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UTHSC College of Medicine Residents Hosting Fundraiser and Donation Drive

Dr. Melissa Parkinson, Med-Peds, PGY4, volunteers at Asha’s Refuge, an organization in Memphis which assist with refugee resettlement.

Members of the Guided Resident International Training (GRIT) track in the College of Medicine are hosting a fundraiser and donation drive now through October 15 to benefit World Relief Memphis and Asha’s Refuge, two organizations in Memphis which assist with refugee resettlement.

The GRIT track’s mission is to educate UTHSC Internal Medicine, Pediatrics, and Medicine-Pediatrics residents interested in pursuing work in global health by introducing them to topics and clinical situations they may face in their future careers.

GRIT currently has a membership of 40 residents and accepted its first cohort in July 2020. Dr. Austin Dalgo, MD, assistant professor of Pediatrics in the Division of Palliative Care in the UTHSC College of Medicine and director for the Center for Bioethics and Health Equity (CBHE), and Kenneth Busby, DO, assistant professor in the Department of Pediatrics, helped establish the group on campus.

Dr. Rebecca Gerrity, Med-Peds, PGY3, volunteers with families and children at Asha’s Refuge, one of the Guided Resident International Training (GRIT) track’s many community partners in Memphis.

GRIT accepts around six new members each year from rising PGY-2s from the Internal Medicine, Pediatric, and Medicine-Pediatric residency programs.

“My favorite part of being involved with GRIT is getting to work with local organizations in Memphis,” Selamawit Tesema, MD, Internal Medicine – Pediatrics resident said.At the beginning of 2021, GRIT partnered with local organizations including World Relief Memphis and Asha’s Refuge and residents are assigned to have a longitudinal working and service relationship with each organization. Through these partnerships, we have organized educational health meetings, assisted with COVID vaccination drives, helped with immigration paperwork, and completed physicals for refugees.”

Dr. Tesema currently volunteers with the Memphis Refugee Empowerment Program whose mission is to “empower refugees and immigrants in Memphis by offering high-quality, tailored programming that encourages, educates, and equips individuals, families, and the community.” GRIT was able to partner with them recently on their first community health meeting.

“GRIT was created to educate residents interested in global health,” Dr. Tesema said. “We recognize that global doesn’t just mean working on the field in countries abroad, but we can find “global” in our own city by engaging with local organizations who work with refugees and immigrants.”

Donation boxes are located on the Memphis campus in the Coleman Building (near elevators), the GEB, and the 920 Madison Building (next to the HSC Hub).

List of requested items include:

  • Toiletries (deodorant, shampoo, toothpaste, razors, toilet paper, etc.)
  • Cleaning Supplies (liquid laundry detergent, dishwashing soap, sponges, etc.)
  • Household Supplies (pots, pans, can openers, light bulbs, towels, sheets, kitchen utensils, etc.)
  • School Supplies (backpacks filled with general supplies)
  • Baby Bags (filled with supplies such as diapers, wipes, onesies)
  • Diapers and Wipes (all sizes needed)
  • Nonperishable Foods (dried beans, pasta, rice, canned spaghetti sauce, Nido Toddler Milk, etc.)

Monetary donations can also be made here: https://givebutter.com/cZt05b

Dr. Lindi Berkey, Internal Medicine, PGY-3, presents information during a community health meeting at the Memphis Refugee Empowerment Program.