Reviewed by: Sharron Swain
Pharmacy students from the Auburn University Harrison College of Pharmacy’s campus in Mobile and health care professions students from the University of South Alabama came together in 2014 and founded what has now turned into the USA Student Run Free Clinic. Keep reading to see the impact this partnership is making today.
Preparing students for the future
Operated out of the Salvation Army on Dauphin Street in downtown Mobile, students collaborate to empower patients through health education, promotion of health literacy and improving access to health resources.
The interprofessional nature of the free clinic allows Harrison College of Pharmacy, or HCOP, students to get a preview of what lies ahead in a professional setting, considering so much of health care today is done in a team setting like the clinic’s.
“Interprofessional experience has been a big part of the HCOP curriculum and being able to actually use these skills before entering my fourth year was important to me. This experience has allowed me to see the roles of other disciplines in a health care team and where my place was as a pharmacy student.”Angelique Holmes, HCOP, Class of 2024
Teaching the importance of serving
Students working in the free clinic see a variety of patients, many experiencing homelessness. While providing hands-on learning opportunities for students, the clinic also improves their sensitivity to these vulnerable populations and motivates them towards a lifelong commitment to service.
“As health care professionals, it is our responsibility to serve humanity, which includes people from all walks of life, backgrounds and socioeconomic statuses. Everyone deserves access to care, and the patients we serve at Student Run Free Clinic are extremely grateful that we show up for them and provide care each week.”Sarah Grace Barnes, HCOP, Class of 2024
Impacting the community
From improving health outcomes to building and fostering relationships, Auburn and South Alabama students are working together to make a difference in their community.
“Our patients come back to the clinic weekly to get checks on their blood pressure or blood sugar, or just to sit and talk with the volunteers. You never know how you are going to be able to help someone, whether that be by providing services or a listening ear”Angelique Holmes, HCOP, Class of 2024