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WUSF News Staff
Tue February 5, 2013
USF Health Talent Show Raises $25K for Clinic
It's no secret that health care is expensive - especially if you don't have insurance. And while USF Health students help low-income residents near the Tampa campus with its weekly, free BRIDGE Healthcare Clinic, it also costs quite a bit to operate that service.
So rather than bring in a high-priced entertainer for a ritzy benefit, USF Health students and faculty took to the stage themselves for a talent show that raised $25,000. This week's University Beat has the story.
Second-year USF Morsani Medical School student Madeline Snyder created "BANDAids for BRIDGE" last year to raise money for the clinic.
“I think it definitely adds to the bonding experience that exists within USF Health between students and their mentors," said Snyder. "We really get to show off how dynamic our energy is here and how much we love our school and the people that we’re surrounded by every single day.”
This year's event at the T. Pepin Hospitality Centre included more than 30 acts featuring over 70 students and faculty from across USF Health -- medical school students, as well as future physical therapists, pharmacists, and social workers.
The dancers, comedians and singers were judged "American Idol" style by a panel of Bay area celebrities. And like the BRIDGE Clinic itself, everything was organized and run by the students.
“It speaks to the quality of our students," said USF Health CEO Dr. Stephen Klasko. "It speaks to the morale at the Morsani College of Medicine, and it speaks to the values that we believe in."
The event was a success, raising $25,000 for the clinic -- a huge increase from the $2,000 raised at the 2012 inaugural BANDAids for Bridge. And when jokingly told that she might want to give up medicine for a career as a fund-raiser or event planner, Snyder replied, "Trust me, at times during medical school, that idea seems extremely appealing!"
The BRIDGE (Building Relationships and Initiatives Dedicated to Gaining Equality) Healthcare Clinic serves uninsured adults 18 and older who are more than 200 percent below the poverty level. They also must be residents of the University Area Community bordered by Bearss Avenue, Fowler Avenue, Bruce B. Downs Boulevard, and Florida Avenue.
The Clinic, which does not offer prenatal, dental or pediatric services, is located at the Morsani Center for Advanced Health Care and is open every Tuesday from 6 to 9 p.m.