Healthcare Access - USD AWOL 2019-20

Document Type


Publication Date



Service Learning


Communities in Houston, Texas suffer greatly from a lack of access to health care services for low-income families. Some families lack financial stability to ensure their well-being; it is important that having access to health care, regardless of social class, is still possible. USD AWOL sent a 12-person group of eager volunteers to Houston for a week over winter break to focus on healthcare access in these communities. While there, the group completed service with Project C.U.R.E to organize donated pharmaceutical supplies and prepare them for shipments to developing countries. They also made a chili and cinnamon roll meal for families at the Holcombe House that are being supported by the Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC). This AWOL group saw first-hand how charitable organizations, like RMHC, have aided families through the hardships of having an ill child. The group also worked with Houston Health Foundation during their "See to Succeed" event where they assisted students enrolled in primary education in acquiring optometry services that their families normally couldn't afford. In addition to learning about affordable health care in the Houston area, these AWOL students showed humility through daily reflections where they discussed financial and racial privileges. While each group member developed into a more educated community servant, they also nourished the communities in Houston with a devoted week of service-learning.

First Advisor

Kim Albracht

Research Area

Service Learning

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