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Innovative Student Developed Telehealth System Provides Medical Care to Underserved Communities in Southeast Los Angeles

Last Updated: October 25, 2022


The International Collegiate Health Initiative(ICHI) is a 501 c(3) non-profit organization established in 2017 and based in the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). Our team is composed of undergraduate and graduate students from UCLA, community volunteers, and a board of directors consisting of physicians and non-profit professionals. ICHI provides access to free, high-quality healthcare to the medically underserved communities of Southeast Los Angeles. Furthermore, we provide educational, mental health, and social services to these communities. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, ICHI’s student group had to leave campus temporarily. In an effort to adapt to our new reality, we developed an innovative solution that enabled us to continue to improve the overall health of the communities we serve. Over the span of four months, we established a telehealth system. We received the California State COVID-19 Health Equity Grant which supports projects that aim to alleviate health disparities in underserved regions. Additionally, we were awarded grants from PIH Health and UCLA. Ultimately, our telehealth system impacted the lives of hundred of patients in Southeast Los Angeles. We provided a variety of free medical services such as prescription medication refills, physician consultations, COVID-19 self-testing kits, and vaccine registration. Amidst the pandemic, our comprehensive services allowed our patients to continue receiving access to free, high-quality medical care. 


Ahmad Elhaija, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, MS1 (aelhaija@ucla.edu)
Zubair Ahmed, UCLA