About 200 Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso (TTUHSC El Paso) medical students will participate in community service events Saturday, September 15, as part of the annual Corazón de Oro (Heart of Gold) community outreach event.
This year’s Corazón de Oro will honor Kharisma James, who graduated from the Gayle Greve Hunt School of Nursing in May 2017. James passed away Aug. 13 after being struck by a car while picking up her children at Tippin Elementary School in El Paso.
Organized by TTUHSC El Paso’s Student Government Association (SGA), Corazón de Oro 2018 will include students from all three TTUHSC El Paso schools—the Paul L. Foster School of Medicine, the Gayle Greve Hunt School of Nursing and the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences (GSBS)—in an effort to give back to the community. The students will volunteer at 13 different sites.
SGA President Sajid Leelani said the event serves as a reminder to TTUHSC El Paso students of why they went into the medical field: to serve the community. He said students also asked to honor James, who often answered that call to service.
“Kharisma James was one of the founding officers of the SGA,” Leelani said. “It’s a day of service, and she was also very much about service. She served in the military. She was a nurse and she served in the SGA. So we are honored to remember her on this day.”
Sept. 15 will also mark the fourth anniversary of the RotaCare Clinic. The El Paso RotaCare clinic was opened by the Rotary Club of El Paso in September 2014 in the Lower Valley to provide free medical care for those in need. The clinic provides learning opportunities for TTUHSC El Paso’s medical students. As part of the anniversary celebration, students will host a health fair at the clinic Saturday morning.
List of sites – Students will volunteer at the following sites from 8 a.m. to noon Sept. 15:
YWCA, 201 E. Main St.: Students will assist with transitional living center activities.
Center Against Sexual and Family Violence, 580 Giles Road: Students will provide landscaping and facility maintenance.
Compadres Therapy, 6631 Strahan Rd.: Students will provide maintenance around the barn.
GiGi’s Playhouse, 960 Chelsea St., Suite B: Students’ volunteer work to be determined.
Habitat for Humanity, 11221 Rojas Drive, Building B: Students will work on a restoration project.
El Pasoans Fighting Hunger Food Bank, 9541 Plaza Circle: Students will help sort food.
Salvation Army, 4300 E. Paisano Drive: Students will reorganize thrift store donations.
Rescue Mission Center of El Paso, 130 N. Cotton St.: Students will sort donations and clean living areas.
Candlelighters of El Paso, 1900 N. Oregon St., Room 402: Students will sort donations and provide maintenance.
Opportunity Center for the Homeless, 1208 Myrtle Ave.: Students will distribute meals and organize donations.
Baptist Clinic, 2700 N. Piedras St.: Students will clean and organize at the clinic’s new location.
RotaCare Clinic, 301 S. Schutz Drive: Students will assist at the health fair.
Texas Special Olympics: On Sept. 8, students took vitals for athletes.