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August 11, 2017
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The heat was out in full force and so were our students on the volleyball court! We were lucky enough to all be invited to a BBQ at the Nguyen household. The sun was out, the food was delicious, and the competitive spirit was alive and well amongst our summer interns. Everyone had a great time and got to know each other further.


Joe W. came to speak to our students about patient empowerment. He discussed ways that healthcare providers can work with the patients to ensure a successful health outcome. He provided insight as both a patient and someone involved in the medical field.


3rd year S.C.A.R.F. Ambassador, Janki, taught our students about Lyme Disease. They learned the risk factors and treatment options. Her current event topic involved the Syrian Civil War. She did a fantastic job presenting the involvement and motives of all countries involved.


2nd year S.C.A.R.F. Ambassador and team leader, Ishani, gave a wonderful presentation regarding BPH and Prostate Cancer. However, it was her current event/ethics topic that really got our students talking! She discussed Food Deserts and Food Insecurity that exist in this country. All of our students were very passionate about this topic and had great ideas for how we can help combat this issue.


2nd year S.C.A.R.F. Ambassador Anisha presented on Zika Virus. She explained that the concern with Zika remains for those of child-bearing age as the virus can cause significant damage to a growing fetus. Her current event topic involved global warming where we had a very active discussion regarding the ways that we can make an impact on our environment.


Robin from Medtronic came to speak about their new Micra Transcatheter Pacing system – the world’s smallest pacemaker! Our students were able to actually see and hold one of these devices.


Elite Cardiology’s very own nurse practitioner, Vanessa, presented a case study to our interns. They learned about paroxysmal atrial fibrillation and how it might present, how to treat, and additional lifestyle and risk factors to consider. She even gave them a quiz afterwards!


1st year S.C.A.R.F. intern Aashna presented today on Hyperthyroidism vs Hypothyroidism. Her ethics topic sparked a great debate amongst our interns – puffing your resume, is it ethical? What if you completed all 4 years of university, had a GPA of 3.8, but you owed the school $500 which was preventing you from obtaining your degree? Should you list this degree on your resume? Our interns all had very strong opinions and we had an excellent discussion.


2nd year S.C.A.R.F. Ambassador Rediat was 4th to present her mini-topics. She taught our interns about Turner Syndrome, a genetic condition that affects 1 in 2,500 females. She also reviewed the opioid epidemic that is plaguing the United States. She explained how it started, why it continues, and the impact it is having on newborns, children, and adults!


1st year S.C.A.R.F. intern Kunaal was up 3rd to present mini-topics to his fellow interns. He educated us regarding Eating Disorders and the differences between anorexia nervosa and bulimia. He was assigned an ethics topic that involved colleges inflating SAT scores of their incoming freshmen class to boost their rankings.This sparked a great discussion amongst the group in terms of how this can be prevented moving forward. 


1st year S.C.A.R.F. intern Ananya was second to present. She was assigned a difficult topic and handled it incredibly well. She explained the signs and symptoms of epidural hematomas, subdural hematomas, and subarachnoid hemorrhage - brain bleeds that result from different injuries and may require different treatments. She was also assigned to present on Turing Pharmaceutical and their over 4,000% price increase on a drug called Daraprim. This was a combination of ethics and current events. Her presentation allowed for great discussion amongst the interns in regards to legality and ethics. 


2nd year S.C.A.R.F. Ambassador Jordyn is the first to present her mini-topics on healthcare and current events/ethics. She educated her fellow interns regarding Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) as well as the Affordable Care Act "Obamacare." With many of our interns and ambassadors planning for a career in medicine, knowledge of the Affordable Care Act is critical. The ability to understand the benefits and the downfalls of this legislation is very important as future healthcare providers but also as future adults that will go out into the world and need to purchase insurance for themselves. She did a fantastic job at presenting arguments that both sides of the political spectrum represent when discussing this act. 


