The student group, known as Medical and Political Action in the Community, is seeking donations in the form of medical supplies from local pharmacies. Specifically, the students are asking for glucose testing strips used to monitor diabetes.
MPAC is part of the co-curricular program at the Wayne State University School of Medicine. The co-curricular credit program was created in 1998 to provide medical students with service opportunities to help them develop their skills and garner valuable and meaningful work experience.The group decided to provide medical supplies to homeless shelters after attending a seminar on Detroit health perspectives.
“A resident of the MOM’s homeless shelter spoke and cited a need for glucose testing equipment. We then saw a need and created a project,” said Gary Rajah, a first-year medical student and MPAC member.
While the students are working for a great cause, the process is not without complications.
“It is difficult to convince people to donate because most pharmacies have regulations and it takes time to figure out how to do it. A lot of the times, I have to talk to the distributing headquarters to work out arrangements,” Rajah said.
Upon receiving the glucose strips, Rajah and other students delivered them to Dr. Heather Dickson, a physician and medical director at the MOM’s homeless shelter.
Thanks to MPAC, the partnership between local homeless shelters and pharmacies will continue to develop and meet the needs of those less fortunate in the Detroit area.
“The best thing about the partnership is its ability to grow. We have started small, but in time we will have more pharmacies on board, and hopefully monthly contributions,” said Rajah.