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Refugee-assistance group wins national, HSC student awards

Posted on Wednesday, May 02, 2012 · Volume: XLV · Issue: 9


Students from the Health Science Center’s student chapter of Physicians For Human Rights receive the Community Service Award at the Health Science Center’s Student Awards Night April 19. They include (left to right) medical students Rachel Sosland, Neelima Navuluri, Anna Haring, Kristy Riniker and Emily Watters. Click on photo for larger view
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Students from the Health Science Center’s student chapter of Physicians For Human Rights receive the Community Service Award at the Health Science Center’s Student Awards Night April 19. They include (left to right) medical students Rachel Sosland, Neelima Navuluri, Anna Haring, Kristy Riniker and Emily Watters. Click on photo for larger viewclear graphic

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Contact: Will Sansom, 210-567-2579

SAN ANTONIO (April 17, 2012) — A group of medical, dental, nursing and physician assistant students who volunteered more than 7,000 hours to assist immigrant refugees living in northwest San Antonio were honored April 19 at The University of Texas Health Science Center Science San Antonio.

The members of the Health Science Center’s chapter of Physicians for Human Rights (PHR), a national organization that focuses on protecting human rights around the world and preventing atrocities, received the Student Government Association’s 2011 Community Service Award. Many other student groups received awards at the ceremony.

Related links:

National award
In March, the PHR student chapter also won first place at the PHR national meeting for a poster presentation about the Refugee Needs Assessment Survey. The students were mentored by Ruth Berggren, M.D., and staff of the Center for Medical Humanities & Ethics (CMHE), which sponsors the student chapter. Dr. Berggren is a professor of medicine in the Division of Infectious Diseases and director of the CMHE. “The refugee clinic is made possible by many partnerships, including seven mini and midi grants for individual projects within the clinic, funded by the Center for Medical Humanities & Ethics,” Dr. Berggren said.

San Antonio is home to a growing refugee population with an estimated 800 to 1,000 refugees relocating to the city each year. Currently an estimated 5,000 refugees live in the vicinity of the South Texas Medical Center, including families from Burma, Bhutan, Somalia, Sudan, Ethiopia, Burundi, Congo, Cuba, Afghanistan, Armenia, Iraq, Iran and Nepal.

The local members of PHR established the San Antonio Refugee Health Clinic, a student-run free clinic held two Wednesday evenings a month at St. Francis Episcopal Church on Bluemel Road. The clinic addresses basic medical complaints such as ear infections, and refers families and individuals to existing medical resources.

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The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, one of the country’s leading health sciences universities, ranks in the top 3 percent of all institutions worldwide receiving federal funding. Research and other sponsored program activity totaled $231 million in fiscal year 2011. The university’s schools of medicine, nursing, dentistry, health professions and graduate biomedical sciences have produced approximately 26,000 graduates. The $736 million operating budget supports eight campuses in San Antonio, Laredo, Harlingen and Edinburg. For more information on the many ways “We make lives better®,” visit www.uthscsa.edu.



 
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