Click here to view Directory Projects 08/01/2020
ALL EARS (Encouraging Active Reception and Self Reflection)
ALL E.A.R.S. is a student volunteer program sponsored by the Healthcare Foundation Center for Humanism and Medicine. We collaborate with the Palliative Care team at University Hospital to identify patients who are terminally ill, lonely, or facing long hospitalizations. Student volunteers are paired with these patients and spend time with them and their loved ones over the course of their hospital stay, providing social and emotional support. New students are partnered with experienced upper-classmen, who offer mentorship in communicating with patients and establishing meaningful connections. Students are asked to visit their patient at least 1 hour per week. Occasionally, there are opportunities for group-based activities that include music, crafts, and reading with patients.
This project was started to enhance the training of first responders, law enforcement and the lay public in bleeding control as recommended by the Hartford IV Consensus. Although born out of active shooter incidents, this program is applicable to every day life and any instance where someone may be experiencing serious bleeding. We have created a didactic and practical component to this 2-3 hour program and have rolled out training to US Customs and Border Protection, Rutgers PD, Newark PD and NJMS Medical Students. We are looking to expand the program to include community organizations and public groups. After completing a training program, medical students will be used as instructors for lay public classes. These students will also have the ability to seek out and arrange their own classes within the community (under the supervision of the program leadership) in addition to classes that we arrange.
BEAM (Beyond Education, Academics in Medicine)
Project BEAM is an initiative moulded from the desire and the need to educate the youths of inner city Newark with the end goal of increasing their health literacy, along with the health literacy of the Newark community as a whole. Our program actively engages our students in order to expose them to health topics that are crucial and relevant to both their current and future health risks/outcomes in an interactive, informative, and practical way. By presenting health educational information regarding the prevalence, incidence, pathophysiology and clinical manifestation of different diseases, we can produce desirable outcomes that may lead to the reduction of health disparities among the community of Newark as a whole.
Companion Care is a program sponsored by the Healthcare Foundation Center for Humanism and Medicine that pairs NJMS students with patients at New Community Extended Care Facility to provide companionship and work with staff to meet their needs. New Community is a short walk from NJMS and a provider of care to Newark and surrounding communities. Students will engage with patients by spending time and having conversations with them and participating in group activities. Students will also present lectures to the residents and staff on various topics such as common diseases and their symptoms, preventive measures, and management.
Division of Adolescent & Young Adult Medicine (DAYAM)
Our goal is to integrate a medical student training and peer mentorship program between medical students and non-virally suppressed HIV+ adolescents and young adults identified from the DAYAM clinic in efforts to increase engagement and retention of patients, to empower HIV+ young adults as they navigate through the healthcare system, and to increase rates of viral suppression.
Domestic Violence Intervention Program (DVIP)
This project is a collaboration of Rutgers New Jersey Medical School and domestic violence community agencies in Newark to provide care to women and children who have experienced domestic violence. Students undergo domestic violence training by the faculty advisor and/or domestic violence specialists. Once trained, students will visit clinical settings and local communities to provide screening, education, and intervention on domestic violence and its health related issues.
Essex-Passaic Wellness Coalition (EPWC)
The Essex-Passaic Wellness Coalition (EPWC) is one of New Jersey's ten regional chronic disease coalitions, funded by the Office of Cancer Control and Prevention in the NJ Department of Health. We work to reduce the burden of cancer and other diseases, reduce health disparities, and increase access to care, screening, and health education in Essex and Passaic Counties through a broad array of interventions. Depending on what activity they are involved in, student participants may educate community members about cancer-related topics, inform local public health officers about tobacco control topics, or develop web pages and implement social media strategies to provide health information to the general public.
Green Club is a student-run organization that provides fresh produce from the Fairmount Garden to residents in Newark. The Fairmount Garden is located on 13th Avenue and Fairmount Avenue and currently has almost 20 raised beds. It is an open plot of land that allows residents to pick vegetables for free. We also provide raised beds within the garden for local residents so they can plant, grow, and harvest their own produce. Green Club meets usually once a week in the outdoor garden from spring to early fall. We then move indoors, where we teach students and members of the community how to plant crops over the fall and winter so they can be transplanted outdoors in the Spring.
