UVA Population Health leads a number of community-based initiatives and welcomes PBPM students to participate and/or observe. From serving at local COVID-testing sites to joining trained professionals on home-based clinical visits, students will have the opportunity to see what healthcare looks like outside of a medical facility. Programs many include: WellAWARE Community Health Worker program, Community Paramedicine, Virginia at Home, and Medicine HOME.
PBPM Staff work directly with the volunteer coordinators at the UVA Health System to provide an orientation to UVA Hospital as well as to discuss weekly volunteer opportunities at its medical center. Students who choose to pursue a volunteer opportunity at UVA are expected to complete a total of 50 volunteer hours, ideally through a 3 hour/week shift.
PBPM '18 Alum, Michael Schad writes: My decision to volunteer in the UVa ER was initially motivated by my prior experience as an EMT and desire to learn more about this field of medicine. However, while I was no doubt driven by a personal interest in EM, I would highly recommend this position to anyone for whom strong patient interaction is a priority. In this volunteer role, you are afforded the opportunity to make rounds in the ER and offer comfort items to patients. This small gesture generally has a positive impact on those you serve and can lead to many interesting conversations and experiences. Volunteers also restock supplies, which is always appreciated by the healthcare staff.
Post-bac students interested in volunteering at Charlottesville Free Clinic will be notified when a volunteer orientation becomes available. Student volunteers have opportunities to serve in a variety of clinical, patient-facing, or administrative roles which work alongside volunteer medical professionals (doctors, nurses, medical students, etc) and provide insight into what healthcare opportunities are available to low-income populations. Volunteers sign up for shifts when they are available on specific weeknights, so scheduling can be a bit more flexible.
PBPM '18 Alum, Vanessa Ramirez writes: During the post-bac program, I chose to volunteer at the Charlottesville Free Clinic because it gave me unique insight into all aspects of a clinic. As an Interpreter, I was involved in every portion of a patient’s visit. I gained exposure to financial screening, administrative operations, triage, physician’s visits, exit interviews and pharmacy. I also got the opportunity to work with a variety of different specialties such as endocrinology, dermatology and psychiatry. I was able to develop great relationships with providers and staff, and even got to know some of the patients. The clinic also opened my eyes to many of the challenges faced in modern healthcare. Volunteering at the Free Clinic provided invaluable experience which has been instrumental to the application process.