By Kiran Munir, Staff Writer
American Medical Association of Benedictine University hosted the 4th annual AMSA 5K on Sunday, April 7th. Every year, Benedictine University holds a 5K in the spring to support HomeCare Physicians. HomeCare Physicians is a nationally recognized medical house call program for homebound patients and all the funds raised are contributed to its Patients’ Assistance Fund. The Patients’ Assistance Fund helps patients that would not be able to receive the essential healthcare any other way. This year’s turnout by far surpassed expectations with a total of 250+ runners – more than quadruple the number of registered runners last year.
HomeCare Physicians is under the leadership of Dr. Cornwell, who was actually one of the runners. Dr. Cornwell was delighted by the success of this year’s event and was thankful to all the students who put the event together as well as the teachers, sponsors and the whole Benedictine University. He acknowledged Dr. Paul Chiang, Dr. Lisa Pocius, and Ancy Zacharia, a nurse practitioner, for all their help as well. Dr. Cornwell told students that the money raised from this year’s 5K will hopefully go towards a homebound adult in need of dental work.
The event truly lived up to its name as it provided participants with the opportunity of social networking while they enjoyed some quality music and refreshments. Even though the race began at 9:00 a.m., the AMSA board and volunteers came for set up at 6:30 a.m. in the morning. The registration began at 7:00 a.m. and the race began promptly at 9:00 a.m.
Chris Smith, coordinator of student involvement, stated, “The dedication and motivation of this year’s board members and interns paid off because runners quadrupled from last year; furthermore, this is one example of many ways by which AMSA gives back to the community.”
AMSA advisor Ms. Sima expressed her gratitude towards the faculty and staff of Benedictine University who not only encouraged their students to participate in the 5K but also came out to support the cause themselves. Furthermore, she was thankful for Dr. Cornwell to be there for students to do practicum and for his unrelenting support.
AMSA president Faiza Choudhry described the event as what defines one of the most important purposes of AMSA: being a physician in training by participating in such compassionate causes. “As an aspiring physician it is very important for us to take part in such fundraising events. Events like 5K inspire us to become compassionate physicians who will be equipped with essential leadership skills that are needed to improve our healthcare system,” said Choudhry.
The run ended approximately around 10:15 a.m. and then the top 3 runners from male and female categories were announced and given prizes. Next, raffle prizes given by generous donors and sponsors were raffled.
Rabia Choudhry, one of the volunteer coordinators and organizers of 5K expressed her gratitude in these words: “It feels great to see that all the yearlong hard work finally paid off when the members from the university and community came together to support AMSA’s mission and patients in need.”
Marihan Hegazy, the other volunteer coordinator and organizer further said, “We are very thankful to the runners, professors who either granted an incentive for student participation or attended the event, volunteers, fellow board members, 5K interns, donors, Cadence Health, sponsors, Student Activities, and Campus police for all their support and help in making 5K a great success this year!”