USF Health BRIDGE Clinic named Philanthropic Service Organization of the Year

The Suncoast Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) recently recognized the USF Health BRIDGE Clinic as its 2016 Philanthropic Service Organization of the Year. The award was presented at the AFP’s celebration of National Philanthropy Day on Nov. 15 at Lowry Park Zoo.

Staffed entirely by volunteer USF Health students and overseen by volunteer faculty advisors, the BRIDGE Clinic provides free primary medical care on Tuesday evenings at the Morsani Center for Advanced Healthcare to more than 850 underserved patients each year from the University Community Area.

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From left: Dr. Lucy Guerra, a BRIDGE Clinic medical director; Emily Goodwin, USF medical student; Kristin Prewitt, MD/MPH student and executive student director of BRIDGE Clinic; and Dr. Frederick Slone, a clinic medical director; recently accepted the AFP Suncoast Chapter Philanthropic Service Organization of the Year award on behalf of the USF Health BRIDGE Clinic.

What began nine years ago as the vision of four USF medical students has grown into a robust, interdisciplinary resource for both USF and the community it serves. USF Health students, social work students, and attending physicians accomplish its namesake mission of “Building Relationships and Initiatives Dedicated to Gaining Equality” by volunteering more than 13,500 hours each year at an estimated benefit of more than $1 million in health care services.

The clinic collaborates with community partners to provide routine care for non-emergency medical needs for uninsured adults who make 200 percent or less of the federal poverty guidelines. Its partnership with Florida Hospital has allowed the the clinic to operate at a nearby second location inside the Florida Hospital Pepin Heart Institute one Thursday night each month.

“We are honored and humbled to receive this award from AFP and are inspired by the efforts to better the Tampa community from the other recipients,” said Kristin Prewitt, executive student director of the BRIDGE Clinic and an MD/MPH student. “We couldn’t do this work without the countless faculty, students, and USF community members who dedicate their time to serving our patients. We owe any recognition to them and our patients.”

Two other University of South Florida benefactors, Kate Tiedemann and Ellen Cotton, were recognized as philanthropists of the year at the event. The couple’s generosity to the USF St. Petersburg campus has been recognized through the naming of the Kate Tiedemann College of Business and the Ellen Cotton Atrium.

Story and photo by Davina Gould, USF Health Development