Third Avenue Health Fair

Members of the WCCC attended another community health fair this weekend! Third Avenue Health Fair: Eat Your Colors was a big hit yesterday at the 3rd Avenue Fair.

We partnered with the dietitians from NYP’s Ambulatory Nutrition Service and welcomed ‘participants’ with a colorful array of fruits and veggies, tips to eat foods of different colors (variety is key!), recipe cards, and 10 raffle prizes for Farmer’s Market Green Bucks (each worth $10). We handed out apples and oranges. It was a fun way to positively impact the community!


Frederick Douglas Family Day

IMG_0232Last weekend members and volunteers from the WCCC continued our tradition of participating in local health fairs to help educate our community on healthy living. We tabled a booth at the Frederick Douglas Family Day where we educated families on hidden sugar inside popular food items that they might consume. First year medical student volunteers led the activity and advised participants that “added sugar is not so sweet!” We also talked with people about the WCCC and the services we provide. It was a nice afternoon spent on the Upper West Side!

Summer Students Program

This summer, the WCCC had some undergraduate students volunteering at the front desk of our clinic every week. We were so excited to be able to introduce these students to the health care field and the type of patients we see at our clinic. We spoke to one of our volunteers, Chola Kondeti, a rising fourth-year from St. Bonaventure University, about his experience with us.

IMG_0228“With an interest to pursue a career in medicine and passion for conducting altruistic work, I have chosen to volunteer at Weill Cornell Community Clinic in order to acquaint with the hospital environment while simultaneously contributing towards providing healthcare to uninsured individuals of New York City who do not receive adequate medical treatment. My observation is that WCCC impacts the community by supporting other groups as well as promoting well-being. Unlike similar facilities it not only provides low cost or free services in the areas of primary care, women’s health, psychiatry and laboratory tests/procedures targeting the ailment, but also instills comfort in patients taking solace in the drug reimbursement, social work, health education and insurance eligibility screening programs which assist them further. Thus far I consider this to be a positive experience based on my various interactions, from talking with junior and senior clinicians who answer questions, organize professional events, give valuable advice and otherwise create a supportive environment to greeting happy patients and deriving gratification knowing they were properly cared for. Handling front desk responsibilities has perhaps most importantly allowed development of my professional conduct, efficient work strategy skills, and effective communication essential for pursuing my future academic and career-related aspirations.”

Thank you so much Chola and our other students for helping out this summer, we hope you enjoyed your time with the WCCC!

Board Member Spotlight

This month’s spotlight is Neville Dusaj, Student Scheduler:

IMG_0225“I currently serve the WCCC by scheduling volunteer students to assist at the clinic, ranging from the senior clinicians who lead patient visits, to the junior clinicians who attend to learn more about patient care, to the volunteers at the front desk who help ensure the clinic runs smoothly. I enjoy my position most because it allows me to connect the clinic to our community of medical students, and ensure that not only are there enough students to serve our patients as best as possible, but that students also have the opportunity to learn from their experiences at the clinic. Since starting medical school, I have been interested in trying to help the clinic move forward with its mission of providing care to some of the most vulnerable patient populations. Not only has my current position made that possible, but it has also allowed me to engage with the clinic in many other ways, such as assisting with the annual fundraiser. Beyond that, being able to volunteer at the clinic has been a truly eye-opening experience. Getting to see the struggles that some of our patients endure has shown me a side of medicine that just isn’t easily taught in the classroom setting. Having the privilege of working with the WCCC has been one of my most impactful experiences thus far in medical school, and I will take these experiences with me through the rest of my career.”

Board Member Spotlight

IMG_0223Our Board Member spotlight this month is Mariam Gadjiko, Gyn Referral Services.

“As the Women’s Health Referrals Coordinator, I am responsible for making sure that the patients we see in our Women’s Clinic are scheduled for any necessary imaging and procedures outside of our clinic as well as for any follow-up appointments with outside specialists. For many women in the New York City area, our clinic is the only way that they are able to gain access to valuable screening and early detection services, and it is so rewarding to know that I play a small part in providing our patients the well-woman care that they need and deserve. The gratification that many of our patients express when I interact with them always brightens up my day and reminds of the many reasons that I chose to go into the medical field! Getting a chance to work with patients in a clinical setting and seeing how medical care is provided to uninsured communities has been a perfect addition to my medical education.”

Thanks for supporting WCCC!

