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Sold-out Without a Safety Net Art Benefit Raises Over $25,000 for Student-run Clinic



NEW YORK, January 31, 2012 – The Weill Cornell Community Clinic, which provides free, high-quality and equitable healthcare for uninsured, low-income New Yorkers, held its first annual benefit on Friday, January 27, 2012 at The Astor Center in NoHo.

The event which featured a juried silent auction of artwork created around the theme of “Without a Safety Net,” raised over $25,000 for the clinic, which is run by medical students at Weill Cornell Medical College.

“We wanted to raise awareness about issues faced by the uninsured while also raising funds for our clinic,” said Ximena Levander, a fourth-year medical student and co-director of the clinic. “The clinic is often our patients’ only option for affordable healthcare when they have nowhere to turn.”

The art for the event was curated by Elissa Iberti, an artist and independent curator, and featured pieces donated by 15 different artists, many of whom were in attendance, along with a screening of Fly-By-Night Dance Theater's "Apollo & Dafne." The artwork raised $5,000 for the clinic.

Tickets sold out days in advance and attendees enjoyed drinks and hors d'oeuvres donated by Hospitality Holdings with music provided by Fataah Dilaan of Arcade44.tv.

“There is no such thing as a free clinic,” said Dr. Patricia Yarberry-Allen, Faculty Advisory Board member and Women’s Health Clinic physician for the community clinic who provided guidance for the benefit. Dr. Allen is Director of the New York Menopause Center, President and Publisher of Women’s Voice for Change, and Clinical Instructor for the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at New York-Presbyterian Hospital. “We needed to create an annual fundraising event to support the clinic’s mission. Now WCCC has a template for a successful annual event.”

“Proceeds from this benefit will pay for nearly 6 months of patient care,” said Megan Riddle, an MD-PhD student and co-director of the clinic. “That makes a big difference – both in the lives of our patients and in the lives of students who learn about the challenges of caring for the uninsured by volunteering with the clinic.”

For more information about the clinic or to donate, please visit weill.cornell.edu/wccc/safetynet.

The Weill Cornell Community Clinic provides free primary care, women’s health and mental health services to over 100 patients a year with plans to double its patient population over the next year. Founded in 2003, the clinic is operated by medical students at Weill Cornell Medical College with physician and social work volunteers to oversee patient care.



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