group of student holding balloons that spell HOPES.

In the heart of Norfolk, a beacon of hope shines brightly for the underserved community. HOPES Free Clinic, founded in 2011 by dedicated medical students at Eastern Virginia Medical School, stands as a testament to the power of compassion and service.

In February, the clinic hosted an awards banquet to honor the exceptional individuals whose tireless efforts have propelled HOPES towards its mission of providing sustainable healthcare services to those in need.

Co-Directors Kaitlin Hardy and Emily Pilc, both members of the MD Class of 2025, took center stage to recognize the exemplary volunteers who have made a significant impact within the clinic and beyond. Among those being honored are students and faculty who have demonstrated extraordinary dedication and selflessness in their service to the community.

The evening began with the presentation of the Exceptional Volunteerism Awards for Students, highlighting individuals whose commitment to HOPES has been nothing short of remarkable.

The Laboratory Services Team was commended for their unwavering dedication, especially during critical times.

Emma Cook, Medical Master’s Class of 2024, and Quinn Danehy, Medical Master’s Class of 2025, integral members of the Shift Management Team, were recognized for their outstanding teamwork and initiative, essential for the smooth operation of the clinic.

Destiny Cates, MD Class of 2025, a shining star in the IT Team, was lauded for her proactive approach and passion for helping others.

Additionally, Christiana King, MD Class of 2026, Trevor Lyford, MD Class of 2026, Andrea Hooberman-Pineiro, MD Class of 2027, and Jane Huang, MD Class of 2027, were honored for their invaluable contributions as Continuity Coordinators, ensuring seamless care for patients and their families.

Faculty members, Jacob Miller, DO, Assistant Professor of Clinical Family & Community Medicine, and Richard Whalen, MD, Associate Professor of Family & Community Medicine, were recognized for their dedication to serving the community at 16 and 17 clinics respectively in the past year, which speaks volumes about their commitment to HOPES' mission.

The event also proudly recognized HOPES Medical Director, Jessica Quirk, MD, Assistant Professor of Family & Community Medicine, who attended an astounding 34 clinics in 2023, setting a shining example for her colleagues and students alike.

In addition to honoring individual volunteers, the event also acknowledged the invaluable contributions of the HOPES Board of Directors and Student Team Leads, whose guidance and leadership have been instrumental in the clinic's success.

For more information about HOPES Free Clinic and how you can support their mission, please visit

See photos from the event.