UVA medical student creates software to recruit more volunteers for clinics

UVA medical student creates software to recruit more volunteers for clinics
UVA medical student, Zuhayr Shaikh (Source: WVIR)

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - The demand for help at free clinics has been on the rise since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, but one medical student at the University of Virginia is working to easily connect volunteers with them.

“We’ve been working to just promote volunteers and free clinics for both in-person and teleservice,” UVA medical student Zuhayr Shaikh said. “One thing led to another. We’re thinking, ‘OK, what about dieticians? What about nurses? What about physicians?”

Shaikh’s list of interested clinic volunteers evolved into a job posting software for free clinics.

“Any volunteer who wants to help out would see an opportunity or posting if Charlottesville Free Clinic put one up, and then they could directly reach out to the point contact for that position,” Shaikh said.

Shaikh partners with the Virginia Association of Free and Charitable Clinics to help reach as many people as possible. So far, more than 200 volunteers have submitted applications.

“As we continue to get more volunteers into the system, we’re hoping that just like other free clinics, Charlottesville Free Clinic can get more people either remotely volunteering or in-person,’ Shaikh said.

Charlottesville Free Clinic Executive Director Susan Sherman says volunteers are always in high demand and that this new software is a game changer.

“It informs potential volunteers from all over Virginia that we’re here, and if we’re not in their vicinity then there’s likely another free clinic in their area where they can volunteer,” Sherman said.

Shaikh is still polishing the site and hopes to grow it into a nationwide resource. If you’re interested in volunteering for a free clinic in Virginia, you can visit freeclinicscare.org/volunteer to see where help is needed.

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