Last week the Weill Cornell Community Clinic successfully held its annual fundraiser Without a Safety Net! Faculty, students, and community members gathered together to help celebrate and support all of the work done by the WCCC to provide health care to those without access. We had over 100 attendees at the fundraiser and twenty one of the twenty two silent auction items were sold. We’d like to say thank you so much to our caterers, Great Perfomances, for providing all of our guests with delicious food and full stomachs.
Thank you again to our amazing directors Dr. Charney (Medicine Clinic), Dr. Allen (Women’s Clinic), and Dr. Lohista (Psych Clinic) for their time and commitment. Special shout out to this year’s recipient of the Spirit of Service Award, Dr Bruneus, for her dedication to the WCCC. And finally, we would also like to give a huge shout out to our Fundraising Director, Kalee Shah, for planning such an amazing event!
We are thrilled by the great success of this year’s fundraiser and would like to thank everyone for their continued support of the WCCC.

Spirit of Service Award

IMG_0093This week we are excited to spotlight one of our physician volunteers, Dr. Magalie Bruneus! She is being honored at the WCCC’s annual fundraiser – Without A Safety Net – this Thursday evening.

At our celebration, the directors of WCCC will present Dr. Bruneus with the WCCC Spirit of Service Award, which annually recognizes an individual who has gone above and beyond in their dedication to the clinic, our patients, and our mission. As a core member of our volunteer attending team, Dr. Bruneus truly embodies the ethos of the WCCC through her dedication to providing our patients with comprehensive, thorough care while prioritizing teaching and mentoring our student leaders.

We got to know Dr. Bruneus better and learn more about her involvement with the clinic as we prepare to honor her later this week.

Tell us more about yourself

As a medical student at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, I took part in a voluntary evening course in social medicine offered to pre-clinical students where we learned a great deal about the social determinants of health and its impact on the community. I actively participated in the free clinic at the school and community health fairs as the community service liaison for the Student National Medical Association (SNMA).
During my medical training, my experiences in working overseas in Guatemala and Haiti have taught me the value of providing care to those in need in a community. I have had involvement in the global health delivery online community and with Boston based organization that focuses mostly on educating medical providers via an online platform. Most recently, my involvement in the community have been on a local level.
I have volunteered with Heart-to-Heart Community Outreach Program, another WCM student-run organization and I am very pleased to continue to provide outpatient services to patients through the Weill Cornell Community Clinic at the NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell campus, becoming part of its mission while I am currently a practicing Internal Medicine Hospitalist. Overall, I enjoy providing proficient, patient-centered clinical care in a way that fosters the patients’ sense of empowerment and engagement in their own personal care.

How do you believe the clinic impacts our patients/community?
The clinic greatly impacts the patients and the community by providing services to people on a longitudinal basis who otherwise would not be able to have access to healthcare. During my four years of volunteering, we have helped diagnose patients with new malignancies, suicide crises, need for surgical procedures, and a myriad of common medical issues, including prevention. In cases where the clinic is unable to help, we facilitate referral to safety net hospitals. This clinic is a haven to the patients in the community who have no where to go and facilitate the provision of care in a compassionate and supportive environment.

Why do you chose to volunteer?
I feel grateful for all my teachers and mentors who have given me so much and enjoy giving back by contributing to the community at large by precepting the medical students and providing care in a unique way while addressing the medical needs of some of the hardest working New Yorkers in the area – people who serve as the back bone of our busy community and greatly contribute to our working environment, yet can not afford basic medical care.I chose to volunteer because the experience allows me the opportunity to interact with people of different backgrounds, cultures, walks of life, journeys, and stories, who are unable to have access to clinical care due to cost.

How do you think WCCC adds to the medical school curriculum/experience?
I believe that WCCC not only adds to the academic value of the medical school curriculum by allowing students to hone-in their communication and clinical skills, it also fosters an environment for them to truly learn the practice of modern medicine in its actual contemporary form and achieve the domain of practice-based learning.

The clinic allows the students to function in various critical roles such as: being a team member in an interdisciplinary team of social workers, pharmacy students, medical assistants; acting as a patient navigator or patient advocate. For some of the participating senior students who serve as executive clinical board members, they become more familiar with some of the administrative skills required to run a clinic, as a result of active involvement in the function of the clinic, the logistics of following up on a sick and uninsured patient, the focused outreach to challenging patients, and acting as a mentor/guide to their fellow junior clinicians in the clinic. It has also been very rewarding to see the incredible growth of the student from a junior clinician at the clinic to poised and professional house staff.

Thank you so much Dr. Bruneus for all your time and dedication to the Weill Cornell Community Clinic and congratulations on your award!