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Patient and Community Programs

Patient and community education is an important part of the UCSD Student-Run Free Clinic Project. Using methods like Motivational Interviewing and Teach-Back, we work to not only educate, but also empower patients to be agents of change in their own healthcare management and well-being.

While patients are at clinic, there are a number of resources available to them to enhance their understanding and experience. Below are several examples of education and enrichment opportunities available to patients through the Free Clinic.

Feeding San Diego

Our dedicated students and volunteers partner with Feeding San Diego, a non-profit branch of Feeding America, to provide nutritious food at no cost to patients during medical clinic visits. Patients receive over 100 lbs of several varieties of fresh fruit and vegetables, and shelf stable items during each clinic visit. During the COVID pandemic the national food insecurity rose and our students and volunteers implemented a delivery system allowing us to increase the amount of food and other essentials (ie medications, medical equipment, social resources, etc.), we provided to our patients. 

Nutrition Kitchen Project

Medical students have developed a program called "Nutrition Kitchen Project" in partnership with our Promotoras. The class provides cooking classes and nutritional information using food provided for patients through a partnership with Feeding San Diego.


Women's Empowerment Group

This group evolved from a Medical Student's Independent Study Project (ISP). With the guidance and support of our Promotoras and Social Workers, patients are able to share their worries and fears with a group of peers. Through this group, patients find a space for vulnerability and a place of support. Our Empowerment Group continues to meet, raise funds for patient needs, and teach us each day with their courage.

Art with Socorro Gonzalez (Promotora)

While patients wait to be seen by a member of the Free Clinic Team, they are invited to participate in art activities with one of our Promotoras, Socorro Gonzalez. These art projects provide patients with an outlet for self-expression and relaxation. Program is on pause due to the covid pandemic.


Former Programs

My Diabetes Tracker

This self-care tracking tool was developed as a Medical Student's Independent Study Project (ISP). My Diabetes Tracker was designed to help both the patient and their doctor keep track of the patient's health measures to help control their diabetes. This tool had two sides: on the front their is space for the doctor to fill-in the patient's pertinent lab values for each visit, such as Hemoglobin A1c, Blood Pressure, date of last Foot Exam, etc.; and on the back there was a section for patient self-monitoring where they are asked questions such as, "Do I take my medications daily?" and "Do I eat a healthy diet?".

Liver Health Program

The liver health education and disease prevention program began as Medical Student Lara Hall's Independent Study Project (ISP) many years ago. Another student's ISP ensured that our homeless patients and others in the community are receiving Hepatitis A immunizaion and learnt preventive practices.

Tai Chi

At our Baker Clinic, Socorro Gonzales, one of our Promotoras, used to lead Tai Chi. Learning Tai Chi had been one of Socorro's dreams, and she was able to train with Robert Nations, LAc, who used to volunteer and teach Tai Chi for the UCSD Student-Run Free Clinic Project. Socorro also completed the TMBB Tai Chi Movement for Better Balance Program.

Comprehensive Wellness Program

This program served the students, parents, teachers, and physical environment of the Lemon Grove Academy for the Sciences and Humanities. At Lemon Grove Academy, with the help of a dedicated principal, Mr. Rick Oser, excellent teachers and passionate medical and dental students, we taught two elective classes daily, empowering middle-schoolers to be youth health promoters in their school, families and community, and in their own lives.

Middle School Elective - Achieving Wellbeing: Becoming a Youth Health Promoter

In partnership with the Lemon Grove Academy for the Sciences and Humanities, this youth health course was part of a Comprehensive Wellness Program designed to provide students with information about nutrion, exercise, and self-expression, among other topics. Students learnt about a problem, who it affects, what you can do, then they do something to address the problem