Akinsanya, a second-year resident in the Department of Pathology at Indiana University School of Medicine, said he loves educational moments like this.
Often people don’t fully comprehend the work that goes into making a clinical diagnosis, he said. They’ll visit their doctor, explain their symptoms, and maybe have a blood or tissue sample collected. That sample is sent off to a building somewhere; and as if by magic, a few weeks later their doctor will have a report and findings.
It’s a little bit of magic, but a lot of science, too, Akinsanya said.
Recently Akinsanya and dozens of other members of the IU School of Medicine community offered up their patient care and pathology skills at the annual See, Test and Treat event, hosted in Indianapolis by the College of American Pathologists (CAP) Foundation.
See, Test and Treat events take place across the country and provide essential medical services to dozens of patients, free of charge, thanks to grant funding from CAP.
Locally, the event takes place at the Gennesaret Free Clinic on the eastside of Indianapolis. Clinicians from the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology provided breast and cervical cancer screenings while volunteers of the Department of Pathology provided immediate diagnoses. Other partner organizations provided an array of other healthcare services, including mammograms, family planning services, genetic counseling, diabetes screenings, HIV testing, HPV and other vaccinations.
See, Test and Treat events aim to help underserved populations. One benefit of these events is their one-stop structure: Patients receive care, personalized treatment plans and help with prescriptions or referrals to medical specialists, all on one day and in one place. And holding the event in a clinic like Gennesaret puts these important services right in the neighborhoods of the people who need them most. Between visits, patients could chat with volunteers like Akinsanya, who could further explain the importance of these screenings and offer insight on the magical science that makes it all possible. Volunteers started the day with a goal of seeing at least 50 patients.
Sydney Sturdevant signed up 10 patients from the Indianapolis-based sober living facility The Dove House, where she serves as the director of operations.
The Dove House is a 40-bed, rent-free facility that helps women from across central Indiana to overcome addictions. A nurse by trade, Sturdevant understands how hard it can be for people to get access to healthcare. Costs, appointment scheduling and transportation can all be burdensome, so it’s incredibly helpful that See, Test and Treat events reach people where they are and provide as much care as possible in one visit, she said. Those in active addiction, like those Sturdevant works with at The Dove House, won’t prioritize their healthcare, she said. Events like this – where patients feel comfortable and care feels easy to access, she said – puts people on a path for success and helps them take control of their lives.
This is the fifth year Indiana University National Center of Excellence in Women’s Health has received grant funding for the event. See, Test and Treat is hosted in partnership with the Gennesaret Free Clinic as well as Ascension St. Vincent, Indiana, PATH4YOU, IU Health, Step-Up, Inc., Damien Center, Breast Cancer Awareness Trust, DCL Pathology, Indiana Department of Health and Westminster Neighborhood Services.