Edwin Magliano receives his eye exam at the HCMS Boy Scout Physical program from HCMS member Dr. Philip B. Rothenberg.
Edwin Magliano receives his eye exam at the HCMS Boy Scout Physical program from HCMS member Dr. Philip B. Rothenberg.

UTHealth Medical School students were among the physician volunteers from Harris County Medical Society (HCMS) who recently provided free physicals to approximately 100 Boy Scouts from the Urban Scouting Division.

The Urban Scouting Division of the Boy Scouts of America was established in 1987 to encourage at-risk youth to become involved in scouting, providing them with leadership skills, character development and challenges in nature through quality scouting programs. This Division provides the opportunity for all young people to join scouting, regardless of their circumstances.

“Since many of these Urban Scouts cannot afford the physical necessary for camp, HCMS physicians began volunteering their time and services to ensure that these Scouts could experience the positive influence of Scout Camp,” said Donnell Cooper, district director of the Urban Scouting Division. “These physicals are a gateway for a better future for these Scouts.”

Scouting has, from its inception, been deeply rooted in the concept of doing for others. The Harris County Medical Society has worked with the Boy Scouts for 22 years following the scout slogan, “Do a good turn daily.” It began with HCMS physician and special adviser to the UTHealth president Dr. Carlos Hamilton, Jr., who began giving a few scouts physicals in his office 22 years ago and has now grown to provide physicals for approximately 100 Urban Scouts.

“By providing the Urban Scouts physicals, they have the opportunity to attend Scout camp and receive the core values of the Boy Scouts of America (i.e., good conduct, respect for others and honesty),” Hamilton said. “It brings me joy to know we are helping these boys have a better future.”

The purpose of Scout Camp is to help build strong character, leadership skills and promote physical fitness. Participating in Scout camp offers new and rewarding experiences and provides at-risk youth with supportive and lifelong friendships.

The Harris County Medical Society, established in 1903, is the professional organization for physicians in Harris County. It is the largest county medical society in the nation with a membership of more than 11,000 physicians and medical students. Its mission is be the leading advocate for member physicians, their patients and the community, in promoting the highest standards of ethical medical practice, access to quality medical care, medical education, research and community health.

-Jennifer Snyder, Harris County Medical Society