As dozens of people gather around Pavilion A waiting to donate blood, there is a student association enthusiastically running the blood drive who is passionate and determined to make it a success.
They coordinated the drive with the American Red Cross and rented a room in the Titan Student Union. From there they had to advertise and recruit students to ensure the word of a blood drive was circulating on campus.
The Student Health Professions Association (SHPA) coordinates semi-annual blood drives. They have been doing so for the past three decades and continue to be amazed by the driveâ€™s turnout. This semester, SHPA collected 184 units of blood. Each unit saves three lives.
â€œBeing a part of SHPA is a tremendous experience,â€ says Alex Nguyen, a biology major and vice president of SHPA. â€œNot many opportunities come around when you get to do something like this and give back to the community. We recently helped save over 500 lives.â€
Nguyen is the key coordinator of delegating and organizing the blood drives SHPA hosts and is responsible for ensuring they run smoothly. He says the organization has helped him through school and has propelled him to go to medical school.
Although SHPA members go out of their way to make sure the blood drive is the biggest volunteer event they host all semester, these drives arenâ€™t the only thing they participate in to be involved and help the community. They also work closely with CSUFâ€™s Health Professions Advising Office and volunteer at the Orange County Food Bank, participate in walk-a-thons and host bake sales.
Daniel Moon, a biology major and president of SHPA, says that the organization is a pre-professional association network. They volunteer, provide information and have health professionals come in and speak bi-weekly. Moon gives credit to the SHPA when talking about his decision to become a physician.
“I don’t think I would have ever chosen the path I’m on today if I was not part of SHPA,â€ says Moon. â€œOur club focuses a lot on students who are unsure about what career path they want to take and provides them with the opportunity to interact with professionals and experience different fields.”
SHPA is a student-run association that provides a forum for those who have a desire to gain insight, wisdom and knowledge required to become a health professional. It is aimed to assist those who are interested in pursuing a career in the medical field but are unsure of the various opportunities of professions available.
â€œBeing a member of SHPA has strengthened me to choose the allopathic medical route,â€ says Jacqulyne Sylvia, 21, a biology major and Allopathic Medical Chair of SHPA. â€œWe work hand-in-hand with other medical professionals. Because the club incorporates an assortment of medical professions, no matter where our expertise lies, we all have the same drive and are all motivated to help others.â€
SHPA welcomes any students who are interested in pursuing a career in the medical field. They meet Fridays at 1 p.m. For more information visit their website at Fullerton.edu/health_professions/shpa.