Latino health club creates healthy community

By Cynthia Laguna

The Chicanos Latinos for Community Medicine (CCM) club at East Los Angeles College offers support and help for all students interested in the health field.

Community Service Coordinator of CCM Shadia Hamideh explains how “the club helps create a community” and support group for students within the medical field.

CCM provides an opportunity for all members to attend health/pre-med conferences put together by various medical schools and organizations.

The conferences invite different guest speakers such as doctors, counselors and nurses who talk about their own personal stories and how they got accepted into medical school.

The Latino Medical Student Association whose overall purpose was to bring together students and physicians of various educational levels together organized the event.

Amid the invited guest speakers, there were ELAC graduates who became doctors and who shared their experiences while trying to advance in their field.

Some members of the club felt inspired to meet students who once attended ELAC.

They felt  that although the medical field is demanding academically they can achieve their goals.

Club members can network with professionals and also gain advocacy, mentorship and leadership.

“Our club helps students get CPR certified, volunteer and get involved in research labs to become a more dynamic learner outside of a classroom setting,” Hamideh said.

She indicates the importance of helping and supporting each other. She admits that she was overwhelmed when she first joined, but she mentions how she has made great friends who support her with her education.

There is also volunteering openings at different hospitals where students are allowed to shadow a doctor or nurse and follow them through their daily activities.

This enables the students to experience what the hospital’s working environment can be like and prepare them for their careers.

Patricia Sanchez has been part of CCM for two years.

She mentions that when she first started attending ELAC she was discouraged from becoming a nurse.

Sanchez said the club helped her “learn what the medical schools are looking for and the need of minorities in the medical field.”

Upcoming events of CCM include another conference located at UC Davis, a couple of guest speakers who will be talking to the club members, as well as a hot dog with bacon fundraiser at ELAC.

There are currently open positions of leadership in the club open for any new members.

The CCM meets every other Thursday at 12 p.m. in Room B1- 112.

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