Over the past month, Phi Theta Kappa members on campus have been gathering medical supplies to donate to Pine Ridge Family Health Center in a combined effort to help the local neighborhood clinic stay stocked over the winter season. PTKAW members have been gathering everything from bandages to cotton balls since Oct. 16 and only recently concluded their mission Monday.
PTKAW and Pine Ridge have had a relationship with one another ever since a former member of PTKAW, Thaina Jensen, pitched the idea of gathering medical supplies for the clinic at a meeting around a year ago. This will be the first time PTKAW has assisted Pine Ridge with collecting important healthcare items for their patients.
The PTKAW members have been gathering a variety of items including Band-Aids, boxes of tissues, thermometers, baby wipes, small packages of diapers, boxes of animal crackers, plastic cups, cotton balls, antibiotic ointment and more. All of these items have been gathered at specific locations around campus where boxes had been set out for the collection. Cash donations were also accepted.
“Pine Ridge Health Center is owned and operated by the Topeka Housing Authority,” said Paul Flumen, chairman of the board for PTKAW. “They serve a large number of impoverished patients such as the homeless, veterans and those who are just going through a tough time. We wanted to provide supplies to the clinic to assist those groups of people.”
PTKAW advertised for their collection through Facebook announcements on their personal pages, fliers spread across campus and other social media sites. All of it was in the hope that they could gather more items for the clinic and spread the word about its need.
“It’s important for Pine Ridge to receive these supplies as we are not funded by the city, state or federal government,” said Laurie Sodamann, Health Services Administrator at Pine Ridge. “Our goal is to become a sustainable neighborhood clinic. We offer generous payment plans and help patients find resources when they need them. We fill a gap between going to walk-in clinic and going to the hospital.”
As of Monday, the project has been concluded. However, this does not mean that Pine Ridge’s need for supplies has lessened. The clinic still needs help in order to maintain its promise to provide adequate health services to the local community.
Students who are still interested in making an impact and donating to the clinic can do so by visiting Pine Ridge’s location in Topeka at 2721 SE 10th Street or by visiting the Topeka Housing Authority at 2010 SE California Avenue.
“Pine Ridge Health Center is a free clinic,” said Emily Jardon, President of PTKAW. “Just to be able to provide help to the employees there is a great service to the community. One bag of cotton balls can go a long way.”
Edited by Jessica Galvin, Adam White, Jason Morrison