The UK College of Medicine is pleased to announce that Meagan Schaeffner, MD, assumed the role of director of service learning on Oct. 1. 

In this role, Dr. Schaeffner supports and encourages service learning opportunities across the college and within the communities surrounding each campus. She will continue to work closely with leadership at each of our campus locations— Lexington, Bowling Green, Northern Kentucky, and Morehead— to provide robust opportunities for medical students to engage in service learning and make a difference in their local communities. 

Dr. Schaeffner also provides clinical oversight as the faculty advisor for the Lexington-based Salvation Army Clinic (SAC). Physicians and medical students volunteer their time to serve at the student-run clinic, which provides free medical services to residents of the Lexington Salvation Army women and children’s shelter, as well as unhoused persons in the Lexington area. It is one of the oldest, continuously operational, student-run free clinics in the United States. 

“The SAC is a wonderful opportunity for our students to gain experience talking to real patients and practice their interviewing skills,” said Dr. Schaeffner, who has been a physician volunteer with the SAC since 2021. 

We asked Dr. Schaeffner a few questions about her role as director of service learning and involvement with the SAC. See her responses below: 

Q: What are you most excited about in your new role {as director of service learning}?  

A: I am very excited to increase my involvement with the SAC and our amazing students who run it. I am also excited to expand opportunities for service learning across all of our campuses. Witnessing the power that service learning can have to change the lives of participants has had a big impact on my life. I want to create that experience for others.

Q: You’ve been volunteering with the SAC since 2021— what do you enjoy most about it?

A: There are so many aspects of volunteering at the SAC that are wonderful to experience as a faculty member. Now that I've been volunteering for a few years, I've been able to work with the same students over time and witness their growth. Similarly, I get to work with the internal medicine residents and coach them on how to teach and supervise the students. The SAC is also a great place for interdisciplinary education since we regularly have pharmacy students and residents volunteer along with social work students. Most importantly, we get to provide an important temporary solution to many people who are currently without a doctor or insurance and/or are new to the area. We can provide refills of medications and evaluate simple medical concerns without them accruing debt from unneeded emergency room visits. We can also help them connect with primary care providers in the community for longitudinal care.

Q: Is there anything else you want to share with the UK College of Medicine?

A: We are always looking for volunteers! If any College of Medicine physicians want to volunteer at the SAC, please contact We are particularly in need of social work students as well. Anyone interested can contact our clinic managers, Parisa Zadeh or Elena Manauis, or me directly.


Dr. Schaeffner received her MD from West Virginia University School of Medicine and completed her internal medicine residency at the University of Kentucky College of Medicine. 

Please join us in congratulating Dr. Schaeffner on this new role! We look forward to all she will accomplish for, and with, our students. 

Dr. Schaeffner reviewing chart with volunteer