"Life is Electrical." Dr. Nguyen educates our summer interns regarding EKG and what we can learn from this cardiac test. Our students learn to recognize what is normal, what is artifact, and what could be concerning when reviewing an EKG. 


Dr. Nguyen lectures to our summer 2018 interns regarding cardiac arrest and indications for defibrillator placement. 


S.C.A.R.F. 2018 interns were trained in Basic Life Support (BLS) for Healthcare Providers thanks to our fabulous instructor, Karen, from Windy City CPR. They learned about CPR for infants, children, and adults. They learned how to use an AED and how to assist a choking victim. 


S.C.A.R.F. kicked off the Summer 2018 Career Guidance and Mentorship program with orientation held at Main Event Entertainment with sponsorship by Biotronik. After an information session where they learned more about the program, were assigned their research topics, and heard from former S.C.A.R.F. students, this year's class was able to enjoy the games and entertainment including bowling, laser tag, and gravity ropes.


S.C.A.R.F. held its second restaurant fundraiser of the season at Puebla Modern Mexican in St Charles. Our S.C.A.R.F. directors met with some S.C.A.R.F. Ambassadors, friends, and family to enjoy a delicious meal and some margaritas! 25% of proceeds from this night get donated back to S.C.A.R.F. so that we can purchase more AEDs to donate to our community. Thanks again to everyone who has come out to support our cause!


S.C.A.R.F. held its first restaurant fundraiser of the season at MOD Pizza in South Naperville. Ambassadors, friends, family, and the community came out to support our organization. Funds raised during this, and future fundraising events, go towards the purchase of automated external defibrillators (AEDs) to be donated to facilities in need. Thanks to all who came out to support!

The SCARF Mentoring and Career Guidance Program is successful for a variety of ways. Each SCARF Ambassador gains something unique from the program that is tailored to developing their strengths and improving on weakness. The answers below are just some of ways our students have benefitted:

Vanessa L., 6th year SCARF Ambassador, Des Moines University MS Biomedical Sciences Program

“SCARF has allowed me to become a better person, a better team member, a better daughter, and eventually a better physician through the selflessness, leadership, and collaborative skills that I received through my team and my mentors, Drs. Paul and Rubina Nguyen. Simply put, SCARF is a part of my family.”

Janki D., 3rd year SCARF Ambassador, University of Illinois – Chicago Neuroscience major

“SCARF is an opportunity and a blessing. It is a chance to show my commitment and dedication to the medical field and provide healthcare to those who need it most. SCARF has helped me redefine my goals and has reinvigorated my passion for medicine.”

Harish K., 4th year SCARF Ambassador, Metea Valley High School Senior

“These past years with SCARF have taught me a lot about the anatomy and physiology of the heart, but most importantly provided me with life guidance. Dr. Nguyen has provided me with the necessary knowledge to be successful in the future and better understand the world around me from a more profound perspective.”

Meg M., 3rd year SCARF Ambassador, Barrington High School Senior

“As someone who has a pervasive family history of cardiac disease, SCARF means the world to me. SCARF gives me the platform to educate the community at the grassroots level, slowly changing people’s learned habits and making them conscious of their health.”

Neehar S., 2nd year SCARF Ambassador, St. Charles East High School Junior

“Through SCARF I have learned about the heart and its electrical system. More importantly, however, I am blessed to be a part of a mentorship program that has taught me to always give back to my community and how to apply myself in any situation. It has given me a foundation to build upon for the rest of my life through the core values of critical thinking, higher education, and teamwork.”

Ranzy C., 5th year SCARF Ambassador, Augustana College Biochemistry Major

“SCARF to me is a chance to educate the community on serious issues that affect us all and, in some cases, pass with little concern.”

Neal S., 3rd year SCARF Ambassador, University of Missouri – Kansas City School of Medicine 6-year BA/MD program

“SCARF helped me work to achieve my dream. Dr. Nguyen has been one of the greatest mentors I’ve ever had. I am very proud to have been taught by him and to continue to learn as much as I can from him. SCARF helped me open my eyes to focus on the intangibles in order to always help my community. I am forever grateful to the entire SCARF team for immersing us in the medical field from a very young age and for always being so kind.”

