Downtown student-run clinic expands to serve entire Phoenix area

SHOW volunteers receive information from their student leaders in an early-morning huddle on the day of the health fair. SHOW is a tri-university initiative, involving students from ASU, NAU and U of A. (Anya Magnuson/DD)

Over the years a student-led clinic has ventured beyond its walls to provide healthcare across the Phoenix area for those experiencing homelessness and poverty.

Student Health Outreach for Wellness (SHOW) is a student-run program, located at 550 N. 3rd St., dedicated to providing free health care and health education for the downtown Phoenix population.

SHOW consists of health professionals within Maricopa County in addition to undergraduate and graduate volunteers from all three Arizona public universities.

The program is breaking barriers for those who cannot afford health benefits, according to its director of programs Rachel Fisher.

“Through SHOW, students, faculty and volunteers from diverse backgrounds strive to overcome socioeconomic barriers to well-being through health promotion, education and social outreach,” Fisher said.

Related: Student-run clinic provides healthcare to Phoenix’s homeless

The program was founded in May 2013 and is now expanding services to the entire Phoenix area.

“In 2015, SHOW’s first clinic was founded, which was located on the Human Services Campus,” Fisher said. “Since then, we have transitioned from having a physical clinic to providing health care beyond walls.”

With help from Street Medicine Phoenix, an inter-professional health care and social justice team, the program provides weekly outreaches for homeless individuals as well as a Hotspotting Outreach Program for students and patients.

The outreach program aims to work closely with individuals who frequently utilize healthcare services in order to understand the reasoning for their usage. SHOW hopes to decrease the number of times a patient needs to use their emergency department with this service.

Students who volunteer for SHOW are able to go beyond the classroom and partake in real-world experiences.

“Students involved with SHOW get to be a part of an inter-professional team, gain hands-on experience in health care and affect their community in an impactful way,” Fisher said.

Julianna Smith, student director of clinical operations, said she has seen students and members of the program build connections with clients and improve their skill sets.

“After growing into this leadership role and getting to see new student volunteers come through our organization, my favorite part has been watching our members form those bonds with clients, and seeing them develop their ideas into initiatives that continue to expand and improve the services we offer and our impact on the community,” Smith said.

According to Smith, being established in the downtown area has been very convenient due to nearby community organizations.

“We focus on taking our health screening efforts to the streets and community locations to serve the population right where they are,” Smith said. “We hope to provide our clients with viable connections to community organizations that will serve as sustainable, long term solutions.”

Former student director of administrative operations, Rohini Nott, said it has been pleasing to watch the program grow over the years.

“I joined SHOW as a college freshman in 2016, back when we operated our student-run free clinic at the Human Services Campus,” Nott said. “Since then, it has been really exciting to watch SHOW grow over the years and develop into an initiative that truly makes an impact in our community.”

Nott says the program is the best opportunity to help her become a physician that serves underserved and vulnerable communities.

“I joined SHOW because it offered a unique learning opportunity in which I would be able to serve underserved communities and learn from an inter-professional team of students and preceptors,” she said. “Serving individuals experiencing homelessness with SHOW has been the highlight of my college career.”

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