine. We also plan to hold volunteer events (through community venues such as the Jewish Family Services, Senior Nutrition Fairfax Café, and Hospital Volunteer services etc.) as well as health fairs to give back to the community.
In addition, we would also like to hold educational and informative bioethics panels with experts in Jewish Philosophy and Jewish Law and potentially partner with Christian, Muslim and other organizations on campus to hold a school wide event with multiple perspectives. Finally, we would like to have career development opportunities through personal shadowing and speaker events in a variety of specialties. This past year has been very successful first year, and we hope to build upon the foundation set by the former student leaders.
Coordinators: TBD Student Advisors: Claire Isidro, Stanley Yuan Faculty Advisor: Christian DeVirgilio, MD Mission Statement: The mission of LMUCLA Connection is to connect undergraduate students at Loyola Marymount University (LMU) with medical students from David Geffen School of Medicine (DGSOM) at UCLA and facilitate the development of mentorship relationships with our greater scientific community. LMUCLA Connection matches pre-medical students at LMU with DGSOM student mentors who will provide consistent guidance and support on a one-on-one basis to encourage mentees to continue to pursue careers in medicine. LMUCLA Connection provides various skill building and professional development workshops where mentees learn first-hand from medical students about the medical school experience. Additionally, medical students have the opportunity to be leaders and utilize their breadth of knowledge within LMUCLA Connection to not only implement mentoring events but to also continue to create programming that will be mutually beneficial to both groups of students.
Purpose: The purpose is to develop strong mentorship relationships between medical students at the David Geffen School of Medicine and undergraduates at Loyola Marymount University and assist undergraduates in becoming more competitive applicants to medical school and increase the mentorship relationships within our greater scientific community.
Student Coordinators: Andree Franco-Vasquez, Emmanuel Cordova, Moises Bravo, Sergio Marquez, Jairo Garcia Student Advisors: Mithi del Rosario and Jetrina Maque Faculty Advisor: Jyoti Puvvula, MD
Our mission is to collectively provide support for undocumented students affiliated with UCLA and CDU who are pursuing careers in health care. Our goals are to:
Coordinators: Rachel Budker, Gillian Foley, Ryan Woodson Student Advisor: Emily Jones and Sarah Lawrence Faculty Advisor: Angela Y Chen, MD Mission Statement: Medical Students for Choice is a national organization that works to destigmatize abortion provision among medical students and residents, and advocates for medical schools and residencies to include abortion training as part of their reproductive health curriculum. As the DGSOM chapter, our mission is to promote these goals at a local level, to educate students about abortion and other critical family-planning practices, and to empower our medical students to advocate for reproductive rights and choice on a local and national level.
Coordinators: Nikhil Bellamkonda, Simone Renault, Audrey Torrest, Rachel Acree, Monica Justo, Alexander Mardock Faculty Advisors: Denise Garvey, MD, Walter Coppenrath, MD, Michael Prelip, PhD Project Website: http://www.mobileclinicproject.org/
The Mobile Clinic Project at UCLA aims to improve the health and quality of life of the homeless and other vulnerable populations in the greater Los Angeles area through direct medical care, health promotion and disease prevention activities, legal advocacy and referrals to health and social services.
Medical students are involved with almost all aspects of MCP. First-year students are invited to participate by providing direct medical care under the supervision of an attending physician. Medical students learn valuable history taking, physical examination, and presentation skills. MCP also offers an avenue for students to provide a direct service to the community while learning about the unique medical, social, and legal challenges that face the homeless population everyday.
A group of second-year medical students is selected by the previous coordinators to act as part of the leadership of MCP. Along with student coordinators from the School of Public Health, School of Law, and Undergraduate campuses and advisement/guidance from faculty, medical student coordinators are responsible for the logistics, planning, finances, and administration of the four MCP sites (West Hollywood, OPCC in Santa Monica, Step Up on Second in Santa Monica, and Common Ground in Santa Monica). Coordinators gain invaluable leadership experience during their tenure, including organization, grant writing, financial planning, intramural communication, and short- and long-term planning.
Back to top
Co-Coordinators: Maria Ruiz Student Advisor: Amy Do, Joy Murphy Faculty Advisor: Christopher A. Crisera, M.D.
Operation Mend is a unique partnership between UCLA Health System, Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas, and the VA Healthcare System. It was established in 2007 to help treat U.S. military personnel wounded during service in Iraq and Afghanistan. Its vision is to provide the absolute best in patient care by collaborating with military medicine to jointly provide servicemen and servicewomen with the best technology and medicine available by both the private and public sector. Operation Mend values treating every referred patient with honor, compassion and exemplary service while recognizing that every patient is unique and has different needs and challenges.
The Operation Mend Student Group will provide a support system of students providing education to the community, leadership opportunities for students, service, and awareness of the project. Through speakers, workshops, and volunteering, our mission is to support the larger Operation Mend organization. Students will gain an understanding of the mission of the project, and be able to give back to these wounded warriors and their families in their own way. Through community outreach, students will be able to foster support in the community for UCLA's project. Operation Mend Student Group hopes to support the broader UCLA Operation Mend organization and provide medical students a means of donating their time supporting the cause and learning more about the services provided.
Back to top
Co-Head Coordinators: Demelio Urbano, Jairo Garcia, Jessica Fernandez, Diana Lopez Student Advisor: Marvin Ambriz, Lauren Gibbs, Tristan Howard, Bria Pettway Faculty Advisor: Daphne Calmes, M.D.