HOPE Center – Patient Partnership Program (PPP)
Through the Patient Partnership Program, medical students establish a long-term, supportive relationship with a patient from our community who suffers from chronic medical conditions. Patients from the Ambulatory Care Center are referred to the program by the faculty advisor. Each patient is paired with two first year students, who will establish a partnership with will continue throughout their four years of medical school. Students will help the patient to understanding his conditions and treatment plans, call the patient to remind him to take his medications and attend appointments, and accompany the patient to doctors’ appointments when possible to serve as his advocate. Student participants will meet with the faculty mentors once a month to present their patients, discuss barriers to care and social factors that impact the health of their patients, and strategize possible solutions for strengthening the partnerships.
We work at a local school, JFK in Newark for only kids with specialized needs. We conduct bimonthly workshops with the students in different activities; arts and crafts, sports, etc. We also teach parents ways to enhance the learning environment of their children.
Inter-Professional Patient Empowerment and Navigation (Inter-PEN)
InterPEN is an interdisciplinary team of students from several Rutgers Biomedical Health Science (RBHS) programs. We work with patients at University Hospital who have complex medical and social situations that have led them to high utilization of Emergency Department services. Students engage in authentic healing relationships with patients by listening to their stories, dialoguing to discover their unique health goals and barriers to care, and developing a plan for health partnership. Students work actively in interdisciplinary teams with medical, social work, pharmacy, and nursing students and advisors at RBHS. Activities teams may pursue with their patient include: healthy grocery shopping, health devices training (pillbox, pedometer, diabetic syringes, etc), motivational interviewing, and connecting to appropriate medical and social services. Students can expect to spend 0-5 hours per week on InterPEN activities, depending on their care team’s schedule for the week. This project is in collaboration with a student leadership and training program from the AAMC, Primary Care Progress, and the Camden Coalition.
Iron Bound Initiative
The Ironbound community is a culturally rich area and one of the highest Brazilian and Portuguese immigrant populations in the country. This patient population consists of documented and undocumented immigrants who have little access to healthcare and are challenged by language and cultural barriers. Therefore, with the creation of the Ironbound Initiative, we hope to fill a gap in our own community by addressing the needs of the Ironbound community centers and their patient populations.
LEP - Limited English Proficiency (Spanish Language) Service Learning Program
Spanish is the second most common language spoken in the United States. As the proportion of Spanish speaking individuals who are community members and patients increases, it is critical for trainees to learn how to communicate effectively with this population in their preferred language. Speaking with Spanish dominant or bilingual community members in their preferred language is beneficial for community members and trainees. For community members, they are able to recount historical and current lived experiences that may influence their perspectives on access to health care and health issues. For trainees it serves as an opportunity to build familiarity and trust with a community often overlooked or stigmatized. Moreover, students can enhance their Spanish proficiency, and specifically Medical Spanish.
Mini Medical School (also known as the Pre-Medical Honors Program) is coordinated through New Jersey Medical School’s Office of Public Medical Education. The fall semester program is designed to attract promising high school students to medicine and the health sciences, seeking to especially to recruit local students from communities under-represented in the medical field. The spring semester program is expanded to include adults with an interest in healthcare. Both nine-week courses take place on Wednesdays from 5:30 – 9pm. First- and second-year medical students act as preceptors and facilitate 30-minute seminars on various topics such as vital signs, the brain and drugs, cardiovascular health, diabetes and cancer. The medical student preceptors also help supervise students during formal lectures delivered by medical school faculty, and help run elective classes and tours.
New Moms is a volunteer organization that focuses on women’s health outreach in the Newark community. We host educational sessions for underserved pregnant women and new mothers at Harmony House Women’s Shelter, which is a short drive from campus. At each session, we discuss a variety of topics ranging from nutrition, sexually-transmitted diseases, perinatal health, newborn health and development, and health screenings. In addition, we perform blood glucose and blood pressure screenings. Each education session includes a lively, open discussion during which the women can share their stories as patients, their birth experiences, and the challenges they face in obtaining proper prenatal and healthcare and sustaining a healthy lifestyle for themselves and their families. In order to encourage attendance, we provide food at each session and run drives for donations of health and hygiene items. Sessions occur twice per month and last approximately 2 hours each.
Newark Junior Mentoring Society (NJMS Squared)
NJMS Squared is an organization that provides tutoring and mentoring for at-risk youth in our community who come from minority and low socioeconomic backgrounds. We currently serve students at Science Park High, a Newark Public School, grades 7-12, and students at Discovery Charter School, grades 4-8. Each medical student volunteer is matched with one local student from one of these schools based on the student’s specific needs (ie - math tutoring). Volunteers visit their mentees once per week on a flexible basis and work with them in the classroom, library or computer lab. There are three tracks to choose from: High School Mentoring (science careers), High School Tutoring (all subjects), Elementary/Middle School Mentoring.
