There are many ways in which you can get involved at HAVEN. Descriptions of each department are provided below. Please feel free to contact the student recruitment coordinator, or the department coordinators listed below, for more information.
We are looking for volunteers in the following positions:
Junior Clinical Team Member
Senior Clinical Team Member
The education department provides health information, outreach and patient counseling. Volunteers are trained to provide one on one patient counseling regarding lifestyle changes, illnesses and general wellness. Most commonly, the department provides information about diet & exercise, hypertension, high cholesterol, contraception & sexually transmitted diseases, gastric reflux, kidney stones, and shoulder pain. The education department tailors the information given to our patient population and volunteers can help in the process of continually updating our library of materials and translating needed materials into Spanish.
Volunteers from the health professional schools can also give normal lab results out to patients and provide and answer questions patients may have regarding normal labs.
The education department also provides educational outreach to patients in the waiting room of the clinic. Each Saturday volunteers provide information to increase awareness of healthy living to patients waiting for appointments through posters, presentations, videos, and demonstrations. Topics include hand washing, flu prevention & treatment, healthy eating, and exercise.
The education department is piloting a chronic disease tracking and prevention program that uses motivational interviewing over a series of visits to help patients make lasting lifestyle changes to address obesity and hypertension. If this pilot is successful, we will expand the program to include the five most common chronic diseases, and will be recruiting health professions student volunteers to counsel patients on these issues.
Each Saturday a co-director for the education department is present in clinic to oversee the flow of patients through the department.
For more information, please contact Sabiha Barot or Nichole Buswell.
Most of our patients are unable to directly communicate with our doctors and medical teams due to language and ethnic barriers. They are often not able to describe their symptoms and tend to oversimplify their health concerns. Additionally, most of them are unfamiliar to clinical settings, which create anxiety and frustration. We provide oral interpretation for all our Spanish-speaking patients. An interpreter at HAVEN greets the patient from the time they are called for their clinical appointment and stays with them until the end of the medical visit. Interpreters also work with patients in the Education and Social Services departments depending on their preference and the needs of the clinic. Additionally, our interpreters have the opportunity to interact with specific patients in a more regular basis by working with the Referrals department. In addition to oral interpretation, our interpreters are called upon to help in the translation of a variety of health-related documents distributed to our patients.
We provide Spanish proficiency assessments, a 30-minute crash course in clinical interpretation, and feedback to all our interpreters.
For more information, please contact Ellen Thompson.
Junior Clinical Team Member
The Junior Clinical Team Member (JCTM) is central to the functioning of the clinic. JCTMs work with SCTMs and are present throughout patients’ medical visits. The JCTM accompanies patients through each step of the clinic, and acts as a liaison between the clinical team and the different departments to ensure that the patient’s needs in terms of lab work, medications, social services, referrals, education, and follow-up appointments are met.
First and second year medical students, first year PA students, GEPN and first year specialty nursing students may volunteer for this position. In order to volunteer as a JCTM, students must feel comfortable taking vital signs in order to triage patients at the beginning of their visit. Every Saturday we encounter a unique combination of volunteers and patients, and we greatly value students’ initiative and flexibility in performing your role as JCTM.
For more information, please contact Jeremy Ho.
The Patient Services department functions on many levels each Saturday. Patient Services volunteers greet patients, make appointments, assemble charts, provide information about our services and other health services in the area, and distribute initial patient paperwork. Volunteers with adequate Spanish skills may also do new patient intakes. Basic Spanish skills and comprehension preferred. This position is ideal for students (undergraduate or graduate/health professions) with some Spanish knowledge who are looking for an opportunity to improve their language skills and interact will all departments in the clinic and a variety of patients.
Each Saturday a Patient Services Co-Director is present to manage the Front Desk and respond to walk-ins and scheduling issues. During the week, Patient Services Co-Directors respond to calls on the clinic phone, update the schedule, and make reminder calls for the appointments for next Saturday.
For more information, please contact Evie Rodriguez, Theresa Williamson, or Jodi Winemiller.
Pharmacy volunteers coordinate medications and maintain a record of all medications prescribed to patients at HAVEN. Most medications are made available to patients for $4 per month at Walmart. For medications not on the $4 list but deemed necessary by the clinical team, pharmacy volunteers work with patients to help them apply for Patient Assistance Programs in order to make medications available for free or at reduced cost. Pharmacy volunteers also manage the dispensation of the drugs that are available at HAVEN, including some acute meds, birth control, and vaccines.
Finally, pharmacy volunteers also provide medication education, counseling patients and providing counseling and written material regarding side effects, dosing instructions, and drug interactions.
For more information, please contact Rachel Popick or Tanya Theriault.
