Fostering Student Community Outreach Efforts
Juarez Medical Missions Trip
The Christian Medical and Dental Association Chapter at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center-El Paso began the medial outreach program in 1989 which has grown to include volunteers from all of the Schools of TTUHSC, the University of Texas Pharmacy Program at the University of Texas at El Paso, the UTEP School of Nursing and William Beaumont Army Medical Center. Co-organized by students in El Paso and Lubbock, the missions trip exposes students to a broad range of border pathologies, work in a third-world environment where lack of water and sanitation facilities are facts of life, and introduces them into the concept of giving of themselves through outreach activities.
TTUHSC students start planning the event nine months in advance, and collect donated pharmaceuticals, toys, and other needed items to carry across the border for the clinic. Donated pharmaceuticals are issued under supervision. Students are exposed to living conditions, social challenges and medical cases they would not experience in a more affluent neighborhood. They gain experience and the sense of contribution to community from these experiences and benefit from role modeling by faculty who give of themselves.
In 2005, 250 students and faculty participated in the Juarez Mission Trip. This year, the number of clinics expanded from six sites to ten, where almost 1,000 people received care.
City Lights Ball and Golf Tournament
The annual City Lights Ball is a fundraising event of the TTUHSC first year medical students. The purpose of the event is to raise money for community agencies that serve children. This event has been the primary community service activity of first year medical students at TTUHSC for the last eight years.The 2005 organizing committee added a golf tournament to the event, "Play a Round for the Kids", which fielded more than 80 participants. The tournament was held prior to the Ball and helped to create anticipation for the Ball.
Students collected silent auction items and cash donations, sold event tickets, and planned the event. The 2005 City Lights Ball had 254 attendees and raised over $35,000 for the three selected charities, Texas Boys' Ranch, Children's Home of Lubbock, and Children's Connection, Inc.
Student Rural Health Organization
This interdisciplinary student organization focuses on professional development for students who are interested in rural practice or rural health issues. An important component of the SRHO is the opportunity to participate in interdisciplinary activities with particular attention to the roles of each health profession in rural health care. Membership is open to allied health sciences, medical, nursing and pharmacy students at the Health Sciences Center as well as to undergraduates from Texas Tech University who are interested in rural health careers.
The organization emphasizes service learning and establishing mentor relationships with rural practitioners and other students.
- Painted and completed minor repairs at the school-based clinic in Hart, Texas (April 2003).
- Conducted a health fair at the annual Farmer-Stockman Show, where students checked glucose, cholesterol and blood pressure for attendees (October 2003).
- Conducted a health fair at the grocery store in Muleshoe, Texas, where students checked glucose, cholesterol, blood pressure, and BMIs for community members (October 2004).
- Participated in National Primary Care Week, October 2004. Students wrote a grant application and received funds from the American Medical Student Association to promote health careers at a regional Career Expo. More than 1,300 high school students from across the South Plains participated in the Career Expo. SRHO students taught high school students how to suture, using pig's feet as models.