Press ReleaseDate: 08-02-12
Name: Patti Verbanas Phone: 973-972-7273
�Bridging the Gaps�: UMDNJ Students Work to Amend Health Disparities in Camden, Newark and New Brunswick
The seven-week internship program provides services to underserved populations while training community-responsive graduate students who are preparing for careers in health and social service disciplines. Those students are drawn from fields of study that include medicine, dentistry, nursing, social work, creative arts in therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, pharmacology, public health, law, health psychology and related disciplines.
�Bridging the Gaps is a win-win for communities and the University,� says Dr. Bernadette West, who is the program director as well as Associate Dean for the UMDNJ-School of Public Health, Stratford/Camden Campus, and for Community Health. �Our students have the opportunity to work with members of the communities we serve, learning valuable lessons that will guide them for their entire careers. And communities benefit from the interdisciplinary set of skills students bring to them for seven weeks during the summer.�
TEAM PROJECTS INCLUDED:
- Stephen Renz (School of Public Health) and Jamie Flynn and Eric Murch (School of Osteopathic Medicine), served as health coaches for patients with complex medical conditions at the Camden Coalition of Healthcare Providers Care Management and Care Transitions Teams and helped make the healthcare system work in their favor and decrease their inpatient hospital admissions.
- At the IDEA (Institute for the Development of Education in the Arts) Performing Arts Center, Stephen Kelpner (School of Osteopathic Medicine), Mutiat Otunba (School of Public Health), and Seema Sahdev (Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences/School of Public Health) inspired health through creativity by working on various health promotion projects involving Camden�s youth: creating a �Kid Fit� talk show on IDEA�s video magazine and designing nutrition and anti-bullying sessions for the day camp.
- At Project H.O.P.E. (Homeless Outreach Program Enrichment) Kristen Rienstra (School of Health Related Professions) and Jeanette Taveras (School of Osteopathic Medicine) focused on health communications and community outreach, such as creating a children�s book to explain unstable housing and creating and conducting health education presentations on blood pressure control, heat safety and nutrition, and diabetes. The students also assessed patients� flow time to optimize the system.
- At UrbanPromise Ministries Inc., Jihaan Mutasim (Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences/School of Public Health) promoted youth health in the areas of physical activity, nutrition and oral hygiene, and trained Assistant Team Leaders to implement the health education classes for the younger children at the organization�s seven camp sites around Camden.
- At Elijah�s Promise, Alexsandra Apostolico (School of Public Health), John Azer (Robert Wood Johnson Medical School), and Daniel McGruther (School of Health Related Professions) worked on three projects with different approaches to improving the eating habits and nutrition of New Brunswick residents: Developing and piloting a program evaluation framework for weekly cooking classes; scripting and producing video clips on food preparation and safety; and redesigning lunch menus for area charter schools.
- At the Francis E. Parker Memorial Home, Jamie Moy (School of Osteopathic Medicine) and Katie Weindler (Robert Wood Johnson Medical School) worked with cognitively impaired older adults and assessed adult day programs in the New Brunswick area.
- At the Greater Newark Conservancy, Ijeoma Nwafor and Jeremy Taylor from the School of Public Health developed a text messaging campaign and food manual to educate, encourage and remind mothers in Newark about ways to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
- At YouthBuild Newark, Inc., Onenu Egbelo, Robert Grembowitz, and Jennifer Mari Wright from the School of Public Health developed a curriculum resource for case managers to conduct health education workshops and developed the framework for creation and implementation of a comprehensive substance abuse policy at the agency.
Journalists who wish to interview Dr. Bernadette West or participating students should contact Patti Verbanas, UMDNJ News Service, at 973 972 7273 or firstname.lastname@example.org