School of Medicine students to serve Torrington community

September 11, 2023

A photo of Frank H. Netter MD School of Medicine branded stethoscopes

Five Frank H. Netter MD School of Medicine students will volunteer with Charlotte Hungerford Hospital’s “Medical Mission at Home” in Torrington, Connecticut on November 4.

The Hartford HealthCare initiative will gather volunteer caregivers to provide a range of healthcare services, social services and other support services to hundreds of underserved community members from the local area.

The unique opportunity is an outgrowth of Quinnipiac’s partnership with Hartford HealthCare, as well as the School of Medicine’s innovative residency program with Charlotte Hungerford Hospital established last year, said Dr. Traci Marquis-Eydman, program director of Quinnipiac’s rural family medicine residency program.

“With the new relationship with Charlotte Hungerford Hospital which we developed as we were developing our residency program in family medicine, we have discovered even more opportunities to be involved with Hartford HealthCare and with Charlotte Hungerford Hospital,” said Marquis-Eydman. “I think this is just another great example of how this growing collaboration between the university and Hartford HealthCare is opening doors for community engagement and opportunities for shared mission work.”

School of Medicine students John Madu, MD ’24, Ioana Moldovan, MD ’24, Sana Haroon, MD ’26, Derrick Liu, MD ’26, and Joel Tewksbury, MD ’26, will be Quinnipiac’s first students to participate in the mission.

"This is a great opportunity for the students to see how important it is for a health system to get down to the grassroots needs of their communities, and how events like this can bridge and build trust between the community and the healthcare system,” said Marquis-Eydman. “I hope the students get that from this experience, and it may spark an interest for the students in a particular area where they want to be more involved, either separately or as part of future events like this.”

Moldovan said joining the mission supports her interest in providing local healthcare community service, and the chance to return to Charlotte Hungerford Hospital. During a third-year clerkship, Moldovan visited the hospital’s nursery weekly while working with a pediatrician.

“It piqued my interest because it’s a partnership of things that I’ve already done and I’m comfortable doing, and it’s also serving people in our own community as a comprehensive clinic, from all aspects of social determinants of health,” said Moldovan. “It seems like it’s a bigger scale of what we’re doing with our student-run medical clinic, where we work in New Haven to provide clinical services. It’s going to be exciting to see what a hospital partnership can do and how it looks on a bigger scale.”

Tewksbury said the School of Medicine has built confidence in his ability to volunteer for the mission as a second-year student, thanks to his first-year experience with the Medical Student Home (MeSH) program, early clinical experience through Clinical Arts and Sciences (CAS) and engagement in the Standardized Patient and Assessment Center (S-PAC).

“The opportunities with MeSH, and the early clinical experience and all the practice with our CAS class, and with the patient actors in the S-PAC, have all been really helpful in increasing my skill level,” said Tewksbury.

Liu said the chance to provide service and assistance to community members as a Medical Mission at Home healthcare volunteer was a very compelling reason to join the cause.

“This is a great opportunity to get hands-on training, and at the same time, help those in the community I probably wouldn’t otherwise interact with as a second-year medical student,” said Liu.

As a fourth-year student, Madu said he was looking for additional community volunteer options when Marquis-Eydman notified the student body about joining Medical Mission at Home. Marquis-Eydman’s outreach, and this exceptional volunteer opportunity, are indicative of the resources and support School of Medicine students receive, said Madu.

“The professors are very available, and communication is always open,” said Madu. “They provide a lot of resources. At every point when I needed some extra help with things, there’s always been help and they’ve also provided opportunities for me.”

With the growing connection between Hartford HealthCare and Quinnipiac University, the Frank H. Netter MD School of Medicine is finding more opportunities that align the missions of the school and the mission of Hartford HealthCare, said Marquis-Eydman.

The School of Medicine is grateful to Hartford HealthCare and Charlotte Hungerford Hospital’s Vice President of Medical Affairs, Dr. Paul Scalise, for providing this unique opportunity for student engagement, she added.

“Opportunities like this are crucial for learners and for students to be a part of, and we’re very grateful for this opportunity offered to us by Hartford HealthCare and Charlotte Hungerford Hospital,” said Marquis-Eydman. “I think it will make a big difference and a huge impact on our students and will inspire them to continue this kind of excellent work.”

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