Students have a vast amount of organizations to choose from at Texas Tech, but many have their eyes on the new Raider Medical Screening Society.
The new organization had its first meeting at 5:30 p.m. on Sept. 4 in the Playa Room at the Student Union Building. Additional chairs had to be provided to accommodate the amount of people in attendance.
“We didn’t expect this many people to come,” Nour Al-Sweiti, a pre-med Spanish major from Lubbock and co-founder of the organization, said.
The Medical Screening Society was originally created at the University of Illinois in 2008, Al-Sweiti said. Tech is the second branch of this organization.
The organization has four main goals: screenings, outreach, health education and volunteering, Al-Sweiti said. The organization has different ways for students to prepare themselves for a future in the medical field.
Members will have the opportunity to learn from guest speakers who can present students with research options, Al-Sweiti said. The members will also learn and teach the Lubbock community about health education and be trained to properly perform medical screenings.
“Our focus is going to be on free healthcare screenings to detect the precursory symptoms of diabetes, high cholesterol and high blood pressure,” Al-Sweiti said.
The organization will conduct screenings in every-day places, Al-Sweiti said, including churches, schools and grocery stores.
“Also, we plan to expand our organization in the future to blood drives, soup kitchens, canned food drives,” Becky Joseph, a sophomore microbiology major from Dallas and co-founder of the organization, said.
In addition to providing free healthcare services to the Lubbock community, members of the Raider Medical Screening Society will record statistics to see the impact the organization has on the community, Joseph said.
From previous observational research on the Lubbock population, about 21 percent of Lubbock residents are below the poverty line, Al-Sweiti said. About 15.4 percent of the people in Lubbock under the age of 65 are uninsured.
“Locally, in Lubbock, 8 percent of people have undiagnosed diabetes,” Joseph said. “Nationally, one-third of our population has pre-diabetes with only 11.6 percent of those people knowing it.”
A study conducted by the University of Cambridge suggested that medical screenings result in a 29 percent reduction rate of cardiovascular diseases, Joseph said.
“I think this is necessary for today’s world,” Taru Bharadwaj, a junior micro-biology major from Amarillo, said.
People lead busy lives and usually do not take the time to check up on their health at a clinic, Bharadwaj said. The Raider Medical Screening Society will offer those services at places that are convenient.
“They’re allowing us to use skills that we’ll use in the medical field,” Varshini Suresh, a sophomore biology major from Dallas, said.
As a new organization, there are some membership requirements, Joseph said.
Members must pay a $30 fee in order to buy the necessary equipment, such as stethoscopes and blood pressure cuffs, Joseph said. Members also must pass a qualification exam to perform medical screenings. In addition, they are required to attend RaiderTHON, an on-campus philanthropy event.
Both membership applications and officer applications for the Raider Medical Screening Society are due by Sept 20.