A sense of service and a desire to help
By Giovanny Destin, TCOM student
Some were tired from working a job late in the evening to help support their families. Some showed stress from problems at home. Others were unhealthy from lack of nutrition and preventive health care.
These teenagers were my introduction to Fort Worth, after I moved in 2011 from upstate New York to teach high school here. And my desire to help them and their families live healthier, fuller lives guided me to study medicine at UNT Health Science Center.
The UNTHSC commitment to producing health care providers who care for underserved patient populations appealed to my sense of service. I’m president of the campus chapter of the Student National Medical Association, a network of students devoted to addressing the needs of underserved communities.
In the fall, leaders of our student group wanted to plan a community health fair in an underserved neighborhood. I remembered the faces of the students I taught and the many obstacles — lack of nearby health care providers, few healthy food options and financial restraints — that prevented them from maintaining good health.
We organized the health fair at the Eugene McCray Community Center in southeast Fort Worth. We recruited partners like John Peter Smith Hospital and the UT Southwestern Moncrief Cancer Institute. Students hit the streets passing out fliers and encouraging families to attend.
More than 50 Health Science Center students volunteered to spend their weekend helping connect people to free health and eye screenings, immunizations, glucose tests, information on free cancer screenings and cancer support services and insurance sign-ups. I was proud of my university.
I originally moved to Fort Worth because, as a teacher, the cost of living was better. Today I feel invested in this community — and so do my classmates. I hope to one day help improve the health and wellbeing of the same families I once connected with in school.
Then maybe those students will look a little more at peace in the mornings.
Giovanny Destin is a TCOM Class of 2020 student.
By Sally Crocker An estimated 3% of adults over age 65 are driving under the influence of alcohol, according to one of the first research studies to delve into an emerging national concern. Experts said this statistic is especially worrisome given that older Americans are already mo...Read more
Sep 22, 2021
By Diane Smith-Pinckney The University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth (HSC) is joining the Satcher Health Leadership Institute at Morehouse School of Medicine (SHLI), and YouTube in celebrating the first recipient of the Garth N. Graham Distinguished Lectureship Aw...Read more
Sep 16, 2021
By Diane Smith-Pinckney For Alex Fernandez, connecting with his Cuban-American roots is a lifelong lesson. “The more I learn, the more I appreciate where I came from,” said Fernandez, a Student Services Coordinator in the Office of Care and Civility at The University of North Texas...Read more
Sep 16, 2021
By Diane Smith-Pinckney Every 11 minutes there is a death by suicide in the United States. In 2019, more than 47,500 people died of suicide and 1.4 million attempted suicide, according to statistics gathered by the U.S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Experts at The Univ...Read more
Sep 10, 2021