First spring carnival raises funds for Mobile Clinic

BY REBECCA MORIN | MAY 06, 2013 5:00 AM

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Student volunteers from the University of Iowa Mobile Clinic stationed themselves at a new location on Sunday afternoon in hopes to raise money and attention about the clinic.

“[The Mobile Clinic] is not very well supported, and it is just run by med students, and they need help to better serve the population,” said Emily Farmer, a human-physiology major and a volunteer at the carnival. “The clinic is just a great way to help those who do not have health care.”

The UI Mobile Clinic, a primarily student-run program, hosted its first Spring Carnival fundraiser on the Pedestrian Mall, sponsored by UI Medicus as well as with the support of UI Carver College of Medicine Student Government on Sunday afternoon.

The carnival also raised money for the 1105 project, which is occurring in conjunction with Shelter House.

The medical school student government collaborated with the Mobile Clinic on the event, and Wanakee Carr, the president-elect of the student government, said she hopes to continue creating a stronger bond.

“We are trying to find ways to become more involved with the clinic,” she said. “This year is the first time we have created stronger connections, and we want to be there to support them in their endeavors.”

With a yearly budget of roughly $12,000 provided by grants, donations, and through some financial support from the medical school, the clinic still tries to find extra ways to continue building its funds.

The goal for Sunday’s Spring Carnival was to raise at least $2,100. However, undergraduate Mobile Clinic liaison Reeya Patel said the group members would be happy with whatever amount of money they raise.

“If the event is successful, we will keep continuing to try to make it bigger each year,” she said. “We do want to make this a spring event.”

The Mobile Clinic has been around for more than 10 years to bring together professional students from different medical disciplines to help diagnose and treat the uninsured and under-insured local populations.

The clinic currently serves five sites total with locations in Iowa City, West Liberty, and Columbus Junction, and the clinic visits about once a month at each site.

Local businesses and a couple of organizations also helped to contribute to Sunday’s event. Local businesses, including Yotopia, Running Wild, and Bluebird Diner, donated gift-card prizes that totaled more than $1,000. Medicus provided many of the games. Donations from families also helped fund the event.

Students from other disciplines also volunteered at the carnival. Students from Physician Assistant Studies set up an information table and also gave out free blood-pressure checkups.

“We work with the supervising physician in the Mobile Clinic, “ said Shelly Hsiao, a first-year physician-assistant student. “A lot of people know about the clinic, but it is also important to get every aspect of it out into public eye.”

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