The Winston-Salem State University (WSSU) Foundation has been awarded a grant from Islamic Relief USA to support the university’s physical therapy clinic at the Community Care Center of Winston-Salem.

The $24,500 grant will enable WSSU’s Department of Physical Therapy to expand services and hours and to purchase supplies and equipment for the clinic. The grant will also allow WSSU’s Department of Occupational Therapy to purchase necessary supplies for establishing an occupational therapy clinic at Community Care Center.

“For the past several years, we have consistently seen significant numbers of patients delayed in accessing rehabilitation services due to limited hours and equipment. Further, within the local community, there are few providers of pro bono physical therapy and occupational therapy that serve patients on a long term and ongoing basis,” said Nancy Smith, WSSU clinical associate professor.

According to Elizabeth Fain, WSSU occupational therapy instructor, “This grant from Islamic Relief USA will allow more patients to receive the care they need while supporting student education and providing important hands-on experience.”

In 2009, WSSU’s School of Physical Therapy established the free clinic at Community Care Center – one of only two free university physical therapy clinics in North Carolina. The physical therapy clinic currently operates every Wednesday from 9:00 a.m. until noon. WSSU physical therapy students who are supervised by faculty members provide services.

The Community Care Center of Winston Salem, located at 2135 New Walkertown Road, serves the medically uninsured and underserved residents of Forsyth, Stokes and Davie counties. It is the largest free medical clinic in North Carolina, with over 17,000 patient visits annually.

“We rely on compassionate medical professionals and partners like WSSU who so eagerly share their talents and skills to serve our patients,” said Jim Robinson, Community Care Center Director. “We realize that additional financial support is necessary to improve and sustain the WSSU clinic, and we are thrilled to count Islamic Relief USA as a partner in this important work.”

Derrick Lea, US Programs Director for Islamic Relief, USA emphasized the importance of funding this project to service for the community. He states, “Seeing the people line up for services with licensed Physical Therapists, Doctors, and Medical students who focus on their particular needs is comparable to the best care received at any Doctors office in the country. The staff seem to take a personal interest in each patient and this concern is seen in the conversations that take place between the medical staff and those being helped.”

Offering relief services for nearly a quarter-century, Islamic Relief USA is a nonprofit charity providing humanitarian aid in more than three-dozen countries. In addition to its international relief and development initiatives, IRUSA also supports domestic projects to help disadvantaged communities in the United States.