Shayaan N., 2nd year SCARF Ambassador, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Senior

SCARF has been incredibly successful for me for a variety of reasons. First, the SCARF team is not only committed to ensuring the excellence of SCARF, but tailors advice, projects, and other important details to be pertinent to the success of the individual students. Secondly, the opportunities that open up because of SCARF are limited only by the imagination of the student. And finally, the availability of the SCARF team to respond and advise on anything important that may come up assuages many anxieties that I may have.”

Sibghatallah I., 2nd year SCARF Ambassador, University of Illinois – Urbana Champaign

“SCARF gives me the rare opportunity to see what goes on behind the scenes in various medical settings. Additionally, I was able to strengthen my social skills significantly through interacting with my peers and the medical staff, as well as practicing and giving my final presentation on the day of the SCARF Symposium.”

Kailash P., 6th year SCARF Ambassador, University of Illinois – Chicago GPPA Direct Medical Program

“When I joined SCARF five years ago, I did not expect it to change me in the ways it did. I was looking to understand the medical profession better, but my biggest takeaways turned out to be relevant to far beyond my career. Because of this program, I feel that I have a better understanding of the medical profession, am a better thinker, and an overall better public speaker.”

Rutva B., 2nd year SCARF Ambassador, Huntley High School Junior

“SCARF gave me an amazing opportunity to see what I could do for a community in terms of awareness. I have learned so much from the program through immersive sessions and experience. It has really fueled my drive to help others.”

Steven S., 3rd year SCARF Ambassador, University of Illinois Urbana Champaign Molecular and Cellular Biology Program with acceptance into University of Illinois College of Medicine in Fall 2018

“My time in SCARF has provided me the skills to work effectively in today’s healthcare system. I have learned about the drive for reduced hospital readmission rates and the importance of outcome-based research. By providing daily complex problems that physicians face every day, SCARF has developed my critical thinking skills that led to my score in the top 1% in the Critical Analysis and Reasoning section of the MCAT.”

Zeena T., 2nd year SCARF Ambassador, St. Charles North High School Junior

“SCARF has given me the opportunity to give back to the community in one of the most powerful ways; by spreading awareness. SCARF taught me that raising awareness about the signs and symptoms of cardiac-related problems has the power to greatly eliminate the chance of cardiac-related deaths. Throughout the SCARF program, I’ve learned how to educate the general public on preventative care in order to decrease the percentage of individuals lost to cardiac death.”

Shil S., 4th year SCARF Ambassador, University of Missouri – Kansas City School of Medicine B.A./M.D. Program

“As a SCARF Ambassador, I have continuously been learning – whether it be about the anatomy and physiology of the heart or practical life skills like professionalism. SCARF has instilled within me the three fundamental pillars of success: critical thinking, higher education, and teamwork. In addition to this, SCARF has taught me to always serve and give back to the community because a person is only as successful as the community in which they live. The information I learn in SCARF can be applied to my own life as well as the lives around me. SCARF has shown me the value of teamwork. As part of the SCARF team, I know that I will always have people who will support me and encourage me in all my future endeavors.”

Ishani P., 2nd year SCARF Ambassador, Saint Charles North High School Senior

“SCARF has brought me closer to vision in my life. I have always wanted to make a significant impact in the cardiology field. Under Drs. Paul and Rubina Nguyen’s care and support, I have learned that in order to make this dream a reality, I will have to live by the three most important pillars in life: critical thinking, higher education, and teamwork. I hope to continue to strive towards my goals while implementing all of the training and professionalism that I have learned during my time in this program.”

Jordyn N., 2nd year SCARF Ambassador, Southern Illinois University – Edwardsville double major in Biology with medical sciences specialization and Spanish

“SCARF has allowed me to grow both as an aspiring physician and as an individual. Dr. Nguyen and his amazing colleagues have taught me the importance of awareness and knowledge within a community. As Dr. Nguyen frequently says “we are only as strong as our community.” SCARF has inspired me to serve my community and actively work towards improving public relations within the healthcare field.”

