COPE Health Solutions, formerly Community Outreach Prevention and Education (COPE), started in 1995 as a community outreach program formed by a group of UCLA student volunteers with the common goal to provide health education to the under-privileged and un-insured in the Los Angeles Community. Sammy Eghbalieh is an alumnus from the initial COPE educational course.
Dr. Sammy Eghbalieh joined COPE Health Solutions, at the time known as Community Outreach Prevention and Education, as an undergraduate through the 190 course at UCLA that allowed students the opportunity to provide mentoring and health education to children at the St. Joseph homeless shelter in Venice. After graduating with honors, summa cum laude from UCLA’s undergraduate program, Sammy spent a year teaching at King Drew High School in Watts before entering medical school at UCLA. He remained engaged with COPE Health Solutions and, in 2000, he helped start the very first Health Scholar program at Citrus Valley Health Partners in West Covina, CA.
While in medical school, Sammy continued to work with COPE Health Solutions to launch new Health Scholar sites throughout Southern California and train incoming interns. Sammy, along with fellow alumnus Nima Gharavi, developed the Health Scholar training manual that is the foundation of the Health Scholar training used today. “My involvement with the Health Scholar program solidified my interest in surgery. It was exciting to be able to train these students on topics I was learning in medical school,” he shared.
“I am an immigrant and it’s important for me to always give back and help those in need,” he explained. Reflecting on this time spent as a Scholar with COPE Health Solutions at the St. Joseph Homeless shelter, he noted that, “At times, we were the only positive influence in these children’s lives.” When asked what advice he would give to prospective health care professionals, he said, “Enjoy what you are doing and get as much exposure as possible. You never know what opportunities may arise. And always remember, you can do anything you set your mind to.”
After completing medical school at UCLA, Sammy went on to complete his residency in general surgery, followed by a postdoctoral research fellowship in vascular surgery at Yale University School of Medicine affiliated hospitals. Sammy is currently a Vascular Fellow at Albany Medical Center.
At COPE Health Solutions, we are thrilled to support the development of incredible health care professionals like Sammy. He is an example of success we see every day with our pipeline of over 3,500 health & pre-health professionals and over 25,000 alumni.