Future Doctors Reach Out To Long Islanders In Need SBU Med Students Donate Food, Clothing, Cash
Student Associations Collaborate with Suffolk County to Help PRONTO for the Holidays
Amidst the late semester pressures of classes and clinical work, students from Stony Brook University School of Medicine gathered their resources to run a food and clothing drive for PRONTO, a Long Island-based non-profit human service agency that provides services to the homeless, unemployed, immigrants, uninsured, and others in need. The drive ran November 11 – 20. It was spearheaded by the SBU Chapter of the Student National Medical Association (SNMA) and the Suffolk County Office of Minority Health.
The students collected enough food and clothing to fill seven large boxes, which were delivered directly to PRONTO in Islip on November 23. The contents included items such as canned vegetables, soup, tuna, pasta, cereal, powered milk, as well as shoes, pants, sweaters, and winter coats. A cash donation of $150 was also collected.
“This drive was a first for Stony Brook University medical students, and we hope it becomes an annual event,” says Jemella C. Raymore, SNMA Community Service Chair and second year medical student. “PRONTO does amazing work in our Long Island communities, and we were happy to be of service to them in any way we could.”
Dozens of students got involved in the project through the SNMA, as well as students representing collaborating organizations, such as the American Medical Association, Asian Pacific American Medical Student Association, American Medical Women’s Association, American Medical Student Association, and the Pediatrics Interest Club. Students from the Physician’s Assistant Program at SBUMC also contributed to the drive.
Based within the Town of Islip, PRONTO assists those in need in by way of providing them with food and clothing, as well as health and education services, such as immunizations and English as a second language. Their stated mission is to “feed the hungry, welcome the stranger, clothe the needy and provide healing and hope to everyone who walks in our doors.”
The Stony Brook University Chapter of the SNMA involves developing outreach programs for area communities. Programs include working with school districts to educate students on health/medical topics, such as the Big Dream Project at Martin Luther King Elementary School in Wyandanch, and HIV/AIDS education in high schools.