A student with HLUB Clinic in a blue protective gown and face shield provides a flu shot to a man behind the wheel of his car

Serotonin Surge Charities fundraiser to benefit safety net medical clinics


A critical fundraiser for more than 20 safety net medical clinics will be held Wednesday evening in downtown Sacramento. 

The Serotonin Surge Charities event supports a network of clinics, including UC Davis School of Medicine’s free clinics, that serve 250,000 patient care visits per year in the Sacramento area. 

The fundraiser, which features food, wine, beer and live music, is from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. in the courtyard patio of Cafeteria 15L. The restaurant is located at 1116 15th Street, Sacramento. 

This year’s theme is Lighting the Way, which celebrates “bright spots” during the pandemic — people who have delivered kindness and hope over the past two years. 

Serotonin Surge has raised more than $5 million since 1999 when it was started by John Chuck, a physician who trained for family medicine at UC Davis. Key organizers include several doctors connected to UC Davis Health, including Emeritus Associate Vice Chancellor Tom Nesbitt

And although more people have access to health insurance because of the Affordable Care Act, there are still people who fall through the cracks. 

“This would include people who are undocumented and others who may not qualify for these programs for a variety of reasons,” Nesbitt said. “It also should be stated that some of these clinics serve people who traditionally have language and cultural barriers to traditional health care options.” 

In addition to supporting the clinics, Serotonin Surge Charities has provided more than $1.5 million in medical student scholarships.

“Serotonin Surge Charities is fundamentally an experiment in leveraging volunteerism and collaboration to improve the health and wellness of our communities,” Chuck said. 

Chuck noted that due to the widening gap between haves and have-nots, the number of people who are excluded from essential services such as housing, food, and health care, is growing. “We refuse to sit back and watch that happen,” he said. “Lighting the Way is a wonderful opportunity to pull people together to be the change we want to see.” 

Nesbitt noted that the dual purpose of Serotonin Surge Charities – to fund clinics for underserved populations and also support students – will help the community for years to come. 

“By doing this, it is not only providing needed health care for the underserved but is helping create the next generation of healthcare providers who will focus their careers on serving vulnerable populations,” he said. 

The fundraiser, Nesbitt added, “brings together the Sacramento region’s health care systems, companies and local business leaders to support a cause important to all of them, and does it in an enjoyable way that creates a positive community spirit.” 

For more information contact John Chuck: johnchuck1@gmail.com.