Silent Auction Benefits Shoulder to Shoulder Clinic in Ecuador

The University of Kentucky Chapter of the International Federation of Medical Student Associations (IFMSA) will host the 10th annual Art of Healing silent auction on Wednesday, April 2. The auction will be held in Biological and Biomedical Sciences Research Building (BBSRB) atrium from noon to 5 p.m. Winning bidders may pick up their art from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.

The auction items feature the handiwork of local and international artists and current students, including pottery, paintings, wood carvings, and accessories. Proceeds from the art auction benefit the Shoulder to Shoulder clinic in Ecuador.

Shoulder to Shoulder, an initiative supported by many of the health colleges at the University of Kentucky, was founded in 2002 with a mission to improve global health. In 2007, the Shoulder to Shoulder Clinic (Centro Medico Hombro a Hombro) was opened in Santo Domingo, Ecuador, to serve indigent populations without access to health care.

Through fundraising efforts by UK's chapter of IFMSA, the Centro Medico is able to remain open almost every week, and special projects -- like new flooring for the clinic -- are possible. Chris Colonna, a second year medical student who visited the clinic this spring as part of a two week "medical brigade," saw the art auction as a vital part of Centro Medico's ability to provide continuity of care to the members of the community.

"Far too often, medical brigades arrive in developing countries to provide healthcare to those in need, but are only able to stay a week or two," Colonna says. "The art auction is one way to help support year-round medical staff at the Centro Medico who can manage patients' illnesses and provide treatment year-round."