AMSA's Local Chapter Project Directory

Project title World AIDS Day Rally at Senator Clinton's Rochester Office Downtown
Project type(s) Other
Date completed 11/29/2006
Chapter University of Rochester Medical Center SOM & Dentistry
Project Coordinator David Wilson
Summary of project We organized a white coat rally outside of the Federal Building in Downtown Rochester, NY. About 25 medical students attended plus 2 physicians, 2 nurses, 1 nursing student, and about 12 other community members concerned about HIV both globally and nationally. Medical students dressed professionally and wore their white coats. Participants held up empty white coats and signs that were made the night before. Speakers addressed the crowd about the need for more health care workers in sub-Saharan Africa and the need to fully fund the re-authorization of the Ryan White Care Act. At the end of the rally, we presented a representative of Senator Clinton’s office the nearly 100 letters that were signed at the table the day before requesting that she work for the full funding of the RWCA, and write a letter to president Bush requesting $5 billion to increase the number of health care workers in Africa. The staffer addressed the crowd and assured them that the letters would go straight to Washington, DC and thanked everyone for their concern. The event lasted from 4pm to 5pm.

Master of Ceremonies: Dave Wilson, MSII Local AMSA VP for the U of Rochester SOM

Speakers: Michael Keefer, MD Principal Investigator of the Rochester HIV Vaccine Trials Unit Lynn Varricchio, MPH, Director of the Rochester Area Task Force on AIDS Huung Lu, MD, MPH, Director of HIV Outreach Projects in Vietnam Rebecca Ryan, MSII Former Peace Corps Volunteer in Togo Joe Lanning, Former Peace Corps Volunteer in Malawi Erik Libey, HIV Positive Activist

Media that covered the event were: WXXI (Local NPR Station) Democrat and Chronicle (Local News Paper) Rochester IndyMedia (Local Online Paper) R News (Local Cable News Network)

To prepare for the event, we sent out press advisories and press releases to every media organization that we could think of 1 week before the event, 2 days before the event, the day of the event, and the afternoon of the event. We assigned one medical student to be responsible for a different organization.

Content area HIV/AIDS
Number of participants 40
Participant hours involved 80 hour(s)
Coordinator roles
Coordinator hours hour(s)
Total project cost $0
Project funding Local chapter funds
Funding breakdown of sources and/or donations:
Project advertising Lots of flyers and e-mails posted throughout the HIV/AIDS community. Flyers throughout the medical center. E-mails to the medical school and physicians as well. It worked very well. It would have been nice to get more people from the community, but I'm not sure what else we could have done.
Success rating
(1 = unsuccesful, 5 = very successful)
Lessons/suggestions Everything went very smoothly. We were please with the turnout. Unfortunately the rally conflicted with the first year medical students' schedules, but that we the best that we could do. We were not able to have a speaker because our source for speakers did not follow through with us, but that ended up not being a big problem. I'm glad that I got a permit to have the rally on the property because having it on the sidewalk (public property) would have been too noisy due to the traffic.