Student groups win community engagement awards

by Lisa Spellman, UNMC public relations | May 28, 2020

Image with caption: From left, UNMC's Claire Baweja and Creigton University's Abigal Jones and Koree Willer, members of Do juSTIce

From left, UNMC's Claire Baweja and Creigton University's Abigal Jones and Koree Willer, members of Do juSTIce

The students of UNMC are positively impacting their communities, and two student groups recently received awards as recognition of their hard work and dedication to service.

The Kearney SHARING/HelpCare Clinic, a student-led primary care clinic serving the uninsured, low-income residents of Buffalo and Kearney counties in central Nebraska, has been selected to receive the Community Impact Award from the Office of Community Engagement at UNMC.

Physician assistant students from the College of Allied Health Profession Kearney Campus volunteer at the clinic during the summer semester and see an average of 100 patients.

The students provide annual and employment physicals, chronic disease management, primary medical care and specialty services including orthopedics, pain management and cardiology.

"It is a great opportunity for our students to get some clinical experience and our students truly enjoy their time spent in clinic and it shows in the many returning patients who request to see them," said Jannelle Reynolds, assistant professor of physician assistant education, UNMC College of Allied Health Professions Kearney Division.

Do juSTIce, the STI Screening and Education Project at the Douglas County Jail, and another student-led organization will receive the Health Education Award.

Do juSTIce is a legacy project through the Office of Community Engagement that serves to provide education, screening and treatment to traditionally high-risk populations impacted by sexually transmitted infections.

"What a tremendous honor it is to be recognized by the OCE for all the hard work and dedication the students involved in Do juSTIce have put forth to make a positive change in our community," said Dalton Nelsen, M.D., a fellow in the UNMC Department of Emergency Medicine. "I look forward to the future impact these students will have on our health care system."

Both of these awards recognize student organizations that extend UNMC core values through creation of health care initiatives that are impactful and sustainable in the community.

Determination of the award winner considers the extent to which the nominee consistently demonstrates iTEACH values and reciprocally beneficial services to one or a variety of organizations over the course of the academic year.

Criteria used to determine the award winners include:

  • Identification of community need;
  • Creation of the learning project to match the need;
  • Impact of the project; and
  • Long-term commitment to meeting the community need.

"The Office of Community Engagement aims to offer all students the opportunity to grow their clinical skills while giving back to others through connection with our surrounding communities," said Heidi Keeler, Ph.D., director of the UNMC Office of Community Engagement.

"The awards serve as recognition from peers of this exemplary work, and to encourage others to take their educational experience to a new level through service to others. I'd like to thank all of UNMC for supporting students in this way, and invite all who are interested in participating in the future to reach out and explore possibilities with our office," Keeler said.

Learn more about community engagement opportunities.

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