Spring 2014 Fall 2016
Message from the Executive Chair & Project Director
As this year’s Executive Chair and Project Director, we are extremely excited to begin another year with ECHO. While we have been involved with the free clinic in different capacities and are at different stages of our medical school careers, our mutual passion for ECHO is rooted in its multi-level identity: an organization providing quality health care in the Bronx, a community of students with a vested interest in serving the underserved, and a group of individuals advancing our knowledge of clinical skills and health care systems. Our goals for ECHO this year span these tiers of involvement, and we hope to continue
ECHO’s Lasting Impact Gina Chang ‘19
Evan Tamura is a recent Einstein graduate (‘16) who has been extensively involved in ECHO during all four of her years at Einstein. Evan shares with us how her involvement at Einstein has influenced her decision to go into family medicine, as she recently matched into a family medicine residency in her home state of California. Q: How were you involved in ECHO throughout your years at Einstein? A: I started off as a women’s health volunteer during the fall of my first year, and then volunteered as a Front Desk Lead and Pre-Clinical Coordinator because I wanted to go into clinic more often. During my second year I served as the Women’s Health Coordinator on the Pre-Clinical Board. Third year, I started training as a Session Coordinator and went to clinic as Front Flow, Back of House, and Fast Track. Later in the year I applied for a position on the Clinical Board, and have since served as one of the Coor-
expanding on the incredible growth of the clinic over the past few years. Many efforts over the past few years have been focused on internal growth, and tremendous strides have been made in regards to increasing services, improving patient flow, and promoting medical education, just to name a few. This year, one of our largest goals extends outside of the clinic doors and into the rich Bronx community. In addition to our existing partnership with a Bronx public middle school where our volunteers engage with students on health education, continued on page 2
dinators of Clinical Teams that train the third year Family Medicine students in addition to other Clinical Board responsibilities. I was particularly interested in that position because I am going into Family Medicine and I wanted to help get 3rd years excited about ECHO and about working with the Einstein Family Medicine department. Q: Why did you want to be involved in ECHO? A: I knew coming into medicine that I wanted to work with underserved populations, and I was excited to hear that pretty much every Einstein student that wants to can be a part of ECHO even during the first year. I loved the team atmosphere and the constant emphasis on learning both clinical patient care and also clinic management skills. I loved being able to continued on page 2 see patients and being a part
In this Issue: Message from ECHO leadership: page 6 ECHO Gala: page 3
SSRFC Conference: pages 3-4
Community Outreach: page 5
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Message from the Executive Chair & Project Director we hope to expand our reach to the adults in our community and spread awareness of ECHO to further increase access to health care and transition people to long-term primary care. As a clinic providing care to over 1,000 patients annually, we hope to do even more this year by establishing new partnerships with community organizations and cultural societies, increasing the number of patients we serve, and going out into the community ourselves to provide health screenings. As students who reap the benefits of being able to learn from such a diverse Bronx population, we hope to give back through these outreach efforts this year. With the third annual Gala in the books, we also hope to strengthen our bonds within the Einstein community and enhance the volunteer experience for our students, without whom ECHO could not function. The past year saw an abundance of student-led research in ECHO, and we hope to continue to encourage students to conduct research that can help the clinic improve the quality of our services and patient care and lead us towards positive evidence-based changes. An initiative we are passionate about this year is to increase the understanding and awareness of ECHO within the Einstein community by implementing ECHO Town Halls during
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which students are welcome to meet the board, provide feedback, and gain a better sense of clinic operations. On behalf of the 2016-2017 ECHO board, we are honored to play a part in leading our amazing group of volunteers and serving the community. We are tremendously excited to begin working on our goals and hope that we can see ECHO flourish over the next year and beyond.
Sincerely, Gina Chang ‘19 & Jessica Faiz ‘17
ECHO’s Lasting Impact of something that felt meaningful during the preclinical years. When I served on the pre-clinical board, I was able to really focus on how ECHO was addressing women’s health issues of family planning, cancer screening, and general healthcare as well as the types of resources that we had to offer our patients.
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Q: How has ECHO impacted your medical school experience, and how do you envision your ECHO experiences impacting your career in the future?
A: I learned an immense amount about the Bronx patient population, but also about some of the challenges of running a community clinic.
ECHO was really the only time in medical school when I was focused on how clinic as a whole was running: how many patients were being seen, where the flow was slowing down, and how efficiency could be improved. I found that once on the wards during third year, having that extra awareness and knowledge of patient care really enhanced my clinical performance. At ECHO we see patients with incredibly complex social issues impeding their access to healthcare and their faith in medicine. The attending physicians and students at ECHO showed me how to start addressing these issues in a single visit, and also how to overcome the barriers that you might come across when providing care to these patients.
