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Shade Tree Trot, other events help raise funds for student-run clinic

May. 3, 2018, 9:26 AM

The recent Shade Tree Trot and associated Benefit Dinner and Silent Auction raised $98,000 to support the student-run Shade Tree Clinic. (photo by Anne Rayner)

The 2018 Shade Tree Trot, which took place April 21, was a great success, raising $98,000, in combination with funds from the Benefit Dinner and Silent Auction, to support the medical student-run Shade Tree Clinic, which provides care to the underserved population of Nashville.

More than 640 students, faculty, staff and friends participated in the run, organized by Trot directors and Vanderbilt University School of Medicine students Stephanie Hadley and Ben Campbell.

Prior to the start of the Trot, Brian Drolet, MD, assistant professor of Plastic Surgery, and Beth Ann Yakes, MD, associate professor of Medicine, recognized Ann Price, MD, associate dean for Alumni Affairs, for her support both personally and through the Vanderbilt Medical Alumni Affairs since the Trot’s inception 10 years ago.

“Dr. Price has supported the Trot since we started 10 years ago, and has been at nearly every race helping to make sure it went off smoothly,” Yakes said. “She has been an invaluable resource in connecting us to Vanderbilt community contacts, community partners to help us advertise the Trot and the development office to help us increase our ability to fundraise through the event. Her office of Alumni Affairs also helps us subsidize the costs of our T-shirts, which minimizes our costs and increases the impact of the event for supporting the clinic,” Yakes said.

This year the medical students wanted to expand on the spirit of giving and service embodied by the Shade Tree Clinic and Shade Tree Trot to include other organizations throughout Nashville. Spearheaded by the Medical Student Wellness Committee and Council of Class Officers, medical student Anne Sun and other students organized service projects at three sites.

One group sorted and packed food at Second Harvest Food Bank to help provide meals to individuals and families in Middle Tennessee that suffer from food insecurity.

A second group worked with Earth Matters on gardening efforts to grow healthier neighborhoods. A third group worked to restore and maintain the Shade Tree Clinic community garden at the Salvation Army property.

About 50 volunteers participated in this day of service, in addition to students who worked a full day at the clinic after finishing the Trot, seeing about 20-25 patients.

“Our hope and plan is that these efforts are only the beginning. From a wellness perspective, acts of service benefit not only the broader Nashville community, but also the personal well-being of medical students, and it’s safe to say that what we experienced this past weekend supports that notion,” said student Hannah Phelps, co-president of the Student Wellness Program.

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