A Vision to Make a Difference
Impact: Making free monthly care a reality for underserved communities
UC Davis alumnus Felix Munoz-Teng knows the efforts of a passionate few can impact the lives of many. As an undergraduate, he dedicated many hours to Shifa Community Clinic, a student-run program that provides health care to underserved South Asian populations in the Sacramento area.
Seeing a gaping need for child health care—Shifa’s services focused exclusively on adult care at the time—Munoz-Teng jumpstarted a pediatric project that had been abandoned a few years earlier. He worked “side by side with a small but amazingly determined group of people” to make free monthly pediatric care a reality.
“When I see health care issues or institutional barriers that impede someone from living a happy and healthy life,” says Munoz-Teng, “it really gets to me.”
Shifa Clinic remains a priority for him following graduation in 2013. When Munoz-Teng is not working as a technician for a psychiatry practice in El Dorado Hills, he acts as a monitor at the clinic. He oversees operations and ensures that student volunteers know their duties, physicians are comfortable with the workflow, and patient care is running smoothly.
“The clinic’s motto is ‘Vision with action can change the world,’” says Munoz-Teng. “I’ve learned firsthand how dedicated individuals with a common goal can work together to change their community forever.”
Munoz-Teng is thankful for the opportunities at UC Davis that have shaped him into a caregiver, leader and young working professional. He hopes future students will build on his progress and expand access to quality care for more communities.
“There are so many simple improvements we can make through awareness and education. All we have to do is be passionate enough to want to make a difference.”