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Medical Students Reach Out to Those in Need

From left: Vivian Hart, Executive Director, PRONTO; Nkiru Azikiwe, SB medical student and SNMA Secretary, SB Chapter; Jemella C. Raymore, SB medical student and SNMA Community Service Chair; and several men from PRONTO who helped unload the boxes.

Amid the late semester pressures of classes and clinical work, students from the 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 through 20. It was spearheaded by the SB 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 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,” said 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 by providing them with food and clothing, as well as health and education services, such as immunizations and English as a second language.

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