USA Student Run Free Clinic Constitution and By-Laws

Article I: Name and Purpose

Section A: Name

The name of this organization shall be University of South Alabama Student-Run Free Clinic, hereinafter referred to as USASRFC.

Section B: Purpose

The purpose of the USASRFC will be the following:

To Serve:

  • Improve the health status of vulnerable or underserved populations
  • Provide preventative care and health education to the patients of the USASRFC
  • Provide referrals for patients who need direct mental or medical care
  • Identify and facilitate access to existing community resources as needed to improve patient wellness
  • Link community stakeholders and leaders to improve the health status of the underserved within the Mobile community

To Teach:

  • Provide service-learning opportunities for students in the College of Medicine, College of Nursing, the College of Allied Health Professions, the Department of Social Work, and other participating departments
  • Facilitate interprofessional collaboration among students through team-based patient care experiences
  • Give students real-world opportunities to refine clinical skills, to improve patient-provider communication, and to provide health education
  • Develop concepts of patient-centered care including patient advocacy and patient privacy protection
  • Equip students to engage and effectively care for diverse and underserved populations
  • Provide opportunities for self-directed student research and presentation of findings at national conferences
  • Entrust meaningful leadership experiences to students

Article II: Officers

Section A: Officers

The officers shall be President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer, Research Coordinator, Risk Management Chairman, Development Chair, Volunteer Chairman, and Discipline Liaisons.

Section B: Eligibility

Officers must be highly motivated, full time students in the University of South Alabama College of Medicine, University of South Alabama College of Nursing, University of South Alabama College of Allied Health Professions, University of South Alabama Department of Social Work, and Auburn University Harrison School of Pharmacy who demonstrate a genuine interest in the USASRFC by volunteering at the clinic at least one time before elections are held.

Section C: Selection

Officer applications will be distributed in November, and interviews will be held in December. Final selection will be announced in December with officer transitions happening shortly thereafter. Officer selection will be based on a vote by the student Executive Committee with guidance from the Faculty Advisory Committee.

Section D: Officer Requirements

All elected officers will be expected to:

  • Attend a 4 hour orientation at the beginning of their term
  • Volunteer a minimum of 3 times per semester
  • Volunteer at clinic at least 2 times during the summer

Section E: Term

The officers shall serve for one year and their term of office shall begin in January/February and end in January of the following calendar year.

Article III: Duties of Officers

Section A: President

It shall be the duty of the President to:

  • Preside over executive committee meetings
  • Rotate with the other officers as the clinic coordinator
  • Attend all meetings associated with the clinic
  • Monitor and assist all committees as needed
  • Along with the Vice President, represent the clinic in official capacities
  • Go above and beyond to be a champion of the USASRFC
  • Required to volunteer over the summer  

Section B: Vice President

It shall be the duty of the Vice President to:

  • Fill in for the President anytime he/she is absent
  • Attend all meetings associated with the clinic
  • Work with the officers and clinic committees to coordinate projects
  • Rotate with other officers as the clinic coordinator
  • Along with the President, represent the clinic in official capacities
  • Go above and beyond to be a champion of the USASRFC
  • Rotate with other officers as the clinic coordinator
  • Required to volunteer over the summer  

Section C: Secretary

It shall be the duty of the Secretary to:

  • Keep clinic records including:
  • Attendance of meetings and clinic days
  • Take notes at meetings and distribute to individuals in attendance
  • If unable to attend meeting, secretary is responsible for establishing a note-taker and getting the attendance and notes from them for distribution
  • Maintain roster of officers and volunteers with contact information
  • Utilize the discipline liaisons to facilitate communication between the officers and the volunteers
  • Rotate with other officers as the clinic coordinator
  • Make sure the post-clinic email is sent to Executive Committee and Faculty Advisory Committee by 12:00pm on the Monday following clinic
  • Maintain all clinic documents (bylaws, meeting minutes, contracts) in central repository and ensure all documents are shared with Faculty Advisory Committee, Operations Chair, and incoming student exec board

Section D: Treasurer

It shall be the duty of the Treasurer to:

  • Oversee fundraising committee
  • Work with faculty to apply for grants including the SGA grant each year
  • Handle all funds associated with the clinic
  • Keep records of the USASRFC’s expenses
  • Rotate with other officers as the clinic coordinator

Section E: Research Coordinator

It shall be the duty of the Research Coordinator to:

