Student-Run Free Clinic Bridges Gaps

Education Meets Compassion at Vallejo Site as Classroom Theories Give Rise to Real-World Results

December 15, 2023
Student clinicians holding charts talk to their faculty preceptor

Every Thursday at the Norman C. King South Vallejo Community Center, Touro University California (TUC) student clinicians and faculty preceptors operate a free clinic. It’s a symbiotic scenario that allows hands on experience for student clinicians and free treatments for the public.

Clinic Transforms Community Connection

The Student-Run Free Clinic (SRFC) is run by dedicated faculty members, like Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine, Melissa Pearce who have helped the clinic evolve into a multifaceted endeavor.

“We’ve built the Student Run Free Clinic to try and encompass all of the different programs at Touro,” says Pearce. “It’s still very centered in the College of Osteopathic Medicine (COM) but we’re really working to get even more faculty leadership from the College of Pharmacy (COP), College of Education and Health Sciences, Physician Assistant and Masters of Public Health Program (PA/MPH), and our School of Nursing to become more involved to incorporate their depth of experience.”

The SRFC has been a transformative initiative since 2010, launched by a group of TUC students, including current Program Director of the PA/MPH program Dr. Joy Moverley (PA/MPH, 2012). Moverley, along with Han Wang (COP 2013), Megan Jolicoeur (COM 2013), and former faculty preceptor Dr. Ingrid Lopes started the clinic with an initial grant of $10,000 from Target. The clinic continues to run in the same location, the Norman C. King South Vallejo Community Center, where it began as a place where education and empathy meeting service and learning.

The SRFC currently offers a comprehensive array of services that include physical screenings and medication reviews, along with blood pressure and blood glucose tests. While the clinic cannot offer diagnoses or prescriptions to patients, they can provide treatment for pain through Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine sessions, which for many regular clinic visitors offers relief for chronic problems without medication and at no cost.

In situations where more clinical support is needed and they don’t have insurance, patients are referred to Solano County Family Health Services, La Clínica de la Raza, or CommuniCare+OLE centers.

Student Clinicians Lead Effort, Gain Experience

SRFC Executive Director and Student Doctor Rasha Kiwan from Sacramento found purpose in the Vallejo clinic.

“Just being close to my Vallejo community, being able to serve them has been the best part of it,” Kiwan says, highlighting the tangible connection between education and real-world impact.

For Student Doctor Jason Li, Director of Operations at the clinic, volunteering marked a turning point in his educational journey.

“It’s a lot different when you’re practicing on a classmate rather than taking the history and physical of an actual patient,” Li says, echoing the sentiment of many students who find their theoretical knowledge deepened through practical application.

The clinic offers many services to the public, including collaborating with the Harm Reduction program through Drug Safe Solano. Pearce says that there are additional programs being offered soon, including one they call Whole Person Care that will address chronic disease with personalized nutrition, exercise, and lifestyle programs to improve patient health in a significant way.

In the meantime, Pearce says the clinic will keep providing care to the community with future generations of Touro students clinicians continuing the tradition of medical education, empathy, collaboration, and the enduring pursuit of inclusive health care for all.

Student Run Free Clinic

545 Magazine St, Vallejo, CA 94590

Thursdays from 4-8 pm.

To make an appointment, call (707) 563-1204 or email