Community Impact Day was object lesson for new students

Story Date: Mon, 12 Aug 2013 17:25:00 EDT

Before beginning their studies, more than 300 new EVMS students spent a little time back in elementary school.

Equipped with shovels, mops and school supplies, these future doctors, scientists and health professionals worked shoulder to shoulder Saturday, Aug. 10, to help P.B. Young, Sr. Elementary School in Norfolk prepare for the first day of school. This community-service effort was the central event in the inaugural EVMS Community Impact Day, an initiative of the M. Foscue Brock Institute for Community and Global Health at EVMS. Watch a brief video of the event here.

“Community Impact Day helps our new students appreciate the value of community service,” says EVMS President and Provost Richard V. Homan, MD, who worked alongside the students. “It also underscores our vision to become the most community-or­­­iented school of medicine and health professions in the United States.”

This year’s Community Impact Day was made possible through a collaboration of Norfolk Public Schools, the United Way of South Hampton Roads and EVMS. It was an outgrowth of the larger United for Children effort, which has brought together private and public agencies with the goal of breaking the cycle of poverty in Norfolk’s Young Terrace neighborhood.

"Norfolk Public Schools' mission is to become the cornerstone of our proudly diverse community, where all students maximize their academic potential, develop skills for lifelong learning and become successful contributors to a global society," said NPS Superintendent Samuel T. King. "Strong partners such as EVMS exemplify community support for education, and demonstrate to our students what it means to be successful contributors to society. We appreciate EVMS’ long-standing involvement in our schools."

“United Way is delighted when partners identify additional ways they can help,” says Pam Smith-Rodden, Vice President of Communications and Marketing for the United Way of South Hampton Roads. “ Our entire community benefits when we come together to give these children a real chance to beat the odds. And once we learn from this pilot project, United for Children’s many partners will permanently change the odds for thousands of children across all of South Hampton Roads.”

Macon and Joan Brock established the EVMS Brock Institute to help fulfill the school’s community-oriented mission by helping to align clinical, educational and research programs with the community’s needs.  Many students choose to attend EVMS because of its close connection to the community. Community Impact Day represents the first time that community service has been a formal part of the curriculum, says Karen Remley, MD, MBA, founding director of the Brock Institute.

“Students saw and learned firsthand the myriad ways that the health of a community and its people are integrally linked,” says Dr. Remley, who also took part in the project. “This was the first of many opportunities our students will have to participate in community-service learning throughout their tenure, ultimately becoming leaders in the communities they serve.”

The EVMS students worked in teams of 15 under the guidance of coordinators from the elementary school. Among other tasks, they spread mulch on the school grounds, cleaned playground equipment and a variety of interior surfaces, assembled hygiene kits and filled backpacks with school supplies for each of the 468 students at P.B. Young Elementary.

Check out images from Community Impact Day on Facebook.

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