August 3, 2007

Med students’ initiative to help teens recognized

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School of Medicine students Dan Stover, left, and Drew Conrad have received support for their community service initiative. (photo by Susan Urmy)

Med students’ initiative to help teens recognized

Vanderbilt University School of Medicine students Dan Stover and Drew Conrad have received the Alpha Omega Alpha (AOA) Medical Student Service Project Award to fund their effort, Healthcare for Teens in Crisis.

AOA is the National Honor Medical Society.

The $1,500 grant from the AOA national office supports a new or growing medical student-driven service project. Healthcare for Teens in Crisis is a cooperative effort between two programs that Vanderbilt medical students operate: the VUSM-Oasis Project and the Shade Tree Family Clinic.

“The goal of our project is to provide excellent, free medical care and basic health education to underserved and homeless teens,” said Stover, a fourth-year medical student.

“Adolescents often fall through the current health care net as they shift toward adulthood, something we found when tutoring and mentoring youth at Oasis.”

The Shade Tree Family Clinic offers primary care services, including free medications, and serves as a vital resource for the entire community.

The Oasis project is a far-reaching, youth-centered organization that offers safety, hope, healing and opportunities for growth to youth, whether homeless, needing counseling, or wanting to become involved in their community.

This service project will encourage adolescents receiving services from Oasis to obtain health care as needed at Shade Tree. The funding will provide transportation for the youth and resources to support any increased volume at clinic.

“We are very excited about two independent medical student projects synergistically working to provide medical care and other services to adolescents in Nashville,” said Conrad, a third-year VUSM student.

Stover and Conrad will work with fellow medical students Courtney Harrison, leader of the VMS-Oasis Project, and Eve Henry and Caitlin Toomey, Shade Tree Clinic leaders, to implement Healthcare for Teens in Crisis in the coming months.