WesternU Students Serve Those Most in Need
Pomona, Calif. - 10/02/2006 -- Saturday, September 30, 2006 marked the first Pomona Community Health Action Team (PCHAT) event of the academic year. PCHAT provides free health care screenings and wellness clinics throughout the year to people who typically do not have health insurance, access to health care, or immigration documentation. Many of the people served are usually income challenged, and in some cases - homeless. PCHAT really wants to help our community be as healthy as possible," said PCHAT President Lauren Karp, a second-year medical student at WesternU. "Patients at the screenings encounter students and clinicians waiting to perform free glucose checks, histories and physicals. Club officers armed with information about child and adult health education, how to sign up for health insurance, and where to go in Pomona to receive the most appropriate care are also on hand at the screenings. For so many of these patients, the clinic serves as a safe haven and a crucial starting point on the road to better health."
People in need are encouraged to visit the PCHAT health clinics regardless of financial situation or resident status. They do not need to bring identification, insurance cards, or money. This is a benefit to those who want to remain healthy but are unable to afford services.
Created by Dr. Rafi Younoszai, a professor at WesternU, PCHAT has provided free health screening and education to the community since 1995. It is a service fueled each year by the enthusiasm of students and faculty from each of WesternU's programs, eager to make a difference for the underserved of Pomona. In addition to providing such a needed service, the student volunteers are also gaining key clinic skills.
"We are learning the nuts and bolts of free clinic organization and understanding the value of our work," said Lauren Karp. "It gives meaning to the many hours of studying, and proves to each of us that we can be involved in something that truly makes a difference."
PCHAT is comprised of students and faculty from Western University of Health Sciences, Pomona Unified School District, Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center, Pomona Police Department and Associated Pomona Teachers.