Med students smash service goals

by Kalani Simpson, UNMC public relations | March 20, 2013

Image with caption: Medical students Andrea Mullen, left, and Lisa Leavitt take part in a bone marrow drive in 2010.

Medical students Andrea Mullen, left, and Lisa Leavitt take part in a bone marrow drive in 2010.

Four years ago, in its first year at UNMC, this year's College of Medicine graduating class announced a goal: Before it left med school, this class of future physicians would amass a significant number of hours toward community service.

That number was no coincidence: 2,013.

"We want our class identity to be one of giving," class president Faisal Ahmed said then.

With Match Day behind them and commencement approaching, will they make it?

They've smashed it: "In total, our class reported close to 2,700 hours of community service," said Andrea Mullen, M4, class philanthropy co-chair.

How?

Blood Donation: Many 2013'ers donate blood and/or platelets at the American Red Cross on a regular basis.

Clinical Outreach: Almost 400 hours working at SHARING, RESPECT, GOODLIFE, Clinic with a Heart, Siena/Francis House Homeless Clinic, various health fairs and various elementary schools for school physicals.

Community outreach/programs: Almost 480 hours working with or doing presentations at various community organizations, including the Douglas County Jail women's inmate outreach and Douglas County Jail STD testing, Be The Match Bone Marrow Donation Recruitment, EMPOWER Program, Homeless Connect, Stand Down for the Homeless, various benefit walks and runs, Special Olympics and Bridge to Care.

Medical school outreach: Interview Day tour guide, anatomical donor service, tutoring classmates, RHOP presentations to high school students, volunteers for M1 and M3 orientation and Rural Health Day volunteers.

Medical service trips: Service trips to Jamaica, Nicaragua, Mexico and Haiti, a Native American service trip and service as a U.S. Navy ship medic.

Religious programs: Service at various churches and religious nursing homes throughout Nebraska.

School outreach: Pediatric and Family Medicine Interest Group programs: House Calls for Kids, District 66 Nutrition Module, Tar Wars. SHARING Liberty Elementary mentoring, Luikart Society Northwest High School presentations and at various other elementary school family nights.

School programs: Volunteering as a sports coach, mentoring UNMC High School Alliance students and volunteering at various high school events.

The number of hours may even be low, Mullen said: "Reporting service hours was not mandatory for our class. So not everyone filled out the online form to let us know exactly what they were doing during our medical school years."