Phlebotomy volunteers draw blood, provide urine tests on-site, and arrange off-site testing as needed. The tests most commonly performed at HAVEN include complete blood count, basic metabolic panel, liver function tests, electrolytes, STDs, HIV, urinalysis, and urine hCG – but a number of other tests are also performed. Volunteers work with SCTMs and JCTMs to provide the most appropriate tests for each patient. Although we are especially seeking students with previous phlebotomy experience, training will be provided for a small number of inexperienced volunteers. Working in the Phlebotomy department is an opportunity to gain valuable practice in performing blood draws, an important clinical skill.
Medical, nursing, and PA students in any year may volunteer in the Phlebotomy department.
For more information, please contact Allison Grady or Anna Kuo.
The Referrals department provides specialty services and diagnostic testing to complement the primary care available to patients in Saturday clinic. The Referrals department functions on Saturdays and throughout the week, and works with many volunteer providers in the New Haven community. Referrals volunteers serve as case coordinators to facilitate specialty care by scheduling, communicating with patients, accompanying and interpreting at specialty visits, and communicating with clinical teams. The Referrals team also recruits providers in specialties where they are needed and provides creative input for department improvements. Spanish skills and comprehension are very helpful for case coordination. Volunteers are also encouraged to attend clinic on Saturdays in order to observe the continuity between specialty and primary care. These volunteer positions are great for anyone who wants to learn more about coordination within various specialties in the healthcare system and also provides a great opportunity to follow particular patients with interesting clinical issues.
The list of services that we provide include women’s health (mammograms, colposcopies, ob/gyn, prenatal care, IUDs), diagnostic testing (x-rays, ultrasounds, cardiac tests), branches of medicine (GI, cardiology, neurology, dermatology, pulmonology, allergy, rheumatology), branches of surgery (orthopedics, ophthalmology, ENT, urology, general surgery), podiatry, and dentistry. This list varies slightly depending on the availability of volunteer providers.
Each Saturday a Referrals Co-Director is present to update clinical teams on open referrals, field new referrals, and communicate with clinical teams about what services are appropriate and available. Weekly communication ensures that directors and volunteers are updated on Referrals cases. Finally, Referrals holds periodic meetings with volunteers to discuss departmental successes and issues in order to achieve the best care possible for our patients.
For more information, please contact Lisa An, Siobhan Case, or Alison Holmes-Tisch.
The goal of the Research department is to ensure that patients are receiving the highest-quality care at HAVEN. This is done via several major activities. Each year, the Research department conducts a chart review. This requires building a chart review instrument, working with SCTMs and non-clinical volunteers to evaluate several quality assurance measures and track clinic utilization and follow-up rates, and building and maintaining a large database of patient data.
The Research department also creates and evaluates patient and volunteer satisfaction surveys in order to evaluate how we can better serve our patients and volunteers.
For more information, please contact Neel Butala.
Senior Clinical Team Member
The SCTMs are primarily responsible for providing each patient’s clinical care. SCTMs take a complete history and conduct a physical exam, develop a treatment plan with the attending, and write the chart note. Each SCTM sees 2-3 patients during the clinic day. Whenever possible, SCTMs provide continuity care, following patients over multiple clinic visits. Another important component of the SCTM’s role is teaching and mentoring of junior clinical students, introducing them to common complaints seen in a primary care setting.
Yale medical students who are interested in completing their Primary Care clerkship may do so at HAVEN. Please contact Barbara Hildebrand or Dr. Peter Ellis to learn more.
Students eligible to be SCTMs are:
- Medical students who have completed Medicine I, Medicine II, and Ambulatory Medicine
- Nursing students who have completed Physical Assessment and Primary Care
- PA students who have completed three rotations, including Primary Care or Medicine
For more information, please contact Tyler Dodds, Ashley Hunter, or Scott Hunter.
HAVEN’s Social Services department provides help for patients of HAVEN with problems and concerns they have outside of the medical visit. Social Services also acts as a direct link between the patient population and community of Fair Haven, Yale Medical Group, the Connecticut Department of Social Services and HAVEN Clinic. Patients are welcome to come in with questions and concerns they have and our volunteers and department directors will research and find answers and opportunities as the need arises. We encourage all patients of HAVEN to visit Social Services with or without a medical visit. Walk-ins are always welcome.
The Women’s Health department organizes women’s health clinic days twice a month. On these days, women’s health nurse practitioners or nurse-midwives are present in clinic as attendings, and the clinic focuses on gynecologic care, although other patients are also welcome. We are seeking volunteers interested in women’s health to serve as SCTMs, JCTMs, and interpreters on Women’s Clinic teams on these days.
The Women’s Health department also runs women’s and men’s support groups, which aim to help women and men maintain optimal mental health and offer them the opportunity to discuss issues affecting their daily lives and to create solutions cooperatively. Spanish-speaking volunteers with an interest in helping to lead these groups, please contact the Women’s Health chair.
Finally, the Women’s Health department develops family-focused educational activities including SHARE (Saturdays at Haven: Activities, Resources and Education). At SHARE meetings, families participate in fun activities and crafts, receive guidance on resources that are available in the community and learn more about topics that are of interest to them.
For more information, please contact Laura Rishel.