  • Work with student research committee and the faculty research steering committee to implement research projects pertaining to the clinic
  • Assemble and lead research committee
  • Attend and organize student presentations for the annual Society of Student-Run Free Clinics Conference in order to gain new ideas of how to continuing improving the USASRFC as well as to present research projects
  • Preside over all research meetings with faculty members and other research committee meetings
  • Rotate with other officers as the clinic coordinator

Section F: Risk Management Chairman

It shall be the duty of the Risk Management Chairman to:

  • Ensure that the clinic and volunteers are HIPAA compliant
  • Work with Volunteer Chairman and Operations Director to ensure all volunteers are properly trained
  • Develop and enforce safety protocols e.g. exposure safety
  • Maintains and distributes incident reports
  • Maintains and revises Policies and Procedures manual with assistance from executive committee
  • Rotate with other officers as the clinic coordinator

Section G: Development Chair

It shall be the duty of the Development Chairman to:

  • Advertise clinic dates and hours to community agencies
  • Work with community agencies to provide guidance and services to patients
  • Utilize social media to enhance USASRFC’s presence in the community
  • Manage any social media including Facebook Page
  • Coordinate and approve any events at the clinic such as educational programs, breakfast services, supply drives, etc. In addition, notifying the Executive board members of such events ahead of time. Refer to Article VIII, Section C.
  • Promote the clinic within the community and university
  • Rotate with other officers as the clinic coordinator

Section H: Volunteer Chairman

It shall be the duty of the Volunteer Chairman to:

  • Work with discipline liaisons to establish volunteer pool
  • Establish and maintain training guidelines and ensure all volunteers have been adequately trained
  • Accept responsibility to work with faculty volunteers and community member volunteers
  • Manage the volunteer schedule of the executive board
  • Rotate with other officers as the clinic coordinator

Section I: Discipline Liaisons

It shall be the duty of the Discipline Liaisons to:

  • Attend executive meetings and facilitate communication between the officers and their respective disciplines
  • Collaborate with the Volunteer Chairman to train and organize volunteers from their respective disciplines
  • Accept responsibility for staffing the clinic with volunteers from their respective disciplines and communicating staffing to Volunteer Chairman

Article IV: Executive Committee

Section A: Responsibility

Management of the USASRFC shall be vested in an Executive Committee, whose members’ responsibility is to uphold these outlined bylaws.

Section B: Membership

The executive committee shall include the officers and liaisons from each discipline represented in the clinic.  Theses disciplines include: Medicine, Nursing, Physician Assistant, Occupational Therapy, Speech and Language Pathology, Audiology, Pharmacy, and Social Work.

Section C: Meetings

This committee shall meet at least twice a month, to organize and plan for future clinics and activities.

Section D: Quorum

A quorum shall consist of 2/3 of the executive committee membership.

Section E: Voting

From time to time, the executive committee will need to vote on certain issues such as selection of new officers or amendments to the constitution and bylaws. To initiate a vote, a quorum must be present and an executive committee member must suggest a vote.  The vote must be seconded by another member and put to a vote by the members.  Each committee member will have one vote. The majority vote wins. In the case of a tie, the decision lies with the President.

Article V: Clinic

Section A: Pre-clinic Meeting

All volunteers should arrive at promptly 8:00 AM for the Pre-Clinic Meeting. A member of the executive committee serving as clinic coordinator that day will preside over the meeting. The meeting shall include introductions, a brief description of the clinic flow and responsibilities of volunteers, safety information, and team assignments.

Section B: Clinic

Clinic shall be held every Saturday from 8:30 AM to 11:30 AM at 15 Place.

Section C: Post-clinic Meeting

The post-clinic meeting will convene after the last patient in seen and shall adjourn no later than 12:00 PM. A member of the executive committee serving as clinic coordinator that day will preside over the meeting. The meeting shall include feedback from the volunteers about their experience, an interactive discussion with the health care practitioners promoting student education and interprofessional collaboration, and general announcements.

Section D: Volunteers

Volunteers shall consist of students from the University of South Alabama College of Medicine, University of South Alabama School of Allied Health Professions, South Alabama College of Nursing, University of South Alabama Department of Social Work, and Auburn University Harrison School of Pharmacy. In order for the clinic to function smoothly, a minimum of 10 volunteers and 1 executive committee member should be present. Members of the Executive Committee (2 committee members) should be present to act as clinic coordinators and offer assistance in any area of the clinic as needed.

Section E: Patients

Patients seen at the USASRFC at 15 Place must be 18 years or older and be members of 15 Place.

