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    “Tuesdays at the Love Lot” by Rachel Ewing and Daphne Sashin

    Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania
    The Robert G. Fenley Writing Awards: General Staff Writing - Bronze

    “Tuesdays at the Love Lot” is a story of an ensemble cast of academic medical professionals and how they came together in a place of astonishing need. Published in the Spring/Summer 2022 issue of Penn Medicine magazine and online at our Service in Action site, the story offers visual and verbal insights into a unique effort to help some of the most marginalized people suffering on the periphery of the COVID-19 pandemic while also struggling with substance use. It’s a story about a free COVID testing initiative, but it’s more than that. The story and the effort it describes offer insights into the principle of harm reduction and a glimpse of the character of those who came together to help from different corners and backgrounds of expertise.

    What was the most impactful part of your entry?
    Every person we met for this story felt like a main character with a journey. Whether the person was using drugs or trying to help those who do, we hoped to showcase for readers the individual humanity and the struggle through a pair of overlapping epidemics.

    What is one thing you learned from your entry/experience?
    The story doesn’t always follow the shape you initially intend. We thought this was a “day-in-the-life” story but learned along the way that there was so much richness to convey about transformation and growth that no typical day could capture it.

    Rachel Ewing