Student-Run Clinic Opens, Expands Services to Care in Westchester

On May 6, La Casita de la Salud, the New York Medical College (NYMC) student-run clinic operating since 2005 in East Harlem, opened a new location at NYMC’s Family Health Center in Valhalla, in conjunction with Touro Dental Health, the state-of-the-art dental health facility of the Touro College of Dental Medicine (TCDM).

The new location will offer free medical and dental care to uninsured adults in the surrounding community. Initially, the clinic will operate one Thursday a month from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., with plans for expanded operations in the future.

Since 2005, the original La Casita de la Salud student-run clinic in East Harlem has bridged the gap in health care disparities by providing quality, culturally competent care regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, nationality or ability to pay.

“We are so pleased to open a new La Casita location as the clinic truly encompasses the shared values that NYMC and Touro seek to embody,” said Dr. Lori Solomon, clinical associate professor and chair of the Department of Family and Community Medicine and director of the Family Health Center, who serves as a faculty advisor for the clinic. 

“Our goal is to train students to deliver skilled and compassionate care, as well as prioritize always giving back to the community. We hope that expanding the clinic to a new location and offering additional accessible care will make a positive impact on those who need it and the community as a whole.”

A typical patient visit will begin with a physical exam at the Family Health Center, followed by a warm handoff to Touro Dental Health and a dental exam and care. This model exemplifies a true interdisciplinary clinic and showcases the inter-professional education that NYMC and TCDM students receive.

La Casita will offer exams and laboratory testing for free and will help patients apply for free or reduced-fee pharmaceuticals, advanced diagnostic testing and referrals for specialty care if necessary.

Patients will receive longitudinal care, while students will get valuable clinical experience under the supervision of faculty advisors. Patient care will be delivered by a pre-clinical and clinical student pair in both settings. More than 100 students, each from NYMC and TCDM, have applied to volunteer at La Casita. In addition to clinical experience, student volunteers will also gain valuable operational and management experience.

La Casita will operate under strict COVID-19 protocols including reduced capacity, screening practices, use of personal protective equipment and enhanced cleaning practices.

To confirm eligibility and schedule an appointment, patients may call La Casita de la Salud at 845-519-7119 or Touro Dental Health at 914-594-2700.

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