News Release

October 14, 2004

Contact: Jane Shaskan, 860-679-4777

Community Health & Service Focus of Primary Care Week

UConn Medical Students Participate in Variety of Programs

FARMINGTON, CONN. – For the past ten years, UConn medical students, along with students throughout the country, have attended lectures and participated in community service activities during National Primary Care Week – this year October 16 through 22.

During the week, first- and second-year medical students will attend seminars and participate in activities that will introduce them to the role of medicine in the community and increase their awareness of the importance of primary care and community service. The theme is “Serving the Underserved: Careers in Community Health.”

“This is an important learning experience for our students,” said Bruce Gould, M.D., associate dean for primary care at UConn School of Medicine. “They will hear from experts who champion universal health care and offer aid to Connecticut’s poorest citizens, and they will have the opportunity to work directly with the underserved.”

The week kicks off Saturday with a retreat for the students in Peru, Mass. Two long-time advocates for the uninsured, Sheldon Toubman, J.D., New Haven Legal Assistance, and John Battista, M.D., president of the Connecticut Coalition for Universal Health Care, will present “Forty-five Million and Growing – Addressing the Uninsured and Underinsured: Is It Time for National Health Insurance?” Dr. Battista will also speak to students Tuesday, October 19, at noon at the Health Center.

Other highlights of events and activities include:

  • Monday at noon at UConn Health Center: “The Life of a Primary Care Physician” will be presented by UConn Health Center physicians Jacquelin Nissen, M.D., internal medicine; David Henderson, M.D., family practice; and Ursula Steadman, M.D., obstetrics and gynecology; and Teresa Szajda, M.D., private pediatric practice, Plainville.
  • Monday at 7 p.m. at the Farmington Club: A special dinner and program with keynote speaker Commissioner J. Robert Galvin, M.D., State Department of Public Health. He will be preceded by Dr. Gould, who will offer opening remarks and introduce Dr. Galvin.
  • Wednesday at noon in the Patterson Auditorium, UConn Health Center Academic Entrance: Students will leave for community service activities at various sites in the Greater Hartford area, including visits to nursing homes, schools, and homeless shelters, and also participate in activities with members of Knox Park Foundation and physician-assistant program students from Quinnipiac University in Hamden.
  • Thursday: Students will participate in a Migrant Farmworkers Clinic at Lyman Orchards in Middlefield from 6 to 9 p.m.

This year’s event advisors are Dr. Gould, Laura Victoria Barrera, M.P.H., health program supervisor, Connecticut Area Health Education Center Program at the Health Center, and UConn medical student coordinators Kati Beben and Rebecca Eleck.

Editors note: Media interested in accompanying students; schedule and location details; interview opportunities; see contact information at the top of this page.

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