WSSU, Islamic Relief USA partner to help patients in need

February 9, 2017

 The School of Health Sciences has been awarded a $47,000 grant to help expand free services offered at its community clinics.Winston Salem State University’s School of Health Sciences (SOHS) has been awarded a $47,000 grant from Islamic Relief USA (IRUSA) that will help improve and expand the free services that are provided at the school’s physical therapy and occupational therapy community clinics, held at the Community Care Center in Winston-Salem. 

“Our partnership with Islamic Relief USA is helping WSSU’s School of Health Sciences to address the therapy needs of underserved individuals and improve the overall health of Winston-Salem residents,” said Nancy Smith, clinical associate professor in the Department of Physical Therapy at WSSU. “This generous grant will help both our organizations with our missions to increase health equity in our community.”

Since 2009, the Department of Physical Therapy (PT) in the SOHS has offered free services at the Community Care Center of Winston Salem. In 2015, the Department of Occupational Therapy (OT) joined in providing free care in the clinic, made possible by a previous grant by IRUSA.

These clinics are staffed by students and supervised by faculty members, providing WSSU SOHS students with invaluable patient interaction, assessment and treatment practice, service to underserved communities, and instruction in cultural and linguistic competence, Smith said. These clinics are in operation on Monday evenings (physical therapy) and Wednesday mornings (physical and occupational therapy)

In addition to OT and PT, students from other SOHS departments, including nursing and clinical laboratory science, provide care at the center.

In 2016, WSSU’s SOHS Departments of Physical and Occupational Therapy provided 455 patient visits and more than $66,000 in services and equipment at the clinic. 

The grant will allow SOHS Department of Occupational Therapy to open a night clinic to care for patients who may have difficulty coming for an appointment during the day, Smith said.

This funding also will help the SOHS:

  • Increase services at the physical therapy clinic.
  • Establish a neurologic clinic to address individual therapy needs related to Parkinson’s disease, balance impairments, stroke, post-polio and multiple sclerosis.

In 2015, SOHS received a $25,000 grant from IRUSA to support the clinics.

“We are very honored to be supporting the Winston- Salem University Clinic. This project supports vulnerable people of the community who cannot afford health care. It comes at an important time when affordable health care is a matter of concern. So, we decided to double our support this year – it’s our way to serve the community,” said Anwar Khan, IRUSA’s Chief Executive Officer.

The center, located at 2135 New Walkertown Road, is the largest free medical clinic in the state.  It serves uninsured and underserved low-income residents of Forsyth, Stokes and Davie counties.

“We rely on compassionate medical professionals and partners like WSSU who so eagerly share their talents and skills to serve our patients," said Jim Robinson, Community Care Center Director. "We realize that additional financial support is necessary to improve and sustain the WSSU clinic, and we are thrilled Islamic Relief USA is again partnering with us in this important work."

Smith and Beth Fain, instructor of occupational therapy, will be the principal investigators for the project.

Islamic Relief USA

Islamic Relief USA, based in Alexandria, Va., is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) humanitarian organization. Its mission is to provide relief and development in a dignified manner regardless of gender, race, or religion, and works to empower individuals in their communities and give them a voice in the world. Its programs benefit more than 10 million people each year in more than 40 countries around the world, including in the United States.

A bold past. A brilliant future.

For 125 years, Winston-Salem State University has fostered the creative thinking, analytical problem-solving, and depth of character needed to transform the world. Rooted in liberal education, WSSU’s curriculum prepares students to be thought leaders who have the skills and knowledge needed to develop innovative solutions to complex problems. WSSU is a historically Black constituent institution of the University of North Carolina with a rich tradition of contributing to the social, cultural, intellectual, and economic growth of North Carolina, the region and beyond. Guided by the motto, “Enter to Learn. Depart to Serve,” WSSU develops leaders who advance social justice by serving the world with compassion and commitment. Join us in celebrating our 125th anniversary with events throughout 2017. Learn more at the 125th Anniversary website.

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