California – Los Angeles: David Geffen School of Medicine

Lyudmyla Demyan

Lyudmyla Demyan is currently a student at the David Geffen School of Medicine. Lyudmyla has always been passionate about service, as she consistently volunteers for UCLA’s Mobile Clinic Project that serves the homeless. She loved being able to impact the community one person at a time, but wanted to take on a project that would make an even bigger difference. This is why, for over a year, Lyudmyla worked with another medical school student, Scott Greenberg, to create a school-wide service day for the David Geffen School of Medicine (DGSOM). Scott came up with the idea last year, and Lyudmyla jumped on board. They presented their idea to the Vice Dean for Education, Dr. Clarence Braddock, who was very supportive of their idea. The Student Affairs Office was also very supportive, assisting with all of the logistics. When Scott graduated last year and left for his summer residency, Lyudmyla took over as the leader in order to make the project happen.  Throughout the entire planning process, Lyudmyla received incredible amounts of support from her classmates. These efforts included collaborations with student groups such as the Big and Little Sib program, the UCLA chapter of the American Medical Association, and the Medical Student Council at DGSOM. With representatives from all of these organizations, Lyudmyla created a Volunteer Day Committee which consisted of Rebecca Linfield, Alex Garrett, Stephanie Tsoi, and Yuliya Zektser.

After months and months of planning, a group of 200 medical students served at two of the
Los Angeles Food Bank’s
locations for DGSOM’s inaugural Volunteer Day. At one location, volunteers packed packages of food for families in need. At the second location, volunteers sorted through over 12,000 pounds of donated food items. Lyudmyla loved organizing the event because she was able to make such a difference in the community on a larger scale. Lyudmyla described how “the event instilled in me the desire to find creative ways to serve my community in addition to providing medical care.” Her favorite part of the service experience was being able to volunteer alongside her classmates and friends. She explained that it was very emotional to see 200 medical students making this world a better place for so many families.

After the event’s success, Lyudmyla and her collaborators plan to make the DGSOM Volunteer Day an annual event. The DGSOM Education Committee is considering ways to make it easier for as many students as possible to attend. They are also currently looking into collaborating with the School of Public Health, School of Dentistry, and other UCLA graduate schools for next years’ service day. Such collaborations would help fulfill the day’s two main purposes of serving the community and engaging students from different levels of training.

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Area Served Los Angeles
Service Organization David Geffen School of Medicine (DGSOM)
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