Medical students are particularly altruistic and the Community Health Alliance (CHA) http://www.oucommunityhealth.com/ certainly showcases that collective spirit of humanitarianism. Created in 2008 by medical students, the CHA is an opportunity to serve the health care needs of an uninsured and underserved population. The CHA partners with various charitable clinics throughout the Oklahoma City area to provide preventative and medicinal services. Working with these clinics, students are able to assist in administering health care to those who would ordinarily be without access to medical attention.
In addition to the CHA, students also sacrifice their limited free time to participate in charitable programs and events that benefit children, families, and adults. The students will also use social avenues to raise both money and awareness for the benefit of others. Medical students visit local middle schools to conduct presentations on healthy lifestyle choices and the hazards of cigarette and tobacco usage. They also visit schools to stimulate interest in the heath profession and encourage students to consider medicine as a career. The students have collected blankets, clothing, diapers and baby food and formula for local infant crisis center, collected funds to purchase winter coats, gloves, hats, and socks for a neighborhood elementary school whose students come from families with an average household income of $17,000, and used a fall formal dance to raise money for a foundation that benefits children born with cleft lips and palates and other craniofacial anomalies. The medical students have hosted booths at campus-wide and city-wide events to promote physical activity, healthy behavior, and good nutrition and have organized and arranged Halloween, holiday, and decorating parties for inpatients of all ages at cancer, nursing, and rehabilitation centers.
Opportunities for philanthropic endeavors are limited only by the imagination and creativity of the medical students. The efforts of their empathy and compassion contribute to their medical education and plant seeds for a future ripe with charitable pursuits.