On Wednesday, April 30, first-year medical students in the Physician and Society 102 course held their service-learning module poster presentation in the CARE/Crawley Atrium.
Posters detailed last semester's determinants of health community module—in which students worked with a community partner to develop a service-learning project, with the goal of impacting health for that neighborhood.
In a group from Learning Community 4, students partnered with the Brighton Center in Newport, Kentucky, to work with low-income, elderly residents of the Saratoga Place apartments. After interviewing the center’s residents about possible health interventions last fall, the group focused on healthy eating for its spring project.
"We decided to create some healthy recipes that were both easy to cook and affordable," says student Zihan Masood.
Once it had several recipes, the group held a community dinner at the apartments for the residents to try out the meals.
"We wanted them to get together and cook as well, to build a sense of community," said Masood. Once they tried the recipes, he says, they hoped residents "could realize the foods were affordable, healthy and tasty—they could see it in front of them and try it out."
Group members conducted a survey after the dinner to see if residents gained a better understanding of healthy meals. Masood said they would like to follow up in a few months to see how many residents started cooking the meals themselves.
Looking back, group member Eileen Wanamaker said her favorite part of the project was getting out into a new part of the region to help others.
"We saw a different part of the community—it was eye-opening to see that, but it was fun meeting the residents and seeing their excitement about our recipes," she said. "Hopefully we effected a little change and gave the residents a bit of excitement about the recipes and their community."