Two health professions students received the 3rd Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Semester of Service Awards at Baystate Health's virtual MLK Jr. Celebration on January 15, 2021.
Both of these community service projects are implemented in partnership with community-based organizations and address identified health needs. The $750 awards will be used to provide health education and resources to food pantry clients and outreach to individuals with mental health and substance use disorders.
(Photo: Interprofessional student team working on a 2020 MLK Semester of Service project)
MLK Jr Family Services Food Justice Fair
The Food Justice Fair focuses on providing education and resources for Springfield residents participating in the emergency food pantry at the Martin Luther King Jr Family Services Community Center. Medical students will staff stations that include heart health, diabetes screening and education, nutrition and cooking demonstrations, case management and advocacy, CPR, Stop the Bleed, health care proxies, wellness and exercise, and smoking cessation. This project builds upon previous MLK Semester of Service projects held at this organization in 2019 and 2020.
Student: Emily Gang, PURCH Class of 2024, UMass Medical School-Baystate
Gandara Center Wellness Fair
Baystate Medical Center’s Community Health Needs Assessment revealed that mental health and substance use disorders is a pressing health concerns for residents of Hampden County. Both of these issues have been compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Wellness Fair will emphasize education about a variety of treatment options, including Medication Assisted Treatment. Information on Naloxone, and resources for local Alcoholic Anonymous groups, Narcotics Anonymous, substance use disorder meetings, crisis center access, coping mechanisms to overcome stressful situations, and how to begin therapy/counseling will be distributed.
Student: Neha Rana, Physician Assistant Class of 2021, Bay Path University
About Baystate Health's Martin Luther King Jr. Semester of Service Award
The award is open to all students enrolled in a health professions school or certification program who matriculate at a Baystate Health site for their education.
Projects must address a priority health need, as identified in Baystate Health’s community health needs assessment, social determinant(s) of health, as defined by the MA Department of Public Health, or a health disparity or inequity.
Awardees are selected by a panel comprising members of UMMS-Baystate Community Faculty, Baystate Community Benefits Advisory Council, and Baystate Business Resource Groups. Funding for these awards is provided by the Office of Government and Community Relations, Office of Diversity and Inclusion, and by UMass Medical School-Baystate.