UCLA community votes for four winning projects to address health needs in L.A.

Four community projects have been chosen as winners of the "Helping U Help Your Community” contest sponsored by the UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine and UCLA Health. Winners will each receive $20,000 in funding to support their efforts.

The contest provides support to community-partnered academic research and service-learning projects that address the most critical health needs of Los Angeles residents in innovative and effective ways. The contest also aims to showcase UCLA faculty and community partners who devote their careers to identifying creative solutions to some of the most challenging barriers to good health in the community.

A panel of judges identified the first round of finalists, and the final selection was made by voters from throughout the community. This year, voter response for the competition exceeded all expectations, with 5,160 unique voters and over 7,000 votes.

The four 2016 award winning projects are:

  • A Clinic for the Developmentally Disabled in Underserved L.A. — To establish a comprehensive clinic for educating the community, as well as provide medical diagnosis and management for children with developmental disabilities, including autism in underserved communities within L.A. County;
  • Bruin Shelter: A Student-Run Haven for Homeless Youth —  to establish the second student-run shelter for homeless youth in the country. This grant will support a partnership between Bruin Shelter and the medical school's student-run homeless clinics to provide housing, comprehensive social services and medical care to shelter residents.
  • Student-Run Homeless Clinics: Healthcare for Those Most in Need — to set up student-led weekly clinics at local shelters. Students will learn under the supervision of volunteer physicians to diagnose and treat acute and chronic illness in a low-resource setting.
  • Project AutTrain: Health Care Access for Adults with Autism — to build a group of professional trainers from the Reagan UCLA Medical Center faculty and other UCLA organizations, regional center experts, therapists, parents and autistic adults. This group will provide training to medical professionals and students on issues of physical and mental health, sexuality, health care delivery, and communication related to adults with autism. The project will be led by the Autism Society of Los Angeles, a leader for over four decades in the areas of professional training, skills building, and advocacy recognized both locally and nationally.

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