On Nov. 11, students from A.T. Still University’s Arizona School of Health Sciences (ATSU-ASHS) built an accessibility ramp at the home of Mesa resident, Christine Vanek. Vanek suffers from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, which limits her mobility. The ramp will allow her to enter and exit her home safely using a walker.
“This means the world to me,” Vanek said. “I can get in and out of my house without worrying about falling. I’ve always been a very active person, but I’ve been stuck inside for almost two years now. The ramp has allowed me to get out and socialize. I feel very blessed.”
ATSU completed the project in collaboration with Rebuilding Together Valley of the Sun (RTVOS). The university provided funding and manpower, while RVTOS offered design expertise and supervised construction. The project was one of several planned in recognition of ATSU’s 125th anniversary.
A former social worker, Vanek is impressed by ATSU’s commitment to the community.
“I’m thrilled to see that young people are getting involved and trying to help others,” she said. “It’s so refreshing to see that happen.”
Alexander Yaldoo, a third-year dental student at ATSU’s Arizona School of Dentistry and Oral Health, enjoyed giving back to the community in a different way.
“The opportunity to build a ramp and improve the quality of life for an individual in need is priceless,” he said. “This experience reminds me that I can help people in many ways, in and out of a health care setting.”