Junior Board Spotlight: Max Morin



Position: Continuity of Care Coordinator


What does your position do?

I coordinate the Continuity of Care (CoC) program. This is a program that matches first year students with WCCC patients who could use some extra support with their medical care. I make sure all students in the program are aware of their CoC appointments, and I assist with any problems they may have. I will also organize the selection of next year’s CoC students!


What motivated you to get involved with the clinic?

The WCCC fulfills an amazing mission of providing medical care to a very vulnerable patient population, while also providing excellent opportunities for students to get involved in various ways. I just wanted to join in this mission and help my classmates do the same.


What do you enjoy about your position?

I really enjoy getting to introduce patients to the CoC program. At first, many of them seem unsure of what to expect, but once they get to meet their CoC student, they are grateful for the extra layer of support. I also enjoy interacting with my classmates in the program and working our way through challenging situations!


How would you like to move the clinic forward?

I would like to have more students in the CoC program, and I would like the CoC students to get more training in areas that are important to the WCCC patient population. So far, I have been able to consent three more patients into the program with at least one more on the way, and the CoC Academy (a program to train CoC students) just had its first session!






Junior Board Spotlight: Brian LaGrant


Position: Mental Health Resources Coordinator

What does your position do?

One of my duties is to educate patients of the Mental Health Clinic, a subset of the WCCC, on affordable sources of psychotherapy throughout the city. I am available to help guide them through the process of contacting a clinic and setting up an appointment, as it is not an easy one.

Most of my time is spent working with the Depression Screen. The Depression Screen was implemented earlier this year by the previous Mental Health Resources Coordinator and serves to identify which patients of the WCCC may have Major Depressive Disorder. This is especially important because the patients of the WCCC come from low socioeconomic backgrounds and therefore have high risk of developing mood disorders. The earlier we can identify who might be suffering from Major Depressive Disorder, the faster we can implement a treatment plan and improve the patient’s quality of life.


What motivated you to get involved with the clinic?

After entering Weill and learning more about the WCCC, it sounded like it was the perfect fit for me: I could help out those who need it most while developing my clinical skills in a judgement-free setting. I wasn’t sure how true this was, so I signed up for a Junior Clinician shift. I remember during my first visit to the clinic the older medical students and the attending physician were extremely kind and willing to help me learn, even though I barely knew anything about medicine. The medical student helped perfect my newly-learned vital signs skills, and the attending asked for my input on the patient’s well-being. The patient left that visit much less scared and much more hopeful for the future, and I felt great having helped this one individual – but I wanted to do more.

In college, I developed a keen interest in neuroscience, and was specifically drawn towards the scientific basis behind psychiatric disorders. Growing up I had seen first-hand how anxiety and PTSD had afflicted my mother and brother, but I sought to grasp the underpinnings of these conditions. I learned extensively about the social and environmental contributions to mental health, but wanted to learn more. Given all of this, serving as the Mental Health Resources Coordinator on the Junior Board seemed like the perfect fit for me.


What do you enjoy about your position?

My favorite aspect of the position is meeting the patients of the Mental Health Clinic. When at clinic, I get to meet many of the patients and hear them share their life stories. Within the span of the past couple months, I have already begun seeing some of the same patients for a second or third time. I get to see how they are doing and whether they have improved from the last time, which is always exciting for me. They often remember me, too, which I hope makes them feel more comfortable when visiting us.

In addition, the Mental Health Resources Coordinator is one of the newer positions on the Junior Board. So, the duties and roles of the position have not been completely determined. This means there is a lot of flexibility for me—I have already come up with several new ideas to potentially implement over the course of the next year.


How would you like to move the clinic forward?

One of my ideas is to allow patients of the Mental Health Clinic to participate in the Continuity of Care (CoC) program. There are many patients who visit the clinic regularly, and after working with these patients, I am confident that a paired student could learn a tremendous amount about the impact of mental health disorders on overall well-being and the contribution of socioeconomic status to mental health. In addition, through a CoC pairing, patients might not only feel more comfortable attending their appointments but might also feel a greater sense of support from the medical system.

We are also beginning to work on various analyses of the Depression Screen, including how effective it has been. This will help us in perfecting the execution of the Depression Screen such as how often is best to screen.

New York Student Run Free Clinic 2017


Earlier this month, a few WCCC Members attended the New York Student Run Free Clinic conference at the Ichan School of Medicine. A yearly event, this conference aims to bring together student leadership of the student run free-clinics in the city, providing a forum to learn from experts in the field, communicate research findings, and discuss pertinent healthcare issues. This year, Junior board members Nicky Blobel and Annie Yau were both able to attend for the first time. As a first year medical student, Annie is new to the board and thought that the conference was a great way to “learn more about other NYC student run clinics, share ideas, and absorb information”. Through the breakout sessions, Annie was able to gain an appreciation for different care models use by other student run free clinics in the city and thinks that the conference allowed her to reflect on how the WCCC could incorporate some of these changes.

First year Nicky Blobel also believed the conference allowed him to critically consider the services provided by the WCCC and ways to further improve care. As the Physician Recruitment Coordinator, Nicky is particularly interested in how we can continue to improve access to care from a provider side. Attending this conference allowed him to engage in small group discussions that help him reflect on immediate ways to continue to improve the WCCC. While the WCCC recently added a dietician counseling service, Nicky believes that “it would be useful to expand on this and provide information on nutrition to all of our patients in the form of an educational pamphlet, or even mobile phone application”.

Both Nicky and Annie enjoyed connecting to other medical students through the sharing of ideas, difficulties, and plans for future. Spending an afternoon learning from others who are passionate about providing access to the underserved populations of New York gave Annie “an incredible appreciation for what an amazing job the WCCC directors do to support the clinic” both in “delivering robust patient care but also in looking long-term to the future”.

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.”