DEAC Advisory Board selects Young and Baker as liaisons for the Class of 2016

The DEAC Clinic Advisory Board unanimously named Kelly Young and Joseph Baker student liaisons for the PA Program Class of 2016.

DEAC Clinic is a student-run, physician-staffed free clinic held every Wednesday evening at the Community Care Center on New Walkertown Road in Winston-Salem. DEAC stands for Delivering Equal Access to Care, and this clinic was created to do just that. In 2006, a small group of Wake Forest School of Medicine medical students envisioned creating a student-led clinic that would endeavor to reach the underserved local community. Just two years later, in 2008, the first DEAC clinic was held.

DEAC Clinic is unique in that it serves a specific and often overlooked patient population who cannot afford health insurance yet do not qualify for government assistance. It provides long-term continuity of care for these patients, along with speciality clinics, free medications and blood work on site, social services, mental health and STI screening, community wellness, and preventive care.

When asked what motivated them to pursue DEAC leadership, the PA student liaisons were excited to talk about their passion for the underserved. Both Kelly and Joseph worked as EMTs in areas where they were confronted with patients who needed medical care but hesitated to seek it because they could not afford the cost.

Kelly grew up in a rural county and has worked at free clinics in the past. “I’ve really enjoyed working with people who don’t have the same health care opportunities that I was privileged to grow up with, and being a part of DEAC is a way I can personally impact those people,” Kelly shared.

Joseph has volunteered overseas and chose Wake Forest’s PA program largely because of the opportunity to be involved with the DEAC Clinic. “When I heard about all the leadership positions available,” Joseph explained, “I knew DEAC was the one I was most passionate about, especially when I found out about the population DEAC served. This is the patient population that really has nothing.”

Both liaisons want to advocate for continued improvements at the clinic, to encourage more community awareness about the clinic’s presence, and to motivate health care professionals and students alike to give of their time to meet the needs of DEAC patients. [written by Jana Villanueva, Class of 2016]

 


 

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