The Accessible Medics London branch has received a grant worth $500 from the Elgin-Middlesex branch of United Way to support outreach initiatives in the local community aimed at increasing awareness of inequalities in access to emergency medicine. The project leaders, Geetika Gupta (WesternU Co-Director, pictured centre left) and Kevin Zhou (Founder, pictured centre right) attended the grant award ceremony on Friday Nov 30th at Museum London to present the initiative to the rest of the London Life Youth United project leaders and counsel board members.
The project aims to advocate for better access to healthcare on behalf of marginalized members of the London community. Accessible Medics London plans on accomplishing this by working closely with the Schulich Dental Outreach Community Service (DOCS) program, which provides free dental hygiene services to low income families with no dental insurance. Members of Accessible Medics Western will provide patients with a brochure informing them of registration steps, our partner clinics, and other community resources.
Accessible Medics is the first non-profit of its kind to exist in Canada, offering premium and deductible-free EMS insurance to underprivileged or marginalized members of the community. Additionally, the level of advocacy and community outreach that we aim to achieve sets us apart from many other charitable-giving programs. In this project, we are not only providing underprivileged individuals with the necessary tools for success but are also advocating for their access to healthcare.
“Despite the fundamental role that Emergency Medical Services (EMS) plays in the lives of people, not everyone has equal access to life-saving care under our provincial health plan”Kevin Zhou, Founder of Accessible Medics
By providing free EMS insurance, we provide an opportunity for newcomers to have peace of mind when it comes to ambulance fees, so they can focus on important things such as seeking employment and integrating with the London community. Integration of medical and health science student volunteers into Schulich community dental clinics will also result in stronger relationships between individuals and the health agencies within the community. After this project, we are committed to continue educating low-income individuals about access to healthcare, as well as expanding our service to even larger populations.
Our student volunteers will have an unparalleled opportunity to develop their interpersonal skills as they take on the role of a professional representative of Accessible Medics. Through their interaction with real patients, they will gain first-hand clinical experience that will help them become informed and engaged members of the community. Additionally, by being involved in the process of organizing such a program, our student leaders will learn the essential concepts of teamwork, problem-solving, and critical thinking. We will also recruit outreach volunteers closer to the dates of the program, through an applications process monitored by our student executives, and the sponsoring organization (Accessible Medics) National Director.
Ultimately this program will result in stronger relationships between individuals and the health agencies within the community, in addition to providing equal access to emergency health care for individuals with no other means of requesting EMS.