McDaniel Students Lent a Helping Hand at two Community Nonprofits
Looking to boost your resume or earn internship credits? Volunteer at two local nonprofits: Access Carroll or Deafmd.org!
“Access Carroll is a free primary care facility for Carroll County residences with low income, more specifically those with income 200% below the federal poverty level,” said Founder, Dr. Robert Wack.
According to the Executive Director, Tammy Black Access Carroll is an independent organization, yet is collaboratively supported by the Partnership of Healthcare in Carroll County, Carroll County Hospital, and the Carroll County Health Department.
According to Wack, there are 15-20 thousand uninsured people in the county. Many employees are provided healthcare through their jobs, but due to the high cost of living and today’s economy they can’t afford to have money docked out of their pay.
Access Carroll is a recipient of the Maryland Community Health Care Resources Commission. The State Committee provides grants to help aid the organization. “It provides us with high end care we could never get before for our patients,” said Black.
With an average of 70 new patients a month, Access Carroll was provided a new home located on Route 27. This new establishment will be double the size of their current residence on Main Street. The new location will include seven exam rooms, a large waiting room, a dental care suite, a pharmacy with an electronic health record unit, and practitioners will have their own offices. At the current location, practitioners share a small office that makes it difficult to have one-on-one conversation with patients.
According to Black, “This will allow more private, confidential patient conversations; an ideal setting to give folks the respectful, dignified, and peaceful environment to communication their very intimate healthcare issues.”
Access Carroll plans to move into their new location by the end of this year. With a larger location, there is going to be a greater need for more volunteers and donations to keep it running. Senior Lauren DiNatale volunteers at Access Carroll after learning about the opportunity through a friend.
“I believe that even with the small amount of work that I can do at Access Carroll is one less thing that someone else has to worry about, ultimately it will help more patients receive the medical care they need faster and more efficiently,” said DiNatale.
DiNatale plans to go into the medical field and a Physician Assistant. While gaining more experience in the medical field, she is able to contribute to the community in a positive way.
“This experience will provide me with a greater depth of understanding of patient needs and help me become a better clinician in my future career,” said DiNatale.
Deafmd.org in another nonprofit organization located in Carroll County. The concept of creating a website that contains videos, where interrupters are signing medical information for people in the deaf community was created in 2002 by Casey Davis. The website was finally launched in 2008 and now contains 500 videos covering over 200 health care topics.
Like Access Carroll, this organization operates off of donations and volunteers. In order to raise funds, Davis set up a sponsorship program, where companies can place adds on the website for a small price. According to Casey Davis, “We’ve had 177,000 visitors since day one. I hoped that if each visitor donated $1 we wouldn’t need funding,” said Davis. Davis explained that donations go towards paying their employees, malpractice and liability insurance, web/video hosting, out reach efforts, and creations of new topics.
Junior Jordan Doss is currently volunteering at Deafmd.org. Doss is an ASL minor at McDaniel and finds this experience very beneficial for him. “The more exposure I have to the language the better,” said Doss.
Like DiNatale, Doss is volunteering to give back to the community. “I enjoy helping others so this seems like a perfect way for me to help others while doing something I am interested in.”
Besides having a passion for ASL, Davis enjoys photography. This past winter, Davis took several photographs of downtown Westminster during the blizzard. In order raise additional funds he is selling the 16×20 matted photographs on his websites. They can be purchased for $120 each.
To donate or find more information about volunteer opportunities contact Tammy Black at email@example.com or Casey Davis at Casey@DeafMD.org.