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UB med students taking medicine to the streets to provide care to Buffalo's homeless

"We are meeting people exactly where they're at."
UB med students
Posted at 9:09 PM, Dec 29, 2022

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Medicine took itself to the streets, Thursday night.

Medical student volunteers made their rounds to provide medical care and basic services to the homeless.

University at Buffalo medical students from the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences were at Buffalo's Greyhound Station, on 181 Ellicott Street.

UB Heals assistant program manager, Victoria Hoffman said, "This is a location that we've just been coming to for years. They know where we are and they come to seek us out and find us. It's just been a nice meeting place, and usually we come from here and we do our street rounds. We start walking to people on the roads and we go where they're at."

The outreach initiative provides medical care like, physical exams, food, water and winter clothing, as well as various toiletries.

The group is made up of medical students, physicians, nurses and local hospitals, as well as social services community partners like Matt Urban.

She added, "It's been wonderful to be out here for the last five years, and that we've gained the trust of so many people in this community, and they know who we are and they're comfortable in coming up to us and asking us exactly what they need."

For the last five years, every Tuesday and Thursday, volunteers who are small in quantity but mighty, hardly miss a round until earlier this week, when the blizzard hit.

However, as soon as the travel ban was lifted, they knew they had to come because the need has never been greater.

Hoffman told Pheben Kassahun, "We are meeting people exactly where they're at. Some of these people that we meet out here, they haven't been to a doctor in a very long time, in a clinical setting and so for us to be able to come to them has really been so important."

Everything the med students receive via donations are handed out directly.

Anyone who would like to donate to the next rounds, can find information at UBheals.com or send questions via email at ubheals@gmail.com.