Free Medical Screening by Universal Health Aid: Columbus

UHA: Columbus Name Tag. Worn with pride to symbolize that every small let-down will eventually lead to a strong, successful future as long as hard work and the persistence to mend past mistakes is present. 

On Friday and Saturday of October 20th and 21st (respectively), I had the ability to volunteer for a free medical screening assembled and managed by Universal Health Aid: Columbus (UHA: Columbus). The ability to participate in this screening was an immense privilege because it allowed me the opportunity to see what exactly goes into the preparation for medical screenings as well as learn that there are many hardships before good can be achieved.

When coming to OSU, I already knew that I wanted to be a member of UHA: Columbus. This organization would allow me to learn how to find the funds for supplies in order to hold free screenings. As someone interested in pursuing a career in the healthcare management field, I knew I would benefit from the skills I would learn in this organization. After being accepted into the organization, I had the opportunity to volunteer for their second medical screening that was fast approaching.

Friday afternoon led to me learning how the organization used grants, donations, and fundraisers to gain the funds needed to purchase medical supplies as well as items that may be quickly overlooked – like screen drapes to act as medical dividers to comply with laws on health information privacy. Along with all of the supplies, we set up table to hold information and members of different departments and organizations liked Planned Parenthood and the Columbus Public Health Department. After the busy day setting up, I was eager to see how the actual screening would run the next day.

Saturday morning led to some small feelings of disappointment. As the early morning slowly slipped towards the afternoon, we were met with only a small handful of patients. With all the effort put into setting up for the day as well as the organizations long months spent funding and organizing this screening, many felt as though the screening had fallen short.

However, this experience is memorable to me not because of the small feelings of disappointment I had, but rather because of the learning experience I received because of it. While some may read this and think of the screening as a failure, it is far from that. With UHA: Columbus being a relatively new student-led healthcare organization, it is easy to see why many in the community may not have heard about the screening or trusted the organization. Knowing this, it allows for us [myself and the organization] to think of ways to be successful in the future by pushing for more advertising in the Columbus community and by seeking a location that can be more easily accessible to a larger community who may need free screenings. It also allows us to potentially think of ways to target and cater to the needs of certain people in the population. Finally, although the screening may not have been successful in its second attempt, its difficulty allows us to grow as individuals and fully understand the idea that failure is a part of the process in developing strong, successful programs in the future.


About Me

My name is Polina Elagin and I am a Turpin High School graduate from Cincinnati, Ohio. At The Ohio State University, I intend on majoring in Finance while receiving a minor Public Health. As an organized and hardworking student, I am driven to further my education and receive a Master’s in Health Management. In the future, I hope to use my knowledge to join others in pushing for the introduction of personalized healthcare into hospitals worldwide. When I am not focused on my studies and accomplishing my goal, I enjoy dancing, baking, hiking, and volunteering within my community. I am an avid believer in the idea that every single person you will ever meet will help shape who you will become in the future. As a result, I try my best to involve myself within a diverse community and volunteer within different organizations. By attending The Ohio State University, I hope to immerse myself further into a diverse community and develop the knowledge I need to accomplish my goals. If you have any questions or would like to get to know me further, do not hesitate to ask!