Touro Puts Its Money Where Their Mouth Is Opening New Student-Run Health Clinic In Harlem

Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine (TouroCOM) has opened a student-run, free clinic to serve the Harlem community, Dean David Forstein, DO, announced.

The Touro Harlem Health Clinic, located at 2257 Adam Clayton Powell Boulevard in Harlem, N.Y., has begun outreach in the Harlem community to schedule appointments for those who cannot afford medical services, do not have health insurance, or are underinsured.

The clinic has been in the works for several years. Dean Forstein served as attending physician on the clinic’s first day.

“With the Touro Harlem Health Clinic we are continuing our vital mission in our community by training a diverse cohort of new doctors, who will help reduce healthcare disparities and improve patient care throughout Harlem,”

“With the Touro Harlem Health Clinic we are continuing our vital mission in our community by training a diverse cohort of new doctors, who will help reduce healthcare disparities and improve patient care throughout Harlem,” said Dean Forstein. “We are all very proud and excited that our long-held dream of opening a free, student-run clinic for those in need is finally coming to fruition.”

Hanaa Khadraoui, a second-year student from New Jersey who chairs the clinic’s 19-member student planning committee, said funds to open the clinic have come from student fundraising efforts, with office space donated by the TouroCOM Family Health Center, which during the week serves as a student health center and as another resource for health services in the community.

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Khadraoui noted most of the TouroCOM student body has been trained and are eager to help. “The students are anxiously awaiting an opportunity to volunteer. It increases their clinical experience and exposes them to different patient populations. Working in a free clinic for the underserved and underinsured is a valuable learning experience.”

The range of Services Offered

Among the services offered are comprehensive histories and physical examinations; preventative care such as health screenings; health education and nutrition counseling; insurance and benefits screenings; as well as vaccinations and referrals to other health and social services in Harlem. Students who are bilingual in English, Spanish and Mandarin are available to staff the clinic, depending on the needs of the clients scheduled to come in.

Clients are scheduled to be seen by a team composed of junior and senior students under the supervision of a licensed physician who is a faculty member at TouroCOM.

The clinic had its official opening in November and is staffed one Sunday a month. Services are provided by appointment only, no walk-ins. Clients are scheduled to be seen by a team composed of junior and senior students under the supervision of a licensed physician who is a faculty member at TouroCOM.

The junior student doctors (first and second-year students) take patient histories, while more experienced student doctors (third and fourth-year students) take the lead on physical exams. The faculty member serves as an attending physician, reviewing histories, physical exams and the creation of treatment plans. Certain procedures, such as administering vaccinations, are done only by the attending physician.

Dean of Student Affairs and Assistant Professor Nadege Dady, Ed.D. expressed gratitude to TouroCOM alumni for their support and assistance in helping to start the clinic. “The college is grateful for the dedication of the TouroCOM Harlem alumni, who worked persistently to get the clinic launched. They were instrumental in molding this project and we hope that the alumni who worked so hard for the clinic’s creation will either visit or rejoin the effort in their spare time.”

Dean Forstein added that in the future, it is hoped the clinic will grow and become a significant resource for Harlem as well as an important element of clinical education, collaborating with students and faculty at other schools in the Touro College and University System such as the School of Health Sciences and the Touro College of Pharmacy.

To schedule an appointment to be seen at the clinic call (408) 780-4673 or email thhc@student.touro.edu

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