Changing Course to Do What’s Needed for URMC

Changing Course to Do What’s Needed for URMC

Monica Brown-Ramos, Arielle Schecter, Jasmine Wood

Normally, Monica Brown-Ramos, a fourth year medical student, would fill her days with classes, clinical rounds, and serving the community through the University of Rochester Medical Center’s (URMC) UR Well program—a vital service that provides basic health care support to the most underserved in our community.

Since classes are online right now, clinical work is paused, and the UR Well program is on hiatus—all because of the pandemic—students like Brown-Ramos are doing whatever they can to help.

“Right now, many of us are signing up to support URMC employees in various ways, including grocery shopping, tutoring, dog walking, and more,” she says. “For example, I’m babysitting for a pair of physicians during this time. With clinical work having been suspended, this is an opportunity for me to help in a small way.”

Arielle Schecter, a second year medical student, is coordinating many of these efforts. The goal: to connect URMC’s School of Medicine and Dentistry students to URMC employees called upon during the pandemic.To date, 65 students have volunteered to help take care of many daily life tasks; tasks that URMC staff may not have time to do right now. This list, she says, continues to grow every day and more lists are being created. For instance, she notes that nursing students have put one together, too.

“As students, we are grateful for—and respect—all the hard work happening at URMC,” says Schecter. “We want to do our part to keep the community healthy and connected during this difficult time.”

Jasmine Wood, another fourth year medical student, has also raised her hand to help. She already volunteered out in the community, having just finished a short-term volunteer research project with Rochester’s Health Department. She’s ready to do more, and is eager to support URMC’s health care teams.

“We anticipate a surge in our hospital system soon,” she says. “So, if there’s something I can do so that our frontline URMC doctors, nurses, and staff can do their jobs better and with a little more peace of mind, I will.”

We all can do something to help. Consider donating supplies or food, giving blood (URMC is facing a critical shortage), or making a gift to our COVID-19 emergency fund. If you are a URMC employee being called on during the pandemic and are looking for the kind of support noted here, please contact Arielle Schecter.

Kristine Thompson, April 2020

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