A voluntary public service organization for University of Washington (UW) medical students, the Community Health Advancement Program (CHAP), was named a Daily Point of Light Award Winner for Monday, Oct. 4.
The Daily Points of Light Awards honor those who help meet critical needs in their communities. The Points of Light Foundation, the Corporation for National Service, and the Knights of Columbus sponsor the national recognition.
Founded more than 20 years ago by the late UW family physician Dr. Gabriel Smilkstein, CHAP draws UW medical students and health sciences students to volunteer service activities in King County. The students work with community groups to identify unmet needs, then develop ongoing service projects.
CHAP projects have included the Saturday Clinic at Holly Park Community Health Center, a flu shot clinic for the elderly, a dermatology clinic held at a downtown Seattle homeless shelter, a diabetic foot care program, cooking for the Chicken Soup Brigade, pre-sports physicals for high school students, and teen mentoring and health promotion.
The program gives students skills in addressing public concerns in an effective manner. They learn through experience to collaborate with agencies, recruit volunteers, raise funds, and implement, support, evaluate, modify and sustain a public service. Over the years, many UW and local physicians have donated their professional skills for CHAP projects.
CHAP is under the auspices of the UW Department of Family Medicine. Dr. Sharon Dobie, associate professor of family medicine and a family physician at University of Washington Medical Center, is the faculty advisor. The program coordinator is Connie Huffine, and Charlene Forslund serves as education coordinator. CHAP has several student leaders.