UNR Med Students Embrace the Spirit of Giving

News & Events

UNR Med students at RSGM

Second-year UNR Med students volunteering at the Reno-Sparks Gospel Mission from left to right: Cindy Valverde, Meg Floyd, Bryn Morris, Therlinder Lo, Ryan Allen, Erika Mauban, Ryan Johnson and Michael Young.

Medical students and physicians alike will often say the reason they have been called to practice medicine is because they want to help people. They want to make an impact on their communities.

Their work in practices, hospitals and classrooms is how UNR Med students, faculty and alumni give back every day. However, through their hurricane relief efforts, solidarity and kindness in the face of great tragedy and countless other initiatives, UNR Med students have realized their community benevolence is not limited to the exam room.

One such student is second-year medical student Cindy Valverde, who has thoughtfully embraced the spirit of giving by organizing a volunteer partnership with the Reno-Sparks Gospel Mission (RSGM).

"Being a medical student means our days are often filled with long hours studying and endless responsibilities," said Valverde. "Sometimes we get so caught up in our responsibilities that we forget our reason for pursuing medicine in the first place: to help those in need."

Each month, Valverde brings a group of UNR Med students to RSGM to help feed the men, women and children who are homeless in our community. It was not enough for her to take action individually. She wanted to get other students involved.

When asked about their experience at RSGM during their October volunteer day, second-year students Ryan Johnson and Michael Young expressed:

"Each time I volunteer at RSGM, I appreciate what a direct positive impact it has on our community. It opens channels of compassion, understanding and humanity that are felt by everyone involved," said Johnson.

"I found myself grateful for everything God has given me: my family, friends and the opportunity to do what we are doing. It was great to help others and fun to spend time with my fellow classmates. I can't wait to do it again!" Young said.

Valverde continued reflecting on her own experience, "Words cannot describe how humbled I was by this experience. I went into medicine to serve my community, and when I volunteer at RSGM, I feel like I am doing just that."

With the holidays and end of the semester quickly approaching, Valverde is bringing the spirit of giving to the UNR Med campus. She has worked with United Blood Services to organize a blood drive on Tuesday, December 5 from 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. The Bloodmobile will be in the Silver 10 parking lot in front of the Pennington Health Sciences Building. Follow her extraordinary lead, and sign up for a life-saving appointment now!

Media Contacts

Julie Ardito, APR
Senior Director, Advancement and Engagement
Office: (775) 784-6006

Tessa Bowen
Communications Manager, Advancement and Engagement
Office: (775) 682-9254

The University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine is a community-based, research-intensive medical school with a statewide vision that has served Nevada for 50 years. The state's first public medical school, UNR Med fosters a healthy Nevada through excellence in medical education, medical care, research and community engagement, within a culture of respect, compassion and inclusion. Through targeted growth and investment in research, clinical services, education and outreach, UNR Med is improving the future of health care. For more information, visit our 50th anniversary website.