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Physicians bring meals to veterans

November 10, 2021

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Veteran Donnell Ingram and Dr. Patricia Iroabuchi recently met at Mr. Sandy’s Homeless Veterans Center in York.

Veteran Donnell Ingram and Dr. Patricia Iroabuchi recently met at Mr. Sandy’s Homeless Veterans Center in York.

A group of WellSpan resident physicians recently donated meals to veterans, to support and uplift those who have served their country.

The residents’ group is called THRIVE, which stands for Transformational Humane Respectful Inquisitive Vivacious Energizing. Those are the qualities the group seeks to embody with its outreach projects like the veterans’ meals, which were delivered shortly before Veterans Day.

“I believe most of us went into medicine to serve,” said Dr. Patricia Iroabuchi, THRIVE treasurer and a family medicine resident at WellSpan York Hospital. “We want to serve the communities where we practice. These communities have medical needs, but they have other needs too, such as clothing, education, food and shelter. Giving back is what we are called to do.”

Dr. Iroabuchi helped to hand out 25 lunches at Mr. Sandy’s Homeless Veterans Center in York, which is operated by Veteran’s Helping Hand. Veterans picked up the meals at the center, which also offers them toiletries, blankets and other supplies.

Sandie Walker is the director of Mr. Sandy’s and the daughter of the late Sandy Walker, a Vietnam War veteran and the founder of Veteran’s Helping Hand. She said that the veterans enjoyed seeing a physician in a setting that was not a hospital or a medical office, which helps to build bonds. “It gives a positive twist and a different perspective for them to see a doctor come in and just hand out lunches,” she said. “Now they have a face they can relate to, which is nice.”

THRIVE, created to provide residents with a way to connect and make a difference in their communities, does other projects such as mentoring local high school and college students who are interested in health care careers. Members also are collecting books and winter clothing during drives and are working on a childhood diabetes education series, which will teach healthy habits to young people.

Resident physicians or others who are interested in hearing more about THRIVE can reach out at thrive@wellspan.org. For more information about WellSpan’s residency and educational programs, go here.