FranU Students Participate in the Mission of Mercy Free Dental, Medical, and Vision Care for the Residents of Louisiana

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2018 01 20 Free Clinic 1

Front row left to right: Amy Crowe, Taylor Robert, Jacquelyn Velasquez

Back row left to right: Dr. Valerie Schluter, Kendal Perkins, Alicia Ruiz, Toni Aucoin (Sonya Cecchini not shown)

2018 01 20 Free Clinic 2

Front row left to right: Sebrina Hebert, Danielle Derbes, Grace Dauer, Ryan Ring, Mamie Keller.

Middle row left to right: Laura Knight, Kari Semmes, Matt Navarro, Kaley Duplantis, Danielle Leblanc.

Back row left to right:  Jonathan Fletcher, Casey Corner, Justin Allen, Alexandria Bloise, Jacob Shaw

Students performed medical triage making sure patients were healthy enough to receive dental services and worked as primary healthcare providers in the medical clinic. Approximately 700 persons received care each day. As volunteers arrived each morning at 6:30 am they were greeted by long lines of community residents who had been standing in 30 degree weather and sometimes light rain since 1-2 am hoping to receive services. Each day many hopeful residents were turned away as the clinics quickly reached capacity for the day. Some residents returned for a second day requiring more services than could be safely accomplished in one day. Faculty members Sarah Deyo, Kristin Martin and Valerie Schluter participated and supervised the students.

Kristen Hibbard, a student in the Family Nurse Practitioner Program explained what this experience meant to her, “This was a very humbling experience and really opened my eyes to how many people in the community need medical care and simply cannot afford it. Each day was long and busy but the patients were so grateful that it made everything worthwhile”.

Sonya Cecchini, a student in the Bachelor of Science in Nursing Program explained, “Being able to volunteer and seeing all of the people working together in order to serve the people of Baton Rouge has been the most rewarding experience. It is such an honor to have been part of this amazing event”.

Madeline Beard, a student in the Physician Assisting program described how the event affected her this way, “It felt great getting to contribute to this community … we worked as a team with a goal of a healthy Baton Rouge. This event is such a great showing of community and solidarity and I couldn’t by more proud to have been a part of it”.

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