The 2018 Couriers served a vast number of Appalachian community members through their summer of working in clinics and nonprofits. We are pleased to share with you a glimpse of their summer projects and service below:
Molly Craig served with Kentucky Mountain Health Alliance (Little Flower Clinic) and Bluegrass Care Navigators. For her community project, she worked with a local practitioner to conduct a seminar on combating opioid addiction for inmates at the Leslie County Detention Center, where over 85 percent of the inmates are incarcerated due to drug-related charges.
Molly donated the remainder of her project stipend to Little Flower Clinic’s in-house transportation program. With Molly’s donation, Little Flower Clinic will build benches for the patients to sit while they wait to be picked up for their health appointments. We thank Molly for her dedication and service this year, and wish her luck on her quest to become a physician!
James Rasmussen served with Mary Breckinridge ARH Hospital and Red Bird Mission. With Red Bird, James performed bone density screenings at a wellness fair at Red Bird Christian School. He also collaborated with local community members and officials to design and implement a large-scale mural celebrating the spirit and culture of Hyden. Volunteers helped design and paint the mural over the course of a weekend.
The completed mural will remain behind Hyden Citizens Bank as a part of the Hyden community. We wish James the best in medical school, and we thank him for his service!
Dania Cervantes Ayala
Dania Cervantes Ayala served with Hometown Clinic and Bluegrass Care Navigators. She provided end-of-life hospice services, shadowed advanced practice registered nurses and learned about rural healthcare in various settings.
For her community project, Dania handed out backpacks with hygiene, wellness and other often-overlooked items to students at a local back-to-school event. She procured the items by soliciting for financial and in-kind support from the community. We thank Dania for her service and wish her the best of luck as she begins her Baccalaureate Nursing Program!
Courier Volunteer Opportunities
All three Couriers also took other opportunities to volunteer throughout the summer. They each served at a local coffee shop called The Well. Run solely by volunteers, proceeds from The Well are donated toward the local food pantry.
In addition, Couriers participated in the Health Wagon Remote Area Medical (RAM) events in both Hazard, Ky. and Wise, Va. The Health Wagon’s mobile medical clinic delivers free, high-quality vision, dental and medical services to children, individuals, and families who do not have access or cannot afford to visit a healthcare provider.
The Wise RAM event registered 1,349 patients and provided $413,171 in services. In its inaugural year, the Hazard RAM event registered 446 patients and provided $131,951 in services.
We thank RAM for their support of Appalachian communities all over the nation, and our Couriers for their willingness to be a part of such a vital project! Thank you to our Couriers and Community Partners, as well as our sponsors and supporters.
A special thanks also goes to Breckinridge Capital Advisors for covering the program fees for this year’s Couriers, all of their community project costs, and their ongoing advocacy for our internship program. Together we are all serving Appalachia!