Swapping Stethoscopes for Hammers
Medical students from the UCF College of Medicine swapped their stethoscopes for hammers Saturday as they helped construct Habitat for Humanity homes in Pine Hills.
The College of Medicine’s American Medical Association/Florida Medical Association (AMA/FMA) student chapter partnered with Habitat Orlando to help build Stag Horn Villas, a townhome community that will provide affordable homes for 58 local families.
Habitat Orlando crew leader Jim Brey said that in addition to the villas, the organization is also rehabbing three foreclosed homes in the area and making them available for families. “We couldn’t do this work without volunteers,” he said.
M.D. student Briana Gapsis organized the Habitat for Humanity service project as part of the AMA/FMA’s goal to help underprivileged and homeless residents in our community. In line with those goals, the medical students are also setting up an infirmary at a local homeless shelter. “It’s nice to do something physical that you know is going to help someone,” Briana said as she installed siding.
Habitat crew leader Samantha Zaino knows all about community service, having served as an EMT for 20 years. She was impressed with the medical students’ construction skills. “Given their precision with nailing, they’ll be great at suturing in no time,” she said.
First-year M.D. student Jennifer Bazemore had a “learning moment” Saturday as she stood on a townhouse roof and used a caulking gun for the first time. Nearby, College of Medicine Student Body President Keith Connolly sported the construction hardhat he had worn while serving on the USS Oklahoma City as a Naval officer before coming to UCF. “This is just a great way to spend a Saturday,” he said.