Q: Why did you choose to go into family medicine, and has your ECHO experience influenced this decision in any way? A: I came to medical school knowing that I had a passion for primary care, but staying involved with ECHO is really what kept that passion alive, particularly during 3rd year when the vast majority of my time was spent doing secondary or tertiary specialty care. Family Medicine can be vast in scope and thus is incredibly challenging, but at ECHO I learned how much of an impact one visit can have on improving someone’s health and well-being. I see primary care as the area of medicine most in need of strong, passionate providers, and I couldn’t see myself doing anything but that thanks to ECHO.
What a Success! The Third Annual ECHO Gala
Mary-Kate Amato ‘19 Communications Officer
The Third Annual ECHO Gala was held on February 11th, 2016 and was a huge success. Kelsey Wilson-Henjum, ECHO’s 2015-2016 Communications Officer, had a simple and timely vision for the Gala: Celebrate the Bronx! She worked tirelessly with many other ECHO volunteers to provide local food and drinks at a beautiful local venue: The Bronx Museum of the Arts. Upon arrival at the Museum, guests were greeted by live music performed by the Einstein jazz band. The night began with a cocktail hour as guests mingled, enjoyed music, and observed several posters celebrating ECHO’s good work and volunteers. The posters conveyed reflections from providers such as Dr. Strelnick, the Faculty Advisor to ECHO, and Margaret Walsh, F.N.P. There were also posters with meaningful quotes from student volunteers about their involvement and experiences with ECHO. The posters displayed pictures from ECHO events throughout the year as well. Over the course of the evening, food was served and guests sampled tasty dishes from the Bronx. The food was generously donated to the Gala by local restaurants including La Masa, Carlos and Gabby, Fairway, and Good to Go. Dessert included cookies from Scaglione Brothers Bakery and Deli. Our Honoree, Ms. Maxine L. Golub, M.P.H. delivered a riveting keynote speech. Ms. Golub serves as Senior Vice President of Planning and Development at The Institute for Family Health. The silent auction was an exceptional part of the evening. There was a broad range of baskets for guests to bid on. Guests marveled as baskets included items such as four tickets to a Rangers home game, two tickets for a Giants home game
with an incredible view, five-class Soul Cycle certificate, two three-month passes to LA Fitness, gift cards to four Italian restaurants in Little Italy, Vineyard wine tour, brewery class for two in New York City, and many more. Overall, the night was an incredible way to celebrate ECHO and the Bronx community. Attendees enjoyed taking pictures at the photo booth, chatting with colleagues, and making new connections through a common goal. We raised over $19,000 in ticket sales, donations, and from the silent auction. Our profits will be used to better serve our patients and improve ECHO. We have already begun the planning process for our next gala, to be held on February 2nd, 2017, so please keep an eye out for more information for our Fourth Annual ECHO Gala. We hope to see you then!
SSRFC Conference: “Keep your coins, I want change.” Aaron Lam ‘19 & Timothy Truong ‘19 Front Desk Coordinator & Referrals Coordinator
From January 30th to 31st, members of the ECHO clinic had the fortune of attending the Society of Student-Run Free Clinics (SSRFC) National Conference in Phoenix, Arizona. This conference provided a platform for student-run free clinics around the nation to get together and share updates, research, and ideas. With over 500 attendees, representing 96 clinics, this was a perfect opportunity for us to learn about the different models other clinics employ, to help our sister clinics, and to improve our current model as we transitioned into the new year. Many of ECHO’s dedicated members were invited to present their research and have volunteered some thoughts about their projects: continued on page 4
CONFERENCE ATTENDEES Pre-clinical and clinical board members of 20152016 and 2016-2017 attended the conference together.
