July 14 was special day for the ATSU-School of Osteopathic Medicine (ATSU-SOMA) first-year students. Prior to the white coat ceremony held on that day, the ATSU-SOMA Class of 2018 was introduced to the Virtual Community Health Center (VCHC) concept, known as Envision CHC. Frederic Schwartz, DO, ’69, FACOFP, associate dean for clinical education and chair of family and community medicine, ATSU-SOMA, provided an overview of Envision CHC to the first-year students who will be engaged with patients and families from the VCHC.
Tom Trompeter, CEO of HealthPoint Community Health Center (CHC) in Seattle, Wash., and who was also the keynote speaker at the white coat ceremony, led a discussion among students to help them orient to primary care, painting a picture of how a CHC works on transforming a community. Following this discussion, students were requested to work in teams to discuss how they, as medical students, could benefit their future CHC communities. Some of their comments include:
“Know the community we are serving, including cultural strengths and needs.”
“Inspire and encourage community members to let them know they have a voice and the ability to create change among their own community.”
“Bridge the gap between the community and health teams through education.”