Students from UTHSC’s Physician Assistant (PA) Program recently raised $500 through t-shirt sales for Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital’s Intermediate Care Unit (IMCU). The IMCU is designed for children who have been released from the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, but still need specialized nursing care and children who will require extensive discharge preparations before going home. The unit was selected by the students through the hospital’s adopt-a-floor program.
This fundraiser was only one of many philanthropic efforts of the first-year PA class. Other efforts included monthly volunteering at the Wellness & Stress Clinic of Memphis, volunteering at two back-to-school drives, serving lunch at the Memphis Union Mission, doing arts and crafts at the Target House, and manning the water station at this year’s St. Jude Marathon with UTHSC’s Interprofessional Student Council.
“We adopted IMCU and one of our events was hosting a cupcake party with games for the patients and their families,” said first-year physician assistant student Naomi Ayodele, who led the student initiative. “We also had a guitarist play and sing for patients who couldn’t leave their rooms.”
While there, students learned about IMCU’s wish list which included items such as strollers that can be used to transport patients with their ventilators and oxygen to playgroup and crib soothers. “We wanted to come up with a way to fund the wish list and that’s how the t-shirt fundraiser came to be,” Ayodele, who serves as community service co-chair for the PA Class of 2019 said. “We were able to raise a little over $500 to go toward that.”
“Being the community service chairs have allowed Naomi and I to truly embrace the community of Memphis,” said Jasmine Wariboko, also a community service co-chair for the PA Class of 2019. “It is an absolute joy to serve the area with our classmates. It has been so much fun and very rewarding.”
“Community outreach is extremely important to the PA program at UTHSC,” said Kristopher Maday, MS, PA-C, associate professor and program director of the Physician Assistant Program. It is one of our central missions and one that we pride ourselves on. We are very proud of our students’ commitment to these endeavors and encourage seeking out more opportunities while they are in our program. We are also looking for volunteer efforts across the state in the Chattanooga, Knoxville, and Nashville areas where they complete their clinical year rotations.”