How SHARING is Transforming Health Care Equity

A woman, let’s call her Jane, walked into the University of Nebraska Medicine Center’s VISION clinic thinking the problem with her eyesight could be solely attributed to her lack of prescription lenses. She soon learned that the problem with her eyesight was a symptom of something far more serious. What she was experiencing would require more care and attention than simply getting new glasses.

Living below the poverty line and without health insurance, Jane’s story is about more than her health. It’s also about how she was able to receive treatment given her financial situation. Without the collective efforts of student volunteers and UNMC faculty and the benefit of generous donations, Jane wouldn’t have received the care she needed or would have been buried under a mountain of medical debt.

A trip to the VISION Clinic, which is part of UNMC’s SHARING Clinic, is what made the difference. And donations from people like you are what made it possible.

SHARING was started in 1997 to provide free or low-cost primary health care to underprivileged populations in the Omaha area. The student-run clinics provide high-quality care in a multidisciplinary educational setting.

Not only do the SHARING Clinics provide free or low-cost medical care, they also give UNMC students the opportunity to interact with patients as early as their first year in medical school. The fact that it is multidisciplinary means it’s not just helping medical students learn, but also nursing students, students from medical nutrition, physical therapy, dentistry and pharmacy – to name a few.

Third-year medical student and co-chair of the SHARING Student Advisory Committee, Laura Ebers, started volunteering at the clinic during her first year at UNMC. “Being able to volunteer my first and second year as a student provider helped me be more comfortable and better prepared for the third and fourth years of medical school where you’re interacting more directly with patients,” said Ebers. “It helped me build my confidence talking with patients.”

So, what about Jane, you ask? Enter third-year medical student, Logan Bomberger, a volunteer at the SHARING Clinics and faculty recruiter on the Student Advisory Committee.

“After doing an assessment, we realized that she was experiencing something called diabetic retinopathy,” said Bomberger. “Her eyesight was actually being affected by her diagnosed diabetes that was being left untreated. So, by coming to the clinic and getting that recognized, we were able to start her on medications that she wasn’t able to be started on before because she was uninsured and unable to get medical care.”

Jane was able to continue to follow up with her care and soon saw improvements not only in handling her diabetes but also with her vision.

Donations of any amount to SHARING Clinics will help fund the day-to-day operations of the clinics, supporting the training of future health care professionals and patients like Jane.

“By donating to projects like the SHARING Clinics, you’re really helping to shape our community into a place where everyone has the opportunity for a healthier tomorrow,” Bomberger said.


SHARING Clinic Operations Fund

Gifts to this fund support the operations of the SHARING Clinic.