OUWB medical students had a busy October, volunteering throughout the community to help the school achieve a primary goal outlined in its Foundations for Success.
“To develop compassionate physicians who are dedicated to improving the health of their communities” – the first part of OUWB’s recently updated mission statement.
In October alone, students worked toward the goal in a variety of ways: organizing a community health fair in the Pontiac; attend a community baby shower in Detroit, help clean up trash on the street; raise funds for breast cancer education and support; and more.
They’re not over either: The school’s Make a Difference Day is scheduled for Oct. 22, and students will be volunteering with organizations throughout metro Detroit.
Trixy Hall, coordinator of graduate programs and community outreach, OUWB, said such opportunities are an integral part of a medical student’s education.
“As future physicians, these settings enable one-on-one conversations and interactions that help develop a better understanding of how people live and what health challenges they may face,” Hall said.
“Physicians serve a very diverse group of people,” she added. “Our goal is to connect our students with as many communities as possible to learn about different cultures and ethnicities that will help frame the care they will provide early in their careers.”
Here is a breakdown of some of the activities that have taken place so far this month:
Light the Path: Fundraising for Beaumont Sharing & Caring
|Emily Babcock and Madison Romanski put the finishing touches on the installation of the fixtures on October 13.|
This event was a partnership between two OUWB student organizations – American Medical Women’s Association (AMWA) and Oncology Interest Group (OncIG). Between the Light the Path event and a fundraising evening, the groups raised over $1,000 for Beaumont Sharing & Caring breast cancer education and support.
For the Light the Path event, the groups teamed up to sell custom light fixtures that were placed by Oakland University’s Elliott Tower at dusk on October 13.
The fixtures were sold for $6 each via the Beaumont Sharing & Caring website. Those who purchased luminaries were able to add messages through the site. OUWB medical students took the messages and wrote them on the luminaries before placing them near the tower.
Many messages came from people affected by breast cancer.
“We want to show impact in the community and this is a great visual way to do that,” said Madison Romanski, M2, Chair of Community Services and Finance, AMWA.
Emily Babcock, M2, President, AMWA, shared similar sentiments.
“It brings a lot of humanity to the cancer experience, and it’s a reminder that it’s something people face for their entire livelihood and not just when they’re in hospital,” he said. she declared.
AMWA Gathering for Women’s Rights – In Memoriam
|The rally recognized the legacy of an Iranian woman who died after being detained and beaten by Iran’s “morality police”.|
On October 12, the AMWA chapter of the OUWB organized another event – a rally to recognize the legacy of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Iranian woman who died after being detained and beaten by Iran’s “morality police” for allegedly violating hijab laws.
The rally took place at noon at Oakland University’s Elliott Tower. About a dozen OUWB students, staff and faculty attended.
Babcock noted how women in Iran “face so much oppression”.
“They are fighting for so many basic rights, like the right to even use social media. Everything is pushed down,” she said.
Babcock said those who can must speak out and “keep lifting them up”.
“As a medical community, we always want to promote our own humanity and promote the humanity of students,” Babcock said.
Inaya Hajj Hussein, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Department of Basic Medical Studies
“As a woman from the Middle East, I support what we are doing here today. They have a morals police for women and not a morals police for men. It’s very, very biased.
WIN Network: Detroit Community Baby Shower
|Ekaterina Clark, M2, (second from left) with other volunteers at the community baby shower.|
The American Medical Association OUWB collaborated with Women-Inspired Neighborhood (WIN) Network: Detroit of Henry Ford Health for the Detroit Community Baby Shower on October 8.
Ekaterina Clark, M2, Chair of Community Services, AMA, said she met with representatives from the WIN network to plan a community baby shower for women in their Longitudinal Prenatal Program.
Key elements of the event were the distribution of resources and information, as well as essential items needed to care for their baby.
“I wanted to specifically recruit Detroit-based organizations to provide education on key topics, so that women in the prenatal care program felt they had longitudinal support within their community,” Clark said. .
Participating community organizations were: Infant Safe Sleep, Black Mothers’ Breastfeeding Association (BMBA), Southeast Michigan IBCLC’s of Color, Children’s Special Health Care Services, Brilliant Detroit, Cradle Me Care Maternal Infant Health Program (MIHP), and COVID Ends Here. Virginia Uhley, Ph.D., associate professor in the Department of Basic Medical Studies at OUWB, presented on nutrition.
Through her role as Director of Community Services with the Michigan State Medical Society, Clark recruited 14 medical students from OUWB and Wayne State University School of Medicine.
Additionally, funding was received from the AMA Chapter Engagement Grant, Oakland County Medical Society, OUWB Compass and Target. About $1,650 worth of items like car seats and diapers were purchased with the grant money.
“It was gratifying to see the practical impact of this event on the lives of the women in the antenatal care program and their families,” said Clark. “I ensured that this event was guided by specific community needs and provided women with a longitudinal connection to easily accessible agencies. They were able to get the resources and items they needed for their baby, while connecting with each other.
SMO hosts the Pontiac health fair
Building on its commitment to serving the Pontiac community, Street Medicine Oakland hosted the Pontiac Health Fair on October 7 at the Baldwin Center. (The event occurred two weeks after SMO partnered with the Emergency Medicine Interest Group (EMIG) to clean up trash in downtown Pontiac.)
The event took place indoors and outdoors and brought together five OUWB student organizations and five groups from outside the OUWB community. Visitors could get flu/Covid shots from the Oakland County Health Department, participate in basic health screenings, learn about nutrition, health emergency management, and more.
A total of 28 community members took advantage of the health fair.
Meaghan Race, M2, co-head of Street Medicine, said planning began this summer, but the idea for the health fair has been in the works for much longer.
She said the overall goal was to “fill in the gaps in areas of demonstrated need and desire.”
Syliva Kashat, M2, president of EMIG, said her organization conducts Narcan training, teaches people how to use an EpiPen and distributes drug disposal kits.
“When you live in certain conditions, you don’t get the proper education on how to protect yourself,” she said. “What we’re here for is to help protect the community and make sure they don’t get hurt.”
Race said those kinds of goals are exactly why the health fair represents an extension of Street Medicine Oakland’s services.
“It really opens up the dialogue with the community,” she said. “Going out and talking to people about what really impacts their health. For example, instead of throwing diabetes medicine at someone, we might be able to determine that the problems are caused by diet.
“It’s all about awareness and education,” she added.
For more information, contact Andrew Dietderich, Marketing Writer, OUWB, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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