Despite all the clinic changes due to COVID-19, there was still much work to be done behind the scenes. We would like to salute these Cal Poly student volunteers for their passion and dedication to Noor during this time: McClane Howland, Jamie Guaspari, and Kate Whitely.
Even when we’re not facing a pandemic, McClane Howland cruises over to the clinic on his bike each week to chart patient visits. A laid back and chill California guy, he’s one of several charters who volunteer at the clinic. [Side note – charting is crucially important as it provides the patient data and statistics required in grant applications.] So, instead of heading home to the Bay Area at the start of this pandemic, McClane stuck around when we needed him most. As our only charter during this pandemic, he has kept the charts from piling up. In addition to being a rock-star at charting, McClane can whip out patient data analysis like no other. Thanks to his help and dedication, we were recently able to apply for several tele-health grants. And all of this on top of being a full-time student! You impress us, McClane!
McClane is a 2nd year Computer Science Major at Cal Poly with plans to attend medical school after graduating. He volunteers at Noor as a way to contribute to improving the broken US healthcare system. When he isn’t at school, volunteering at Noor, or working at his part-time medical scribing job, McClane enjoys surfing and mountain biking.
As if adjusting to a full load of classes suddenly switching online wasn’t challenging enough, Cal Poly student, Jamie Guaspari, eagerly raised her hand to help us complete a project that’s been on the books for months – offering Noor’s website in Spanish. Jamie spent many hours deep in a worksheet translating text. Because of her amazing work, we were able to quickly unveil a much-needed Spanish version of the website. Jamie also regularly volunteers her time at the clinic helping with a variety of tasks including making reminder appointment calls particularly for our Spanish-speaking patients.
A 4th year at Cal Poly, Jamie is majoring in Child Development with minors in Spanish and Psychology. Jamie plans to attend nursing school after graduating with the goal of becoming a pediatric nurse. She volunteers at Noor because she believes everyone deserves access to high-quality health care and that Noor helps to make that happen. Jamie aspires to be like all of the health professionals and other dedicated clinic volunteers and hopes that she can embody their values and philosophy about healthcare in her future profession as a nurse. When she’s not being a rock star volunteer, you can catch Jamie hiking, swimming, running, enjoying time at the beach, or hanging out with her family and friends.
Our patients with uncontrolled diabetes have received some special attention during this shelter at home. Kate Whitley, a Cal Poly student interested in a career in medicine, has been helping us target these patients as part of her Senior Project. She has been doing phone visits and gathering information on their diets, exercise patterns, compliance with medications and other factors to help determine some of the obstacles for these patients to achieve better diabetic control. Together with Noor’s Medical Director, Dr. O’Malley, they analyze the information. Her visits are then followed up by a health care provider visit and treatment plans are adjusted according to the new information. It would be unlikely if not impossible for these patients to receive the level of care and attention anywhere else. Well done, Kate!
And that’s not all, Kate also speaks Spanish and has been helping Noor’s providers with translation during telemedicine visits. We are so grateful for volunteers like Kate who show commitment beyond the scope of just a senior project.
Kate is graduating from Cal Poly this month with a double major in Biology and Spanish. She volunteers at Noor because she’s interested in working in the medical field and for nonprofit organizations in the future. Noor provides her with many opportunities to work with and learn from various clinic staff. During the initial shelter at home, Kate decided to stay in SLO not only to spend the remainder of her time at Cal Poly with her roommates, her closest friends, but to volunteer at Noor to help during these stressful times, and continue the work on her project.
After graduation, Kate plans to spend the next year working as a medical assistant or EMT to get more experience working in the medical field while applying to medical school or another graduate program.