Dr. Steve Larson Visits Campus Joined by Local Community Healthcare Organizations

Author: Paloma Garcia-Lopez

Img 0291Lorena Morejon-Lasso, ‘22, Latino Studies Merit Scholar, welcomed Dr. Larson to campus and introduced him to the group of 80 peers in pre-health studies.

On Oct. 9, 2018, ILS welcomed Dr. Steve Larson, Executive Director of Puentes de Salud and clinical faculty at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, to speak about his career long service to immigrants and uninsured patients in Philadelphia.  Dr. Larson screened the HBO Documentary, “Clinica de Migrantes,” which featured his work to establish the clinic he’s been donating his and other colleague’s time to serve the most vulnerable sector of his community. The documentary featured the stories of a dozen patients, members of the working poor in Philadelphia restaurants and janitorial jobs, many who had lived two months to twenty years in the shadows of a thriving economy they helped build.  


Img 6313Dr. Steve Larson, second from left, and Community Health Leaders discuss local needs of Latinos

The dedication of Dr. Larson and his colleagues, as well as medical and nursing students employed at the clinic, gave the audience a sense of their urgency to implement creative solutions, within and outside of the U.S. healthcare system, to address acute needs of patients in their office. Today, Dr. Larson’s clinic is a thriving ecosystem of medical services and health education classes funded by churches, universities, foundations, and local businesses who contribute in-kind and monetary gifts.  Dr. Larson raises half a million in gifts and secures another half a million in grants to sustain services to 10,000 patients each year. At the conclusion of his talk, four local St. Joseph and Elkhart county community based organizations presented their scope of services and invited the 80 pre-med and other undergraduate students in the audience to plug into their existing volunteer opportunities.


A list of volunteer opportunities available to ND undergrads is as follows:

Northern Indiana Hispanic Health Coalition
Contact: Liliana Quintero, Executive Director, (574) 522-0966

  • Serves 12,000 Hispanics in Elkhart, Warsaw, Goshen annually

Upcoming service opportunities:

  • November 5, 12, 19, 26th - Health education classes in Spanish from 5-7pm • Roosevelt Elementary School, Elkhart, IN
  • Need “Por Tu Familia” Program Intern(s)  - Volunteer Application
    • Come learn, observe, or teach our families to prevent high blood pressure and stroke!


Community Wellness Partners
Contact: Bryan Ayala, Community Wellness Educator, O: 574-232-4234, C: 574-440-3385

  • Community Wellness Partners bridges the gap of health disparities by educating 6000 members of the St. Joseph county community on issues of tobacco cessation, infant mortality, diabetes, and general health and wellness.

Upcoming service opportunities:

  • La Vida Sana Group meets monthly on the second Wednesday, 2910 W. Western Ave, South Bend.  Seeking ND students as health advocates - volunteer once a month.


Sister Maura Brannick, CSC, Health Center • 326 Chapin St., South Bend, IN 46601
Contact: Sam Arroyo, ND ‘18, Intern, 574.335.8222

Upcoming service opportunities:

  • Seeking interpreters who speak Spanish and summer interns. Bus transportation available to this site.


Indiana Health Centers
Contact: David Chapman, Practice Manager

Upcoming service opportunities:

  • Volunteer for National Youth Advocate Program


Others not present at the ILS event:

Navari Student Outreach Clinic • 2nd floor of the Marycrest Building, 2015 Western Ave., South Bend

Founded by IUSB Medical School Students

Service opportunities:

  • Open every other Saturday from 8am - 11:30am. The clinic has four patient exam rooms, a limited pharmacy and a phlebotomy lab. http://www.southbendstudentclinic.com/