The premiere fundraiser for the UC Davis-affiliated student-run clinics has been canceled due to the pandemic, but donors can still support the cause through an online giving campaign.
Organizers of what would have been the 41st Annual Silent Auction and Wine Tasting Benefit are hoping to raise $50,000.
The funding is crucial to maintain services and purchase supplies for the network of 12 nonprofit, free clinics that vulnerable patient populations rely on for quality care.
“I worry that our clinics will need to limit the services or number of patients we can see if adequate funding isn't secured,” said Kayla Meadows, a second-year medical student and co-officer of the event’s public relations team. “When so many Sacramento residents have lost their jobs, health insurance, and homes because of the pandemic, the consistency of services at student-run clinics provides some security.”
The Silent Auction and Wine Tasting Benefit, held on the health campus every January, is one of the most important events connected to the School of Medicine. Students dress up, network with alumni, enjoy live entertainment and munch on appetizers, all while raising much-needed money for the clinics.
The clinics are staffed by health professions student volunteers who gain valuable experience – mostly undergraduates from UC Davis, medical students from the School of Medicine and students from the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing. They are monitored by volunteer physicians in the role of preceptors, or instructors.
Although the clinics are largely closed to in-person visits because of health risks posed by the coronavirus pandemic, patients can still get urgent care and schedule video appointments. Still, clinics have additional expenses with new services this school year, such as care packages, home delivery of medication and medical devices and vouchers for patients to use on Uber and Lyft to get necessary blood draws and flu shots.
— Kayla Meadows, a second-year medical student and co-officer of the event’s public relations team.
Once the clinics re-open, students foresee even more expenses.
“It's worrisome because once things start opening up and clinics go back to in-person visits, donations will be crucial for paying rent and ordering supplies,” said Irina Karashchuk, a second-year medical student who helps lead the event’s sponsorship committee.
“The funding is very important because all the student-run clinics are non-profit and rely on donations and grants to stay open,” Karashchuk said. “For some of the smaller clinics, the auction and wine-tasting benefit is one of the primary sources of funding.”
Meadows said the pandemic has a lot of people questioning what they can do to help a neighbor. “Rest assured,” she added, “that a donation to UC Davis student-run clinics goes a long way toward improving the health of Sacramento's community.”
To donate online before the Feb. 14 deadline, or to learn more about the fundraiser and student-run clinics, visit www.ucdwineauction.com.
In addition, checks may be made payable to “Silent Auction Wine Tasting Benefit” and sent to: Darolyn Striley, 4610 X Street, Education Bldg., Suite 2101E, Sacramento, CA 95817.