SSRFC National Conference
“It was rewarding to be able to present meaningful conclusions from our experiences with ECHO’s referrals program, as it could be directly translated into improving patient care. I gained valuable perspectives in how fortunate ECHO is to have a robust referrals program relative to other student run free clinics throughout the country. Helping uninsured patients navigate this complex referrals system is a daunting and sometimes frustrating task, but ECHO patients are able to receive much deserved, specialized care because of our relationships developed with outside providers. Being able to share these experiences and our referrals processes with other student-run clinics during our poster presentation will hopefully allow ECHO to have an even greater impact on improving healthcare for the uninsured.” - Stanley Kalata, ‘18 & Daniel Childs, ‘18 Referrals Coordinators 2015-2016 continued from page 3
“Our research looks at rates of transition from ECHO to continuous primary care at The Institute for Family Health. We looked at the ef-
fects of a phone call intervention on attendance rates for follow-up at the Institute, after a patient completes their visits at ECHO. The next step of the project involves a qualitative phone-administered survey to ask patients why they did not attend their appointments at the institute. We strongly believe that ECHO best serves its patients when it links patients to continuous primary care, and are eager to better understand why patients are not able to continue their care, fill the gap, and increase rates of transition to primary care.” - Dahlia Norry, ‘18 & Lizelle Comfort, ‘18 Weekly Coordinators 2015-2016
“Student-run free clinics, built on the energy and enthusiasm of aspiring medical students, have the potential to be highly innovative in their patient care, operations and vision. These visions however often clash the realities of limited funding and resources. Our presentation covered the importance of fundraising- specifically the planning, execution, and advantages of large-scale fundraising. We also discussed how establishing the role of a Communications Officer to optimize social media outlets and creating PR initiatives have been huge
assets for our clinic’s fundraising initiatives, namely the annual ECHO Gala. These publicity and fundraising projects have become an integral part of ECHO, not only to raise money but to strengthen the volunteer community and create extensive alumni network.” - Jessica Faiz, MSIV, Executive Clinic Chair Aside from these amazing learning opportunities, the conference provided the perfect environment to reflect on our year’s progress and to formulate plans for the next, improved year with ECHO. Representatives from all levels of medical school training were present at our informal sessions, providing a wealth of knowledge from various perspectives. These passionate discussions served not only as a fantastic bonding experience, but was also invigorating, especially for incoming MSI board members. The conference definitely inspired us to continue our hard work and reminded us why we want to become physicians in the first place. As the keynote speaker showed in one of his slides in his presentation, “keep the coins, I want change.”
It’s All About the Community Ethan Hochheiser ‘19
Through the years, ECHO has proudly served as an important resource for members of the community. We expand our mission of providing healthcare to the underserved by identifying populations that lack access to healthcare through our community outreach and connecting them with ECHO’s services. ECHO has already initiated this process through a number of outreach efforts. ECHO outreach efforts have included both interactive educational sessions at Violence Intervention Program (VIP) and in-clinic appointments, serving women around New York City who have suffered from domestic violence. In addition, ECHO has also held outreach events at the Gurdwara Sikh Temple in Queens and in association with the Southeast Asian community based in the Bronx. One of our main objectives is to bring ECHO to the community. By holding health fairs at an organization’s sites, we deliver screening services for chronic medical problems such as hypertension and diabetes. We held our first health fair of the year at the Gurdwara Sikh Temple on June 12, 2016. We screened over 60 community members and were able to provide information about our clinic to many more. We are grateful to the Gurdwara Sikh Temple for inviting us to the community, and we hope to continue this partnership for years to come. Other populations we plan to target include immigrants, formerly incarcerated individuals, and residents of women’s shelters in the Bronx. Community Outreach Coordinator
OUTREACH TRAINING ECHO volunteers receive training on how to provide blood glucose and blood pressure screenings from Guedy Arniella, LCSW, the director of community health and outreach at the Institute for Family Health.
Thank You Thank you to everyone who contributed to the 2016 Fall edition of the Hear Our ECHO newsletter. This issue would not have been possible without the writers, editors and designers who dedicated time, creativity, and attention to detail.
ECHO 2016-2017 Pre-Clinical and Clinical Board CLINICAL BOARD
Executive Clinical Chair Jessica Faiz Chair of Clinical Coordination Alex Petti Chairs of Clinical Teams Gila Hoffman and Daniel Santos Chairs of Clinical Volunteers Aaron Praiss and Carly Hirschberg Continuity Chair Marika Osterbur
Project Director Gina Chang Weekly Coordinators Henna Boolchandani, Sharan Shah Communications Officer Mary-Kate Amato Development Officer Brandon De Ruiter Finance Officer Alex Kreisman Community Outreach Coordinators Colin Pierce, Ethan Hochheiser Front Desk Coordinators Aaron Lam, Henry Yang HIV Counselor Coordinator Joan Park Interpreter Coordinators Alon Mazori, Virginia Folgado Marco Labs Coordinators Kieran Seay, Robert Bortz Patient Advocate Coordinators Keara English, Noah Chodos Pre-Clinical Scheduling Coordinator Ricki Korff Quality Improvement Coordinator Maxim Maron Referrals Coordinators Erica Carson, Timothy Truong Womenâ€™s Health Coordinator Kelly McNally
MEDICAL DIRECTORS Dr. Amarilys Cortijo Dr. Sarah Nosal Dr. Cortijo and Dr. Nosal are family physicians at the Institute for Family Health.
Newsletter Committee Writers:
Aaron Lam Amarilys Cortijo, M.D. Ethan Hochheiser Gina Chang Ilana Yellin Jessica Faiz Mary-Kate Amato Sarah Nosal, M.D. Timothy Truong
Mary-Kate Amato Gina Chang
Special thanks to Colleen Park for the design and layout of the newsletter.