The Community Health Program of the Georgia Regents University/University of Georgia Medical Partnership recently received a Shining Star Award from the Group on Regional Medical Campuses at the Association of American Medical Colleges’ annual meeting in Philadelphia. The Shining Star Awards highlight outstanding contributions to medical education on regional medical campuses.
Directed by Dr. Laurel Murrow, the Community Health Program received the Star of Community Achievement Award. Developed in part to teach the precepts of community health through service-learning, the program also contributes to the social mission of a partnership medical campus situated on the campus of the state of Georgia’s land-grant university. The Community Health Program develops teams that consist of eight medical students working with two faculty coaches and a community supervisor. Throughout the first year of medical studies, teams are linked with a community agency to learn about the population the agency serves and how the agency’s mission fits within the needs of the greater community. In collaboration with a community supervisor and the agency, the students develop and execute a project that benefits the agency and their clientele.
Past and present community partners and the issues they chose to focus on include: AIDS Athens (poor graduation rates among children of HIV/AIDS patients); Athens Community Council on Aging (polypharmacy, depression and diabetes management in senior citizens); Athens-Clarke County Unified Government (obesity among city workers); Athens Nurses Clinic (smoking, depression, diabetes and hypertension among uninsured patients); Athens YMCA (cardiovascular disease in patrons); Casa de Amistad (obesity in Latinos); Early Head Start/Head Start (asthma, physical inactivity and well-child visits for disadvantaged children); Nuci’s Space (depression and access to care for musicians); and University Health Center (sleep deprivation, iron deficiency anemia, human papilloma virus, and disability services for university students).