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UC San Diego Free Clinic Receives Gift from Clark CARES Foundation  

 

December 17, 2008 

The volunteers and patients of the UC San Diego Student-Run Free Clinic Project celebrated some early holiday cheer thanks to a generous gift from the Clark CARES Foundation, which presented the Free Clinic with a $15,000 contribution.

The donation will support the medical and preventive care activities of the UC San Diego Student-Run Free Clinic, which serves the underserved at three different community sites.   The check was presented by Kevin Legge, senior project manager, and Chris Carl, also an employee of Clark Construction, to UC San Diego Free Clinic advisor Ellen Beck, M.D., clinical professor of family and preventive medicine at the UC San Diego School of Medicine.

Free Clinic

Clockwise l-r: Pictured during a tour of the Third Avenue Free Clinic site are Kevin Legge, senior project manager, and Chris Carl, both of Clark Construction; Ellen Beck, M.D., clinical professor of family and preventive medicine, UC San Diego, and Free Clinic adviser; Jess Mandel, M.D., associate dean for undergraduate medical education, UC San Diego; Jim Lovell, social worker with the Third Avenue Charitable Organization; acupuncturist Aaron Cook, and Natalie Rodriguez, M.D., a fellow with the Free Clinic.

“We are very grateful to Clark for this gift, especially in these difficult times, with the economic crisis resulting in even more people who need our services, at the same time that it’s become more difficult to generate charitable support,” said Beck.

The UCSD Student-Run Free Clinic Project is an 11-year-old university/community partnership of volunteers led by students at the UC San Diego School of Medicine.  Undergraduate, medical and pharmacy students, UC San Diego medical and pharmacy faculty, and community health professionals join together to provide health care and social services to the underserved at three separate clinics each week.  

Founded in 1997 by Beck and a group of medical students, the UC San Diego Student Run Free Clinic has served more than 7,000 patients, providing over 20,000 visits, at three clinic sites.  The first two sites were established in space donated by local churches in downtown San Diego and Pacific Beach where the students serve primarily adults, working poor and the street homeless.  By October 1998, a third site opened at Baker Elementary School, expanding the services to women, children, and families in the Mountain View community. 

The clinic project is a student-run endeavor, under the supervision of the fellows, residents and licensed practitioners. The project introduces future physicians, pharmacists, dentists, and others to every aspect of a healthcare career, including logistics, organization, and administrative details in addition to caring for the patients. Community partners offer social and legal services, acupuncture, and other services. In addition, a street homeless outreach team goes out several times a month providing basic advice to those on the street, and encouraging follow-up at one of the three clinic sites.

Established in 2005, Clark CARES captures the spirit of philanthropy deeply rooted throughout the Clark family of companies, including the San Diego Offices of Clark Construction Group – CA; LP, Clark Design/Build of California, Inc.; Clark Realty Capital and Clark Builder’s Group. Clark Design/Build of California, Inc. is the lead contractor for the University of California San Diego (UCSD) North Campus Housing Phase 2 project which will provide accommodations for 800 students. 

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Media Contact: Leslie Franz, 619-543-6163, lfranz@ucsd.edu

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