Section F: Patient Visit

The patient will first sign-in at the front desk designating if they would like to see the health care team, if they would like to take a shower, and if they would like to check-in a bag. Patients will be called back to the vitals station in the order they signed-in. Patients will be called back to the exam room in the order in which they completed vitals. After the exam, the patient may consult the social work students in the patient assistance area after which the visit will be complete. Patient health data will be tracked on a patient assessment form and then entered in an electronic record system. At no point should a single student be alone with a patient in a closed room; volunteers should take vitals and interview patients in groups of twos or threes.

Section G: Emergency Situations During Patient Visit

If at any time during the patient visit, a patient has a critical vital sign, is in medical distress, is exhibiting aggressive behavior, or a patient states that he or she wants to harm him or herself or others, the volunteer should notify an executive committee member and a faculty member immediately.

Section H: Faculty

Practitioners, data management and resource support faculty, and any other faculty from represented disciplines may be present to serve as resources and provide guidance to the students. It is not mandatory that a faculty member be in the exam room with the students.  Based on the students’ comfort level, faculty may be called in the room to consult and should be consulted when a patient presents with something that is out of scope of the wellness clinic.

Article VI: Faculty Advising Committee

Section A:

There shall be a faculty and staff advisory committee.

Section B: Duties

The responsibilities of the faculty advisory committee shall be:

  • Be a champion for the USASRFC and promote the clinic within their respective discipline
  • Assist with the coordination and oversight of volunteer recruitment and training
  • Maintain an awareness of the activities and programs of the USASRFC
  • Be available to meet with the leaders of the USASRFC to discuss upcoming clinic dates, long range plans, goals, and problems that may arise
  • Offer guidance and advice to leaders of the USASRFC in goal setting and program planning
  • Explain and clarify institutional policy and procedures that apply to the USASRFC
  • Assist the student treasurer in monitoring expenditures, fundraising activities, and applying for grants
  • Assist the student Research Chairman in planning and executing productive research studies while following guidelines laid out by the IRB
  • Inform leadership and volunteers of those factors that constitute unacceptable and unprofessional behavior and the possible consequence of said behaviors

Article VIII: Committees

Section A: Research Committee

A research committee composed of students from the University of South Alabama College of Medicine, University of South Alabama School of Allied Health Professions, University of South Alabama College of Nursing, and University of South Alabama Department of Social Work who are interested in planning and implementing research projects within the USASRFC.  The committee will be lead by the Research Chairman. Membership is voluntary. A faculty research steering committee will oversee and assist the research committee as necessary.

Section B: Fundraising Committee

The fundraising committee will be composed of students from the University of South Alabama College of Medicine, University of South Alabama School of Allied Health Professions, University of South Alabama College of Nursing, and University of South Alabama Department of Social Work who are interested in planning and implementing fundraising for the USASRFC. As a goal, at least one fundraising event should be planned each academic year to raise money for clinic supplies and to increase community awareness of the clinic. The committee will work with the Treasurer. Membership is voluntary.

Section C: Events Committee

The development chair would preside over for mentioned committee. The events committee will be composed of students from the University of South Alabama College of Medicine, University of South Alabama School of Allied Health Professions, University of South Alabama College of Nursing, and University of South Alabama Department of Social Work who are interested in planning and implementing special events for the USASRFC. Special events may include the Clinic Grand Opening or community events that the clinic should be present at such as Homeless Connect. Membership is voluntary. It is the duty of the development chair to be in charge of the acknowledgement and approval of any event that is being carried out by the USA SRFC or any other entities that are having events on the behalf of USA SRFC (15 place). It will be the chair's job to notify the rest of the board with any updates to events in a timely manner to allow adequate time to plan and oversee these events. If adequate time is not possible due to the nature of the event, the chair needs to at least notify the President, Vice-President, and the Operations Manager of the clinic as soon as possible so a decision can be made as quick as possible.

Section D: Special Committees

The President shall have the authority to appoint any special committees, with the approval of the Executive Committee, from time to time as need demands.

Article IX: Non-Discrimination Policy

Membership in the University of South Alabama student organizations is open to all regularly enrolled students. Accordingly, no person may be excluded from membership or leadership in a registered student organization due to race, color, religion, national origin, age, gender (unless exempt under Title IX), sexual orientation, disability or veteran status; provided, however, that registered student organizations may limit their membership to students who, upon individual inquiry, affirm that they support the organization’s religious political or other legally protected views, consistent with the First Amendment.