TouroCOM Harlem Launches Free, Student-Run Clinic for Harlem Community - Diverse Health

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TouroCOM Harlem Launches Free, Student-Run Clinic for Harlem Community

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by Monica Levitan

Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine (TouroCOM) Harlem campus Dean Dr. David Forstein has recently announced the opening of a free, student-run clinic to serve the Harlem community.

The Touro Harlem Health Clinic has begun reaching out to the Harlem community in efforts of scheduling appointments for individuals who cannot afford medical services, do not have health insurance or are uninsured, according to a TouroCOM release. The health clinic been in the works for several years.

“With the Touro Harlem Health Clinic we are continuing our vital mission in our community by training a diverse cohort of new doctors, who will help reduce health care disparities and improve patient care throughout Harlem,” Forstein said. “We are all very proud and excited that our long-held dream of opening a free, student-run clinic for those in need is finally coming to fruition.”

Funding for the Touro Harlem Health Clinic comes from student fundraising efforts and donated office space by the TouroCOM Family Health Center, which serves as a student health center and an additional resources for community health services, said Hanna Khadraoui, a second-year student and chair of the clinic’s 19-member student planning committee.

“The students are anxiously awaiting an opportunity to volunteer,” Khadraoui said. “It increases their clinical experience and exposes them to different patient populations. Working in a free clinic for the underserved and underinsured is a valuable learning experience.”

The clinic offers a wide range of services to patients, including comprehensive histories and physical examinations; preventative care; health education and nutrition counseling; insurance and benefits screenings; in addition to vaccinations and referrals to other community services in the Harlem area. Students volunteering at the clinic who are bilingual in Spanish, English and Mandarin are available to staff the clinic, according to the accommodations of the clients scheduled to come in.

The health clinic officially opened in November 2018 and runs one Sunday a month. Services are provided by appointment only, and clients are scheduled to be seen by a team of junior and senior students with supervision of a licensed physician and faculty member at TouroCOM.

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