Beyond Clinic Walls (BCW, formerly known as Mobile SHAC) aims to serve community members who have complex medical and/or social needs. Beyond Clinic Walls helps their clients to understand their often complicated health needs and to maintain contact with their health care providers. Student volunteers from the Schools of Medicine, Nursing, Occupational Therapy, Pharmacy, Physical Therapy, Public Health, Social Work, and Speech-Language Pathology collaborate in interdisciplinary teams that partner with clients for a year.
Student teams visit on a monthly basis, and assess their client's health status, living conditions, and concerns. Student teams meet each semester with allied health faculty and community volunteers to discuss their experience. Additionally, student teams can share their observations with their client's health care providers. In addition to monthly visits, student teams organize special projects that will benefit their client's standard of living. These projects are financed by donations and assisted by community volunteers with relevant expertise. Past projects include renovating a deck to improve accessibility, handling water quality issues, and installing grab bars to prevent injury.
BCW provides volunteers with an extraordinary opportunity to help community members who may otherwise lack adequate access to healthcare and other local services. Our volunteers learn much more than the practical application of classroom knowledge. Outside the clinic, our volunteers develop a holistic view of their client and their unique circumstances. Students leave with an increased awareness and preparedness for the challenges they will face in their professional careers. In addition, students learn the invaluable lessons that come with working on an interdisciplinary healthcare team and the tremendous benefit of pooled knowledge from diverse academic perspectives.