Saturday, September 30, 2006 marked the first
Pomona Community Health Action Team (PCHAT) event of the academic year.
PCHAT provides free health care screenings and wellness clinics throughout
the year to people who typically do not have health insurance, access to
health care, or immigration documentation. Many of the people served are
usually income challenged, and in some cases – homeless.
PCHAT really wants to help our community be as healthy as possible,”” said
PCHAT President Lauren Karp, a second-year medical student at
WesternU. “”Patients at the screenings encounter students and clinicians
waiting to perform free glucose checks, histories and physicals. Club
officers armed with information about child and adult health education,
how to sign up for health insurance, and where to go in Pomona to receive
the most appropriate care are also on hand at the screenings. For so
many of these patients, the clinic serves as a safe haven and a crucial
starting point on the road to better health.””
People in need are encouraged to visit the PCHAT health
regardless of financial situation or resident status. They do not need
to bring identification, insurance cards, or money. This is a benefit to
those who want to remain healthy but are unable to afford services.
Created by Dr. Rafi Younoszai, a professor at WesternU, PCHAT has
provided free health screening and education to the community since
1995. It is a service fueled each year by the enthusiasm of students and
faculty from each of WesternU’s programs, eager to make a difference for
the underserved of Pomona. In addition to providing such a needed
service, the student volunteers are also gaining key clinic skills.
“”We are learning the nuts and bolts of free clinic organization and
understanding the value of our work,”” said Lauren Karp. “”It gives
meaning to the many hours of studying, and proves to each of us that we
can be involved in something that truly makes a difference.””
PCHAT is comprised of students and faculty from Western University of
Health Sciences, Pomona Unified School District, Pomona Valley Hospital
Medical Center, Pomona Police Department and Associated Pomona Teachers.