Nisha R., 2nd year SCARF Ambassador, Neuqua Valley High School Senior

“SCARF is a community of dedicated individuals committed to serving the community. Through multiple events and projects, SCARF students raise awareness about sudden cardiac death in our communities. SCARF has given me countless opportunities to learn about the medical field while also stressing the importance of being a good person.”

Priya P., 2nd year SCARF Ambassador, Illinois Wesleyan University Biology Major

“SCARF to me is an opportunity of a lifetime. I learned the importance of critical thinking, teamwork, and higher education. To be a part of SCARF means to put my community first and take the responsibility to learn and teach others. The support and guidance that I received helped me to emerge as a more confident leader.”

Amrita R., 3rd year SCARF Ambassador, Neuqua Valley High School Senior

“SCARF to me means having an outlet to be able to impact the community. Through our research, teamwork, and gained knowledge, we are able to impact those around us and understand how to be professional, learned, and inspired leaders – whether it be in the medical profession or not.”

Jacob D., 2nd year SCARF Ambassador, Barrington High School Freshmen

“SCARF is the foundation for my career. It’s not just a stepping stone; SCARF will serve as a constant throughout my life, and I am very excited for the experience, knowledge, and friendship I will continue to gain in the coming years.”

Rediat E., 2nd year SCARF Ambassador, Augustana College

“SCARF is a place where I can not only learn more about the anatomy and physiology of the heart, but also what it means to truly care about your community and give back in a way that is fulfilling and impactful. This program is constantly refreshing my passion for medicine and teaches me what it means to dedicate myself to bringing awareness to the community about sudden cardiac death through the core values of critical thinking, higher education, and teamwork.”

Navjot R., 2nd year SCARF Ambassador, Neuqua Valley High School Junior

“SCARF is more than an internship. SCARF has taught me how to be a professional in the field of medicine. In my time in the program, I’ve learned how to give back to my community and use my knowledge to educate others.”

Anisha P., 2nd year SCARF Ambassador, Saint Louis University Biology Major

“SCARF has become a resource for a wealth of knowledge and education that is life-saving for the entire community. It has, above all else, given me an outlet to practice philanthropy and the tools I need to implement a lasting and powerful impact for the people around me.”

Nikhil P., 2nd year SCARF Ambassador, Glenbard North High School Senior

“SCARF stands as a beacon of hope and help in the community. It is a place of support, a wealth of knowledge, and abundance of opportunities. SCARF is the spark that ignited the flame of our passions and takes those passions so that we can share them with our community and the world. SCARF is the next step in global healthcare.”

Neal G., 2nd year SCARF Ambassador, Barrington High School Sophomore

“I have found the SCARF Internship to be fun, interactive, and educational. I was taught to read electrocardiograms (ECGs), I learned about the anatomy of the heart, I observed patients, and I gained a hands-on learning experience about illnesses and recovery at a young age. However, the best part about SCARF is that Dr. Nguyen instills a sense of helping others and giving back to the community. The enriched learning and character building experience is what sets the SCARF mentorship apart from any other medical program.”

Samvrit P., 2nd year SCARF Ambassador, Metea Valley High School Freshmen

“SCARF opens up a whole world of opportunity. I’m excited for what it will bring me in the future, and I’m beyond grateful to participate in this life changing program.”

Simran L., 2nd year SCARF Ambassador, University of Maryland

“Before joining SCARF, I didn’t really know who I was or how to pursue my goals of becoming a doctor. I avoided putting in the extra effort in finding internships and making connections. However, SCARF ignited a fire under me by exposing me to professionals in my future field and real patients that I could one day help. I learned the most important pillars of life: critical thinking, teamwork, and higher education. SCARF made me realize that I am capable of so much.