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Community | Press Release

Yuma Regional Medical Center (YRMC) is breathing new life into its School Healthcare Program, an initiative that was designed for YRMC medical residents to become actively involved in Yuma’s school community. Through the School Healthcare Program, residents help students with homework, share meaningful moments over lunch, touching on topics like career aspirations and self-esteem and co-teach lessons with teachers about health-related topics, including health careers.

“I find connecting with children from diverse backgrounds incredibly fulfilling,” says YRMC third year medical resident, Dr. Ludny Charles. “To be a mentor and caregiver to these students truly blends the unique aspects of YRMC’s community and medicine residency program that we love. Perhaps one of these children will become a doctor or nurse for the next generation,” adds Dr. Charles as she smiles.

Teaming up with Yuma School District One, the program re-launched at Fourth Avenue Junior High and neighboring Roosevelt Elementary School. The goal of the program is to reduce missed school days due to illness while also promoting long-term student health.

“We are thrilled to partner with YRMC for their School Healthcare Program that connects our students and families with YRMC medical residents,” said Duane Sheppard, Associate Superintendent of Curriculum & Instruction, Yuma School District One. “Having a doctor on our campuses to engage with students about health and wellness, co-teach about health-related topics, and promote career awareness in the healthcare field, has been a positive experience for all involved. Our students and principals at Roosevelt Elementary and Fourth Avenue Jr. High have enjoyed welcoming the first two residents on campus, and we look forward to the future opportunities that this partnership will bring.”

The program marks a significant step towards ensuring access to healthcare for all families in Yuma County, especially those in underserved communities. YRMC eagerly looks forward to launching phase two of its School Healthcare Program, which includes the unveiling of a revamped mobile clinic, made possible by the Foundation of YRMC. The mobile clinic is anticipated to open its doors at the start of the school year in August 2024.

“These interactions go beyond the clinical setting and help build genuine connections that embody the essence of community care,” said Dr. Kristina Diaz, Executive Medical Director of Primary Care, Chief Academic Officer and program leader. “Not only will the program have a profound impact on the young people of Yuma, but we are equally excited about the invaluable education and experience our residents will gain through this meaningful endeavor.”

For more information on the residency training that Yuma Regional Medical Center provides, please visit