School of Medicine students recognized for commitment
Representing School of Medicine winners at a dinner hosted by the Inland Empire Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals are (back row, from left) medical students Chad Oberer ’08; Katie Bassett ’07; Kristin Hughes ’08; Mark Mower ’09; Ron Graybill, PhD, community outreach coordinator for Loma Linda University Medical Center; and Henry Lamberton, PsyD, associate dean for student affairs, School of Medicine. Pictured on the front row are (from left) Julie Magana ’07; Mark Mattison ’07; Melissa Skaugset ’09; Leslie Hsu ’07; Evelyn Law ’07; Lavonne Meadows ’09; Heidi Schaepper ’09; Sara Chiu ’08; and Marti Baum, MD, assistant professor of pediatrics, School of Medicine.
Even when faced with long arduous hours of classes, studies, and clinical rotations, more than 100 medical students also put their precious time and energy into making the local community better for hundreds of underprivileged children.
On November 15, 2006, the Inland Empire Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) recognized this outstanding commitment in a ceremony at the historic Mission Inn of Riverside. In conjunction with National Philanthropy Day, more than 150 Loma Linda University students, the majority of which are medical students, received the “Volunteer Group of the Year” award for their service.
Several School of Medicine students were present to receive the award, along with faculty sponsors Henry Lamberton, PsyD; Marti Baum, MD, assistant professor of pediatrics; and Ron Graybill, PhD. Those students were Evelyn Law, Julia Magana, Leslie Hsu, Lavonne Meadows, Heidi Schaepper, Mark Mower, Dipika Pandit, Melissa Skaugset, Katie Bassett, Mark Mattison, and Cheryl Chi.
Working with the Healthy Neighborhoods Project, these winning volunteers have a long-standing involvement in the Norton Neighborhoods, a largely uninsured and medically underserved population in the city of San Bernardino, California. Founded, coordinated, funded, and run by young volunteers under the supervision of Loma Linda University, the School of Medicine, and the department of pediatrics, three existing programs make a positive impact on a wide variety of co
Admiring the plaque presented to School of Medicine students for outstanding commitment to the local community by the Inland Empire Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals are School of Medicine students (left) Lavonne Meadows, ’09, and Sara Chiu, ’08.
Community Kids Connection tutoring matches Loma Linda University students with children from the low-income neighborhoods of San Bernardino. Every week medical students help their young student with homework; throughout the weeks and months, they build a strong mentoring relationship together. The student volunteers are creative in how they meet the needs of the children they tutor—giving positive reinforcement through games, small gifts, and spontaneous celebrations. Last year, more than 100 students volunteered more than 2,500 hours for these children at three different locations in San Bernardino. The program has now expanded to include volunteer teaching for a conversational English class for the mainly Spanish-speaking mothers of participating children. The positive response (educationally and socially) is exceptional.
Only one nurse provides health education for the 500 pregnant teens or teen parents in the San Bernardino City Unified School District, and they desperately needed help for this important and program. Through Project HOPE, medical student volunteers now meet weekly with pregnant teens and teen parents to provide health information and coaching on issues such as prenatal care and vital parenting skills. The young teens often listen to the advice and information from medical students not much older than themselves—more than they listen to other adult professionals. It is inspiring to see these teens reach their education goals and become nurturing mothers and fathers because of the consistent care and attention of these compassionate young medical student volunteers.
Busy and hardworking male medical students from Loma Linda University School of Medicine meet weekly at a local San Bernardino high school campus to provide individual mentoring for boys identified by school administrators as “at risk” for academic failure or behavioral problems. This program has proven incredibly successful as is evidenced by doubling in size this year. The student volunteers even plan outdoor activities such as camping trips in addition to the weekly guidance and tutoring they provide.
The Loma Linda University School of Medicine students who volunteer consistently and with such enthusiasm deserve special recognition for their efforts in our community.
By Treva Webster, MBA