S.C.A.R.F. (Sudden Cardiac-death Awareness Research Foundation) is a nonprofit organization founded in 2012 by Drs. Paul and Rubina Nguyen. Its mission is to eradicate the deadliest healthcare epidemic in the United States today – sudden cardiac arrest (SCA). This is accomplished through four pillars: (1) increasing knowledge and awareness of sudden cardiac arrest among the general public (2) conducting research to help treat SCA and decrease fatalities (3) educating the public about automated external defibrillators (AEDs) and increase their placement in public areas (4) mentoring and supporting future doctors and leaders of the world.
In line with this fourth pillar, S.C.A.R.F. created its Mentorship and Career Guidance Program as well as its S.C.A.R.F. teen and junior summer camps. The mentorship program is for students ages 15 and up who want to learn about health, professionalism and ways to make an impact in their community. Over the course of the summer, students build a foundation for a lifetime of analytical learning, critical thinking, teamwork, higher education, and philanthropy. Students gain acceptance into top universities, graduate schools, and direct-med (6 or 7-year combined undergraduate/medical school) programs. Applications for this program open on June 1 each year and the application deadline is in mid-December. Students spend June and July with S.C.A.R.F. physicians and nurse practitioners rounding in clinic, participating in didactics, hands-on activities including a pig heart dissection, completing mock interview sessions, and more. More information can be found at scarfnow.org/mentorship.
S.C.A.R.F. Teen and Junior camps are weeklong camps held throughout the summer. In 2020, due to COVID-19, S.C.A.R.F. Junior will be held in a virtual format, meaning students ages 9 to 13 from all over the country (or the world) are eligible to participate. This year’s virtual camp will take place from June 22 to June 26 from 9:00 AM to 12:30 PM each day. These STEM-based camps allow children to learn about their health, the health of their community, how to identify and manage stress, how to determine a career path and the importance of philanthropy. They will take part in hands-on activities each day and learn from an administrative team of physicians as well as student ambassadors. More information about this program can be found at scarfnow.org/scarf-junior
S.C.A.R.F. is a lifelong endeavor. Students start with S.C.A.R.F. from an early age and the organization continues to support them throughout their educational and professional careers. Some former students even serve on S.C.A.R.F.’s Board of Directors. Students, while only physically with the organization each summer, are committed and in touch with S.C.A.R.F. year-round. In 2020, with the COVID-19 pandemic, student ambassadors have worked hard to help develop the SCARF Task Force to assist with COVID-19 concerns from members of the community. They have teamed up with the Indian Task Force to create a hotline for those to call in with questions and concerns. S.C.A.R.F. physicians have even donated their time to support and treat those stranded in the U.S. due to travel bans. Ambassadors are leading the charge with the call center 15 hours per day, keeping up to date on all statistics and information regarding precautions, protocols and travel restrictions so that callers can be provided with the most accurate information in a time of so much uncertainty. More information can be found at scarfnowtaskforce.org
by the Sudden Cardiac-death Awareness Research Foundation