Addressing Our Community's Priority Needs
From our beginning, EVMS has been uniquely focused on our community. Serving our community is our lifeblood. Our community imagined us and then did the hard work of bringing us to reality, a unique start for a medical school. Since then, our mission of being the most community-oriented medical school has grown and matured. Our Service Learning movement grew out of this distinctive community orientation.
We aim to effectively address the high priority health needs of our community. When we invest our gifted students in service, it is important to all concerned that the investment addresses important needs. To this end, we carefully identified five significant community needs and carefully aim our service learning efforts at them.
We call these five priority community need areas, Service Learning Pathways.
The Six Service Learning Pathways
First Response. Aimed primarily at cardiac and stroke challenges in Eastern Virginia, these projects focus on first response.
Nutrition and Exercise. Diabetes and obesity are two prevalent issues in our region, projects in this service pathway focus on nutrition and exercise.
Underserved and Health Inequities. Unfortunately, there are people in every region of our nation who have a difficult time accessing heath care. Projects in this pathway focus on those who do not have ready access to health care.
The Elderly and Chronically Ill. The elderly represent a rapidly growing demographic in Eastern Virginia. Projects in this pathway focus on the elderly, chronically ill or disabled.
Infectious Disease. Eastern Virginia is home to a higher proportion of individuals living with HIV/AIDS than anywhere else in Virginia. Further, the prevalence of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) is higher here than in most cities. Projects in this pathway currently focus on individuals living with HIV/AIDS or STIs.
Global Health Inequities. We say that our pathways address community health needs, so why have a "Global Health Inequities" service pathway? For two reasons, really. First, global health inequities spill over into local health inequities quickly. In a real sense, global health inequities are local challenges. Second, in our experience, the ability to see and respond to issues globally creates a perspective that readily transfers to local issues.