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Robert Wood Johnson
pational medicine, volunteers frequently at the clinic.
The transition to a structured health care program began
with student-run blood pressure screenings, which contin-
ue twice a week. The staff encourages those with abnormal
blood pressure to make an appointment with a student
team. By doing so, they hope to persuade appropriate
clients to become involved with the clinic. Trust and
respect for the student doctors have grown among clients,
says Ms. Giordano. "Gradually, they have come to recog-
nize the students as their health care resource."
In the clinic's first decade, the number of soup kitchen
clients has nearly doubled, to more than 40. As potential
patients, they are given an initial screening and diagnosis;
then, once assigned, they begin receiving ongoing care based
on a customized plan--ideally, seeing the same students at
every appointment. Their regular prescheduled appoint-
ments include a physical exam and assessment; lab work;
evaluation of vaccinations, medications, and compliance;
and, when necessary, specialist referrals. Residents from the
medical school's psychiatry residency program provide on-
site support for clients with mental health issues.
Sixty students serve on the 12 administrative committees
that keep the clinic running efficiently and facilitate the work
of the steering committee. A student-run pharmacy team
helps patients obtain prescriptions. The laboratory team
runs simple on-site tests or blood draws, working with tech-
nicians from Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital as
needed. Many student clinicians receive elective credit
toward their medical degree.
Above: "Trust and respect for the student doctors have grown among
clients," says Susan Giordano, HIPHOP program coordinator (seat-
ed), with student doctors (back row, left to right) Alex Pronko,
Andrew Butler, Sanjay Jumani, who is also a manager, (front row, left
to right) Rachel Deberardinis, Ila Nimgaonkar, who also serves as a
scheduler, and Eleni Stavrou.