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UB students, working with community physicians, to provide free sports physicals at Seneca-Babcock Community Center


Fri, Aug 26th 2022 02:30 pm

No appointments necessary

Submitted by the University at Buffalo

Parents whose children are playing sports this year can take advantage of free sports physicals that University at Buffalo faculty and students are providing at the Seneca-Babcock Community Center, under the supervision of physician volunteers from UB and the community.

No appointments are necessary.

Faculty and students in the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at UB and in UB’s School of Public Health and Health Professions, as well as community physicians who volunteer in UB’s Lighthouse Free Medical Clinic, will give free sports physicals for children in grades K-12 from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 27, at Seneca-Babcock Community Center, 1168 Seneca St., Buffalo.

The event is being held jointly by UB’s Lighthouse Free Medical Clinic and the Seneca-Babcock Community Association.

The Lighthouse Free Medical Clinic is the student-managed clinic of UB’s health sciences units, including the Jacobs School and the School of Public Health and Health Professions. William Blymire, M.D., clinical assistant professor of internal medicine and pediatrics in the Jacobs School and a physician with UBMD Internal Medicine, is the clinic’s medical director.

Lily McGovern, a second-year medical student at UB, explained her motivation for participating.

“As a manager at Lighthouse Free Medical Clinic, I am committed to recognizing and addressing unmet health needs in the medically underserved community,” she said. “Our team helps young people seeking school or sports physicals almost every clinic night, and that need has grown with a new school year on the horizon.”

"This event increases our capacity to conduct sports physicals for those who need them, and provides an exciting opportunity for UB students to give back to the community," McGovern continued. "We are also grateful for the participation of collaborating professionals from medicine, public health and athletic training who have graciously offered their time.”

“Sports are a great way for students to learn teamwork and become physically active,” said Jessica S. Kruger, Ph.D., clinical assistant professor of community health and health behavior in the School of Public Health and Health Professions at UB. “Yet, many families face barriers to getting a school physical. These barriers can be time, access, affordability, or other competing demands. At the Lighthouse Free Medical Clinic, our mission is to serve the uninsured and underinsured in Buffalo. The purpose of this event, held in conjunction with the Seneca-Babcock Community Association, is to help reduce these barriers and serve the community.”

Licensed physicians who volunteer for the Lighthouse Free Medical Clinic will supervise the students at the event. Participants include medical students from the Jacobs School, students in the School of Public Health and Health Professions’ public health and athletic training programs, and the School of Social Work. Students will help navigate patients through various health stations, assisting with taking a family history, and educating patients about preventing injuries.

“I think it’s paramount that we, as medical students, serve our Buffalo community early and often as we work toward becoming physicians,” McGovern said. “I love stepping outside the classroom and using my skills to support my neighbors. I’m also an aspiring pediatrician, so I love any opportunity to work with young folks.”

UB students who participate will be learning skills related to interprofessional collaboration, a key component of their health sciences education at UB, Kruger said.

“Teamwork is key in health care and, by working together, we can serve the community and instill these values,” she said. “Working with underserved communities has a lasting impact on students, and those who start working with underserved populations early in their careers tend to want to continue to work in those communities in the future.”

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