County recognizes student-run BRIDGE Healthcare Clinic

The Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners recognized the value to the community of the BRIDGE Healthcare Clinic with a resolution at the board’s Sept. 4 publicly-televised meeting. The BRIDGE, which stands for Building Relationships and Initiatives Dedicated to Gaining Equality, is the University’s student-run clinic offering free primary care, social services and physical therapy to uninsured adults living in the university area. The faculty-supervised clinic is based at the University Area Community Center.

The meeting was attended by several medical, physical therapy and social work students who volunteer at the BRIDGE Clinic as well as Alicia Monroe, MD, vice dean for Educational Affairs at the USF College of Medicine; William S. Quillen, PT, PhD, professor and director
of the School of Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation Sciences; and Dr. Laurie Woodard, associate professor of family medicine and a faculty mentor at the clinic.

Commissioner Kevin White presented Dr. Monroe with a plaque containing the following resolution:


Whereas the University of South Florida, classified by the internationally recognized Carnegie Foundation as one of America’s top research institutions, has also earned Carnegie recognition for “Community Engagement”, the only university in Florida to do so; and

Whereas USF’s Tampa Campus neighbors in the University Area Community are valiantly working to address great social, financial, educational and health-related challenges in one of Hillsborough County’s most socially and economically vulnerable neighborhoods; and

Whereas USF students, faculty and staff, including Young Bulls in the Colleges of Medicine, Nursing and Public Health, the School of Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation Sciences and the School of Social Work, are committed to finding solutions to local, national and global problems; and

Whereas a creative and dedicated team of USF Medical Students took it upon themselves to establish the Bridge Healthcare Clinic at the University Area Community Center, featuring collaboration among students at all levels and providing hands-on experience in culturally competent medicine, while learning about the challenges of practicing medicine with underserved patients; and

Whereas the most effective solutions are private-public partnerships so USF-Health enlisted enthusiastic Bridge Clinic support from Quest Diagnostics, Allscripts, the American Medical Association and the Florida Department of Health; and

Whereas this national prototype, student-run, free Clinic is improving lives of Hillsborough County residents at the neighborhood level;

Be it resolved that the Hillsborough Board of County Commissioners hereby recognizes the students at the USF Health for their leadership and dedication to Health Care problem-solving and to the improved quality of life in our community.

Dr. Alicia Monroe, vice dean for Educational Affairs at the USF College of Medicine, receives the resolution from Commissioner Kevin White.

Dr. Monroe (above) and Aaron Jaworek (below), a senior USF medical student and one of the BRIDGE Clinic’s co-directors, addressed the Hillsborough County Commission.

Newsbrief by Anne DeLotto Baier, USF Health Communications