August 2, 2006
Contact: Melissa Campbell
(732) 236-1569 cell
UMDNJ MED STUDENTS PARTNER WITH COMMUNITY LEADERS TO TEACH INDIVIDUALS HOW TO STAY HEALTHY
NEWARK — Recognizing that health care is as much about credibility as it is about access, medical students at UMDNJ-New Jersey Medical School are partnering with community leaders to transmit health information to community groups.
Through a program called PINACLE (Partnership in Newark Advocating Community Leaders’ Empowerment), students are capitalizing on the inherent credibility of community and religious leaders by hosting “institutes” - information sessions on topics such as hypertension, depression or asthma. After the session, community leaders schedule a presentation on the same topic to their respective group. Medical students who are members of PINACLE attend these presentations to provide related screenings.
On Thursday, August 3, from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. students and community leaders will meet on the New Jersey Medical School campus to review the program’s success over the past year and identify ways to overcome challenges in the coming year.
Founded in 2005, PINACLE sought feedback from community leaders to increase attendance in student-run community service programs.
“We realized that many of our programs were not being taken advantage of and wanted to work collaboratively with our community partners to solve the problem,” said Ankitkumar Patel, PINACLE founder and co-director and a fourth-year student in the combined MD/MPH program.
Plans for the coming year include the development of a web site to link community members with health resources available to them both in their neighborhoods and through the university.
PINACLE is part of New Jersey Medical School’s community service umbrella organization called SHARE (Student Health Advocacy for Resources and Education), which supports a wide range of service programs including direct patient care, community education, and youth mentoring. For more information, visit http://njms.umdnj.edu/community/shareweb/.
UMDNJ is the nation ’s largest free-standing public health sciences university with more than 5,500 students attending the state's three medical schools, its only dental school, a graduate school of biomedical sciences, a school of health related professions, a school of nursing and a school of public health on five campuses. Annually, there are more than two million patient visits at UMDNJ facilities and faculty at campuses in Newark, New Brunswick/Piscataway, Scotch Plains, Camden and Stratford. UMDNJ operates University Hospital, a Level I Trauma Center in Newark, and University Behavioral HealthCare, a mental health and addiction services network.