Partnership 4 Progress Charles Drew University of Medicine and Science College of Medicine 1731 East 20th Street Los Angeles, CA 90059
P4P has afforded medical students the opportunity to become mentors to high school students from disadvantaged backgrounds. P4P's goal is to provide guidance and direction for underserved and underrepresented youths from King/Drew Medical Magnet High School interested in pursuing a career in the medical field. This project provides mentors as role models to influence and encourage adolescents to strive towards their future endeavors.
Mentors will educate youths about the process of achieving their goals and help them prepare to overcome potential obstacles. It also helps to increase the rate in which high school students graduate and enroll into four-year universities. P4P believes in increasing not only high school graduation rates but also increasing diversity at all levels of education. Students are encouraged to volunteer for various community service events including Project Santa Claus. P4P, which was started through Drew/UCLA allows other UCLA medical students that are not apart of the Drew/UCLA to interact and participate in community service mentor/mentee events in the Compton area.
Coordinators: Chinmayi Aryasomayajula, Emilee Trujillo Student Advisors: Marisela Aguilar and Hemali Panchal Faculty Advisor: Arthur Ohannessian, MD and Neha Chande, MD Mission Statement: Project HEAL is an organization of DGSOM students that travels to Esteban Torres High School to teach students how to address common health issues and become stewards of health for their communities.
Student Coordinators: Marisela Aguilar Student Advisors: Lisa Quach Faculty Advisor: Website: http://renew.dgsom.ucla.edu/
RENEW is a joint project between the students of the David Geffen School of Medicine and the nurses of the UCLA Ronald Reagan Medical Center.
Our mission is to reduce waste and donate unused medical equipment to developing countries visited by UCLA medical students and faculty.
RENEW allows its members to explore opportunities in global health by providing direct contact with organizations traveling abroad for global health work.
Students learn communication skills with Ronald Reagan nurses, SAO, fellow students, and clients and practice their leadership skills.
Coordinators: Monica Sheridan Student Advisors: Elaine Y. Chan and Rachel Parks Faculty Advisor: Gail Wyatt, Ph.D.
The mission of Sex & Cookies is to foster open, supportive, accurate and sex-positive dialogue about sexuality and sexual health on the UCLA campus in order to improve the sexual well-being of UCLA undergraduate students and empower Resident Assistants, Public Health graduate students and Medical students to become leaders and role models.
The major goals of the program are: (1) improve the sexual health of UCLA students living in dorms by enhancing their knowledge and skills through discussions about communication, sexuality, consent, sexually transmitted infections, and contraception, (2) empower Resident Assistants with sexual health knowledge and communication skills in order to serve as valuable resources and support persons for their students, (3) help in the development of medical student and public health students' comfort with health education and sexual health communication skills through training and experience facilitating Sex and Cookies discussions, and (4) add to the current literature on peer-to-peer sexual health education through research guided by our faculty advisors, Gail Wyatt and David Gere.
Co-Administrative Chiefs:Peter Konyn and Alexander Yuen
Senior Community Clinics Chief: Kelsey Lipman
Scheduling Chief: Lauren Uhr
Senior Education Chief: Tim Kaddis
Scheduling Chief: Kelsey Lipman
Junior Education Chief: Zachary Jacobs
Community Psych Chief: Sebiha Abdullahi
Faculty Advisor: Mary Marfisee, M.D.
The Student Run Homeless Clinics (SRHC) mission is to provide respectful, compassionate, and high quality healthcare services to homeless adults, children and families living in the Greater Los Angeles area. These disadvantaged individuals benefit by receiving free medical care from UCLA medical students. The founders and participants in the organization are dedicated to the health of the community and reach out to provide free health services to homeless adults, children and families. We are one of the oldest student-run free clinics in the country and are members of the recently formed Society of Student Run Free Clinics.
SRHC currently organizes two clinics, each serving a distinct patient population. The clinics run on Saturday mornings and Monday/Thursday evenings. Students will gain first hand experience in community-based clinical care where students encounter a variety of acute and chronic diseases at each clinic. Clinics run all year round, rain or shine. Students may also receive course credit towards their medical degree. By volunteering with SRHC, students will have the opportunity to improve their clinical skills with the guidance of world class UCLA physicians, manage a variety of health issues in the homeless population, and learn about important issues regarding underserved healthcare from our lunchtime lecture series.
Coordinators: Hanh Nguyen and Jessica Wu
Student Advisors: Regina Husman, Michelle Miller, Jessica Poon
Faculty Advisors: Dr. Sheila Naghshineh, Dr. Margaret Stuber
The mission of the Therapeutic Arts Group at DGSOM is to amplify the innate social-emotional benefits of the arts for wellness and healing through a volunteer program and educational events. In partnership with UCLArts & Healing, students will learn the best practices established by the UCLArts and Healing Social Emotional Arts (SEA) Certificate Program. Training will be in four arts modalities (visual art, dance/movement, poetry, and music), as well as verbal and nonverbal communication, managing special needs, traumatic responses and self-care. Students, using the skills gained, will volunteer time in clinical settings to interact with patients using the art activities. The patient experience will become one of reflection, meaningful dialogue, increased empathy, connection and reduction of emotional distress for all parties involved. In addition, we aim to educate medical students and the community at large about the physical and emotional benefits of art through lunch talks and collaborations with other student groups.