Success Stories

Students commit to Oasis of Hope

Physician assistant studies students
are pictured with Barbara Grinwis,
Oasis┬┐ executive director (back row, third from left).

Members of the Richard Paul Clodfelder Student Society are learning and impacting the community through their involvement with Oasis of Hope. In December, they donated $1,470 to the Grand Rapids health clinic, which offers free health care to anyone without formal health insurance coverage.

RPC's members are all Grand Valley physician's assistant studies students. Along with financial contributions, they contribute to Oasis of Hope by volunteering. "The GVSU PAS program has been involved since the initial start-up of Oasis of Hope," said Wallace Boeve, associate professor of physician’s assistant studies and RPC advisor. "From the early days of helping them move in, students have volunteered their time with community health education activities." 

At Oasis, students take blood pressures, calculate body mass index rates and educate patients on how these factors impact their health. Students said they enjoy the experience and mentorship they receive from Barbara Grinwis, Oasis' executive director.

"Barb allows my classmates and I to come to the clinic and act as the medical assistant, but most importantly, we’re able to shadow Barb, learn from her, and get hands-on clinical experience," said Megan Walling, RPC secretary and physician assistant studies student. "She is a great model for us students on the importance of going above and beyond the call of duty."

Oasis serves more than 2,000 patients annually. Oasis staff members not only provide health care, but educate patients about diabetes and other diseases and enroll them in the program to receive free health prescriptions.

Grinwis said she enjoys the energy the students bring, and their invaluable time and contribution to Oasis' success. "The impact these students have made through their time and the donation of funds they have provided annually is not measurable," said Grinwis. "Each client who walks through our doors is so grateful for the services we provide and that provision would not be possible without the volunteer hours and dollars that we receive to assist in this mission."

RPC has also volunteered for the Make-A-Wish Foundation's "Walk for Wishes," prepared meals at the Ronald McDonald House and for the Leukemia and Lymphoma society. They were also the second highest student fundraising group for the 2010 GVSU Relay for Life.

by Sarah Schultz

This story was filed with the tags: Health, Helping the Community, Volunteerism