SHARING stories

Compiled by Sandy Goetzinger-Comer, UNMC public affairs | April 04, 2008

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Sharing students review the patient schedule with faculty advisor, Jim Medder, M.D., right. The student from left are Keith Jensen, Erica Peterson and Bill Dorwart. All three are second-year medical students.
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Medical student Sara Reppert, right, finds out what brought Guillermina Bueno and her husband, Eduardo, into the SHARING Clinic as medical student Andrew Casper translates.
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Physical Therapy students Katie Blacketer, left, and Jenifer Johnson, right, help Bueno with some stretches as Casper translates.
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Clinical laboratory science student Jill Sanley, left, and Lindsey Mollner perform tests for SHARING patients.
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Third-year pharmacy student Jaclyn Schuurmans prepares medication for a patient at the SHARING Clinic as second-year pharmacy student Beth Boals works in the background.
Students, faculty and donors share their passion about the UNMC SHARING Clinics.

"I got involved in SHARING because I thought it would be an excellent experience, both educationally and clinically, to work with underserved people, patients who need quality health care badly. I served as one of the co-research coordinator and over the past year we have worked to initiate a methods to track our patients, determine more exact patient demographics, and to determine what kinds of problems they have in acquiring healthcare. How they get to the clinic, and the kinds of health care needs they have that are not being met. The goal is to better understand our patient population and to use that information provide the best care possible and to create the best educational experience for the students." -- Second-year medical student Bill Dowart

"Helping the community was a big part in my decision to come to the sharing clinic. We've gotten so much from our education and I think it's a good thing to be able to reach out and help other people. The nice thing about the SHARING Clinic is that we get a chance to work with all different disciplines, so when we work with patients, we can see the big picture from beginning to end." -- Clinial laboratory sciences student Jill Sanley

"There were several 'ah ha' moments throughout the year. The first one was learning how the finances of a clinic work. Most med students don't have a major business background, so learning the business aspect and the financial aspect and the fundraising aspect were huge." -- Second-year medical student Erica Peterson, who also serves as a 2007-08 SHARING co-president

"I initially wanted to be on the SHARING clinic board to gain hands-on clinical pharmacy knowledge. I feel the greatest value that I received from the SHARING clinic was making myself aware of varying costs of medications. Pharmacy students are commonly faced with making medication decisions and many options exist with similar efficacy, but varying costs. I feel this experience has allowed me to effectively care for my patients and be compassionate toward their concerns of rising health care costs." -- Third-year pharmacy student Jaclyn Schuurmans

"An appreciation for the cost of health care and learning how to utilize resources to provide care to individuals with limited resources are some of the beneficial aspects of participating on the SHARING board. This is important because most patients treated at the SHARING clinics are without health insurance. I feel fortunate to have been accepted to UNMC for medical school because of this unique opportunity, which has changed the way that I'll practice medicine forever." -- Fourth-year medical student Katie Lazure, a past SHARING Co-President

SHARING Achievements 2007-08

Some accomplishments achieved in the past year at the UNMC SHARING Clinics include:

  • Patient continuity program;
  • Several students have been seeing the same patient each time the patient visits clinic as a way to improve continuity in the patient's care and to make more time for patient education and counseling;
  • Addition of Social Work Student to the Board;
  • A social work student has become involved in the clinics to facilitate financial paperwork as well as to help patients understand their financial status as to what types of care are available to them;
  • Addition of the College of Dentistry to the Board;
  • A faculty and student representative from the College of Dentistry have joined the board this year. Students have also started to come to clinic for oral screenings and to better facilitate patient referrals to dental clinics in Omaha;
  • The College of Dentistry is also starting their own Dental SHARING Clinic in Lincoln;
  • Exercise and Nutrition Education Classes;
  • Physical therapy students have initiated Exercise and Nutrition education group sessions to be conducted at GOODLIFE in the spring and fall;
  • Improving Education on Student-Run Clinics; and
  • Five students attended a National Conference about Student-Run Clinics, and the board plans to continue to increase education by further communication with other student-run clinics across the country.

  • "As a funder myself, I constantly am sharing the word about SHARING. They're very good stewards of the money. When you make a donation to the SHARING Clinic, you can be very confident that they are going to use every bit of that dollar to help the patient." -- Christine Johnson, president of the Mutual of Omaha Foundation

    "I am a supporter of the SHARING clinics, because I see students serving less advantaged people, seeing another side of the community. They're learning about the financial side of providing and receiving medical care and giving of their time, which hopefully makes them appreciate their own position and privileges." -- Carol Swarts, M.D., a radiation oncologist and 1959 College of Medicine graduate

    "A very wise and smart friend of mine explained the SHARING Clinic to me this way, 'It's the students who run the clinic, but it's the rest of us who keep the clinic running through our donations and support.' Who of us doesn't have something hanging in our closet that costs $100. That $100 is spent and really not missed. But if you took that same $100 and gave it to the SHARING clinic, these young health care workers could stretch that out for an entire year's care for a patient and the reward will come back to you many, many times over." -- Community volunteer Mary Wilson

    "I've been involved with the SHARING Clinic for close to 10 years. I like being involved with the students and interacting with the people in the neighborhood who need care. I tell other faculty, 'If you're not here, you're missing out.' You're missing out on the fun of seeing students learn and grateful patients get better. This is a unique experience for the students. They organize the clinic and coordinate it all themselves. The other thing they've learned here is teamwork, having different health care professionals working together." -- Carol Lacroix, M.D., clinical associate professor of family medicine at UNMC

    "Physical Therapy students are one of the newest disciplines to join the SHARING clinic and it's been an exciting couple of years. It really is an extremely educational and rewarding opportunity for all of us. I think it's great that there is a place where students can help to fulfill the needs of underserved populations while honing their skills for the future!" -- Second-year physical therapy student Jenifer Johnson

    "I've been involved in the SHARING Clinic for a year. Students see things here that they don't see every day or in other clinics. I think it makes them think on their feet. They get to be more independent than they do in a lot of their clinical experiences." -- Greg Karst, Ph.D., assistant dean for academic affairs in the UNMC School of Allied Health Professions

    "As a faculty member, the SHARING Clinics are important to me because they offer such an excellent interdisciplinary learning environment for health care students. Students from many disciplines participate and this enriches the educational experience for each student. They get to see other points of view and share ideas to improve each patient's health. ... The SHARING Clinics not only provide a great learning experience for our students, but they also provide excellent health care to a population of underserved, uninsured patients that would otherwise have difficulty accessing this care." -- Bruce Lovejoy, instructor in the College of Nursing's Department of Community-Based Health.