In the Community: SOM Students Increase Awareness of Student-Run Clinic La Casita de La Salud
The Community Outreach Committee for La Casita, distributed informational flyers and raised awareness of the services the clinic provides.
The Community Outreach Committee for New York Medical College’s (NYMC) free student-run clinic, La Casita de la Salud, continued to fulfill the clinic’s mission of expanding affordable care to those in need, as they set up a tabling event in New Rochelle, New York, to recruit new patients to the clinic on July 28. Two students, Christine Colasacco, left, and Danielle Maraia, both members of the School of Medicine (SOM) Class of 2024, increased awareness among community members about La Casita, which recently expanded to the NYMC campus at 19 Skyline Drive to provide free health and dental services to eligible individuals, in conjunction with Touro College of Dental Medicine (TCDM).
Ms. Colasacco and Ms. Maraia are both co-chairs of the Community Outreach Committee for La Casita de la Salud, which is Spanish for “Little House of Health.” The committee determined New Rochelle to be an area with a population that could benefit from the free health care offered at the clinic, due to high-income disparities in the city. The goal of the committee is to seek out areas with low-income residents who may not have insurance and may be hesitant to schedule routine visits with physicians. Thus, the two students set out to let the community know that La Casita—which is predicated on bridging the gap in health care disparities by providing quality, culturally competent care regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, nationality or ability to pay—could help provide free health screenings to eligible residents who may otherwise not receive them.
“I recognize health as a universal value. It’s universal, yet so personal to each of us. Unfortunately, health care isn’t universal in the United States. This makes it necessary for student clinics like La Casita to help provide services. Tabling events are a great way to get out into the community and directly spread the word about our clinic,” Ms. Colasacco said.
Ms. Colasacco and Ms. Maraia set up a table outside of a supermarket on North Avenue to distribute informational flyers, talk about the medical and dental services that La Casita provides along with TCDM, including primary care, OB/GYN services, dental cleanings and simple extractions. Ms. Colasacco and Ms. Maraia were able to provide information to dozens of interested residents and had five people request La Casita contact them to schedule an appointment.
“We spoke to many people who seemed very interested in the clinic's services and had many conversations that led us to believe more people will be making appointments in the near future,” Ms. Maraia said.
La Casita’s original location opened in East Harlem in 2005. In May of 2021, the clinic expanded to Westchester in a joint venture with TCDM. To confirm eligibility and schedule an appointment, patients may call La Casita de la Salud at (845) 519-7119 or Touro Dental Health at (914) 594-2700.