The Student Clinic Council at Tulane School of Medicine provides many free health services to underserved populations, offering health care at 30 clinics in the Greater New Orleans area. (Photo courtesy of the Student Clinic Board)
The Student Clinic Council (SCC) at Tulane School of Medicine has taken on the important mission of providing access to health care for underserved populations in New Orleans.
SCC is a collection of volunteer medical students who operate free clinics throughout the city. Under the leadership of Helen Pope, CSC Faculty Advisor and Medical School Instructor, and Mallory Loe, this year’s CSC Chair and third-year medical student, CSC has expanded its offerings to 30 clinics in the Greater New Orleans area this spring. .
“During my first shift as clinic manager at Ozanam Inn, a patient thanked us for organizing the clinic and said, ‘If you weren’t all here, many of us wouldn’t be getting any care. health.’ This statement is the epitome of why I wanted to become a clinician – to provide free medical services to members of our community who cannot afford to access them on their own. I am grateful and honored to play a small role in caring for the people of New Orleans,” said Neha Arora, second-year medical student and preceptor at the Ozanam Inn.
Expanding their services is a priority for SCC, which served over 3,000 patients this year. SCC Clinics offer a vaccine team at six sites, patient education at two sites, preceptor clinics at six sites, a specialist referral clinic at one site, and screening and testing services at 15 sites.
The vaccine community currently offers influenza, pneumococcal, and hepatitis A vaccines and hopes to offer COVID vaccines in the near future.
The preceptor clinics, located at Bridge House, Street Health, Ozanam Inn, New Orleans Mission, Luke’s House and Grace House, serve as a gateway to primary care for patients. Many patients do not have access to consistent primary care. CSC therefore has a unique and essential role in helping to meet these needs and enable patients to take charge of their health. For example, leaders at Luke’s House identified a need in their patient population and are now working with LSU Health residents to provide ophthalmology services.
The specialized referral clinic, Fleur de Vie Nola Est, offers multiple sub-specialties including dermatology, nephrology and endocrinology. In addition to clinical services, patient education programs are offered at Bridge House and Grace House.
Other clinical services operated by CSC are the Asian Pacific American Medical Student Association (APAMSA) screening clinic, tuberculosis screening clinics at six sites throughout the city, and Acacia, which provides screening services for sexually transmitted infections and counseling resources at eight sites.
The services provided by SCC to the New Orleans community are an inspiration to volunteers and patients. “The Broadmoor Food Bank site provides care to the community in a way that is different from our other Acacia sites. It’s so much fun to sit with patients in the neighborhood and see them regularly. Patients make me feel welcome and part of the community, and I hope I do the same for them. I love spending my Monday mornings in Broadmoor!” said Carlisle Washburne, second-year medical student and head of Acacia at Broadmoor Pantry.
CSC continues to need physician preceptors and medical student leaders to provide patient care and advance clinic projects. To learn more about SCC, click here. If you are interested in volunteering or contributing to a specific clinical project, contact us here.