Every year, hospitals, clinics and other medical providers across the country spend hundreds of millions of dollars to market and advertise their services to consumers.
As a small and volunteer-driven non-profit, the Moab Free Health Clinic doesn’t have the financial resources to launch those kinds of advertising blitzes. But it has found ways to reach out to the community for a fraction of the typical marketing costs, with the help of a new partner.
A group of six Colorado College students led by reading, rhetoric and first-year programs specialist Jessie Dubreuil recently teamed up with the clinic to promote its services.
The clinic has worked with Utah State University Eastern students in the past. But its collaboration with Colorado College is unprecedented, both in terms of the detail and the amount of work involved, according to Moab Free Health Clinic volunteer coordinator Sean Buck.
“This is the first of its kind for us,” Buck said Dec. 12.
The students spent a full week in Moab as part of an intensive Colorado College course that focuses on the humanities, as well as health- and illness-related issues.
Apart from their work at the clinic, students read about various social and economic factors that affect people’s health. Once they stepped out of the classroom and into the field, they gained firsthand insights into Moab’s health care needs.
Along the way, they helped the clinic catch up on projects that its volunteers can’t always get around to, Buck said.
Student Nicole Tan, for instance, visited Grand County High School to raise awareness about mental health counseling services and other free resources that the clinic offers.
Her peers worked on similar projects that encourage residents to take advantage of HIV testing, diabetes screening and additional services that are available at the clinic.
Throughout their time in Moab, students had the chance to observe interactions at the clinic. They also interviewed volunteers and patients, and then began to shape the personal stories they collected into narratives, which will ultimately help the clinic make its case when it pursues grant funding.
One clear picture emerged from Tan’s observations.
“I’ve definitely noticed that the patients love this clinic,” she said.
The feeling toward the students was mutual, as far as clinic volunteers were concerned.
“We really love having them here,” Buck said.
For more information about the Moab Free Health Clinic, call 435-259-1113, or go to: http://moabfreehealthclinic.org/.