April 22, 2014
By Toni Cardarella
University of Kansas School of Nursing students in the Laptad Society have logged an estimated 400 volunteer hours this year in their fundraising efforts for Silver City Health Center.
Those efforts translated into dozens of over-the-counter (OTC) medications and a cash donation hand-delivered to the Kansas City, Kan., safety net clinic. Earlier this year, four Laptad students, along with the society's faculty advisor Mary Meyer, presented Siliver City staff with more than 80 bottles of OTC medications for children and adults, and a $1,750 check.
Students learn about health disparities as part of the nursing curriculum, and in the process, and Meyer says Laptad members noted the needs of Silver City, which provides provider access to many underserved patients in Wyandotte County.
"But even if patients can be evaluated by a provider, they may not be able to afford the recommended treatment," says the KU School of Nursing professor. "The students wanted to help. They realized some families could not afford to purchase Tylenol and Ibuprofen to treat pain and fever."
The Laptad Society collected the OTC medications at its fall formal and kept the medication drive going for the semester. The money was raised through formal ticket sales, a silent auction and a Haunted Hospital set up by the Laptad students in the School of Nursing's skills lab in October.
Sarah Piersky, event coordinator for the fundraiser formal, and Laptad leaders Valerie Slovikoski, Audrey Stewart and Samantha Worley, presented the donations to Silver City on Jan. 31.
The Laptads' mission, she says, is to build relationships between students, students and faculty, and students and the local community. Three years ago, the students adopted Silver City as its charity. "The students identified with Silver City because they liked the fact that the clinic is run by nurses, and the students could see how their Society's efforts directly benefitted the citizens of our local community," says Meyer.