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Street Medicine Project

Mar 30, 2022, 14:54 PM by Mary Jo Singleton

Congratulations to Vanesa Ochoa, Caitlin Aguirre, and Ashton Davis on being selected to be Fellows in the 2022-23 class of the Albert Schweitzer Fellowship Houston Galveston for their Street Medicine project. This year’s application cycle was the most competitive the chapter has ever had and they were impressed by the application, interview, and the comprehensive plan Vanesa, Caitlin, and Ashton created for their project.

Vanesa, Ashton, and Caitlin’s legacy Schweitzer Fellowship project builds upon the work of the 2021-22 fellows, Mario Zuniga and Dakota Rodgers. Mario and Dakota began conducting Street Rounds in the summer of 2021 and did an outstanding job at addressing some of the basic needs of the Galveston unsheltered population. They engaged with unhoused individuals residing on the East End of Galveston and were successful in conducting bi-weekly Street Rounds to provide basic necessities (i.e. socks, undergarments, hand warmers, water, and snacks), identifying key leaders of the unsheltered population, and distributing meals from the Galveston Farmer’s Market. To expand, Vanesa, Ashton, and Caitlin plan to engage with new stakeholders, including Unite Texas, Students Improving Galveston Health Together (SIGHT), and Family Medicine and Psychiatric Residents. They plan to refer individuals to the appropriate social resources on the island through the Unite Texas platform, address acute medical needs, and help alleviate the food insecurity this population often faces.

Vanesa Ochoa is a second-year medical student from Alamo, Texas. She completed her undergraduate training at The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley with a degree in Biology and minors in Medical Spanish and Psychology. Vanesa is a passionate advocate for vulnerable and underserved populations and is looking forward to serving her Galveston community as a recipient of the Albert Schweitzer Fellowship.

Caitlin Aguirre is a first-year MD-MPH student from El Paso, Texas. Before attending UTMB, she graduated from Wellesley College with a degree in Biochemistry and Health and Society. Her passion for serving unhoused communities began throughout her undergraduate years as she established and participated in a volunteer program at Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program. Through that experience, she was deeply impacted by each physician’s empathy and willingness to meet people where they are, not just figuratively, but physically through Street Rounds. As she pursues a career in medicine, she hopes to extend the same generosity toward under-served individuals in the Galveston community.

Ashton Davis is a first-year medical student from Dallas, Texas. He graduated from the University of Kansas in 2021 studying Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology with a minor in business. He is currently the Community Engagement Coordinator for Street Medicine and is excited to continue to build the program and outreach through the fellowship.