ach week VCOM sponsors medical students and physician faculty in five free clinics throughout Southwest Virginia. Students learn the challenges that patients with poor socioeconomic conditions must overcome in order to achieve health. The clinics have provided care for thousands of patients without health insurance or financial means since 2005. This ongoing program is a safety net for those Virginians without access to health care.
Each week ten students and faculty go to a rural Appalachian region to provide health screenings, health literacy programs, and health care to Appalachian citizens most in need.
The program has brought health care physicals for head start programs, parenting classes and health screenings for communities in need, assistance in the RAM projects in Buchanan and Wise Counties, health baskets and even food baskets on holidays, and basic ambulatory health care where needed. Students have embraced this experience and many of our student organizations have followed this by "adopting a community" afterward and providing further programs. The program has provided numerous outreach missions, literally reaching thousands of citizens, and is well received in the Appalachian communities.
The Appalachian Medical Missions program is just one of the programs the College plans to expand.Our commitment to global health by establishing local health clinics and responding to disasters is discussed further in our overview of Medical Missions and in each Mission site Web page of the Medical Missions section. Click below or on the links to the right to go to information on the Dominican Republic, Honduras, and El Salvador.