Nursing Professor Dr. Sheryl Winn has worked with the Daybreak Clinic since its opening in November 2013. Since it’s inception, the Macon clinic has transformed into a bustling resource center with two fully furnished exam rooms, a stocked medication closet, pantry, laundry services, showers and Internet and phone booths for the homeless in the area.
The clinic is also where Georgia College students delve into their clinical hours, serving patients who also happen to be some of the most vulnerable and underserved populations in middle Georgia. The exposure to this population allows students to start thinking of affordability when prescribing medication, finding specialists who can help with certain cases and managing cases to develop trust with patients.
“We have several groups of students who come here to Daybreak every semester,” said Winn. “The objective is of course to expose them to vulnerable populations and it’s also a service learning experience for them.”
Family Nurse Practioner student Sadie Melton said her time spent at the clinic was unexpected, taking in the bright corridors filled with local art and learning that some of the homeless patients volunteer at the center. At the core of her experience is the understanding of the responsibility she has as a worker in the health care industry.
“This is our state. These are our people. As a health care worker and a graduate student, you kind of feel a sense of duty to get out there and help them,” said Melton. “That’s one of the reasons I picked Georgia College is because the outreach program they have is just second to none.”