NJMS Lifestyle Medicine (NJMSLM)
Garden State Scholars (GSS) and Walk With a Doc (WWAD) are partnering initiatives that look to communicate the benefits of lifestyle modification in preventing, treating, and even curing chronic disease. GSS will lead interactive weekly workshops with school children to teach the importance of developing healthy habits. The lesson plans will include major lifestyle medicine (LM) topics to address common misinformation or lack of understanding leading to unhealthy behaviors: nutrition, exercise, sleep hygiene, stress management, smoking cessation, etc. Each session will include a short, evidenced-based didactic lesson that focuses on current research and public health concern followed by a hands-on activity designed by current NJMS students and co-taught by undergraduates from Rutgers-Newark. Similarly, monthly WWAD events will feature 10-minute educational talks on LM topics to educate participants while enjoying Newark’s green spaces or indoor recreational facilities. Then, everyone will walk, speed-walk, or even jog while conversing with one another for 45-50 minutes. WWAD sessions will be held in various locations around Newark on a rotating basis to reach a larger population, and is supported by the Newark, NJ recreation, Cultural Affairs, and Senior Services Department.
Partnership In Newark Advocating Community Leaders’ Empowerment (PINACLE)
PINACLE aims to educate and empower members of the Newark community by providing useful information about pressing medical issues. We accomplish this primarily through training community leaders -- including pastors, teachers, counselors -- in disease prevention and treatment so that they may deliver this important information to the members of their respective communities. NJMS student volunteers help to coordinate PINACLE Institutes throughout the year to teach our community leaders about a variety of health topics such as hypertension and asthma. Following each Institute, community leaders will organize health workshops in which student volunteers can provide educational information and conduct screenings for members of the community. Previous health education workshops held include Healthy Lifestyle trainings at New Hope Baptist Church and Pathways Women's Cancer Teaching Project.
Prenatal Patient Partnership
Through the Prenatal Patient Partnership, medical students establish a supportive relationship with a prenatal patient from our community. Patients from the Ambulatory Care Center are referred to the program by the faculty advisor. Each patient is paired with first year students, who will establish a partnership that will continue throughout the pregnancy and postpartum period. Students will help the patient to understand her conditions and treatment, communicate regularly with the patient, accompany the patient to doctors’ appointments, and meet with the patient for casual post- or pre-appointment meetings. Student participants will meet with the faculty mentor regularly to present their patients, discuss barriers to care and social factors that impact the health of their patients, and strategize possible solutions for strengthening the partnerships.
Project LINK is a self-sustaining volunteer organization focused on mentoring and tutoring students at Link Community Charter School (LCCS) in Newark who wish to pursue a career in the healthcare profession. Through a combination of formal medically-related presentations, subject-specific tutoring, and general mentorship, we work with students grades 5-8 to expose them to the health care field. Volunteers will visit the Link School during the school’s lunch hours to hold these mentorship sessions. Also, volunteers will be paired with either an individual, or a small group of students, and will serve as their formal mentor throughout their time at NJMS. In the 2017-2018 academic year, one event in the fall, and one event in the spring will be held at the NJMS campus that further exposes the Link students to the medical profession.
Project Pediatrics coordinates several volunteer opportunities with pediatric patients at University Hospital (UH) and with children in the community. Medical students will be able to volunteer in the playroom in the UH pediatric unit, which has toys, video games, and art supplies for the patients. The playroom will typically be open two days per week based on students’ availability. Students may also volunteer in the intermediate nursery to rock, feed, and change the babies and to offer support for the nurses. In addition, we plan holiday parties throughout the year (Halloween, Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day) for the patients in the UH pediatric unit. For these events, volunteers prepare goodie bags to distribute and participate in crafts with the children.
Public Understanding of Medicine in Action (PUMA)
PUMA is an outreach organization that partners with local community based correctional facilities in Newark to deliver health lessons to men, women and adolescents who are transitioning from the criminal justice system to the community. Specifically, we work closely with Kintock House and the Newark Renaissance House, which are both within a short driving distance from campus. Medical student volunteers lead lessons and discussions on various medical topics, including, nutrition, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, mental health, sexual health. Two or three students will act as preceptors per class group. PUMA takes place once every week for a total of 6-8 sessions per semester. Each session lasts approximately two hours.
Rutgers Community Health Center (RCHC) Program
Rutgers New Jersey Medical School prides itself on community engagement. Diversity, aid to the underserved, and humanism are main components of NJMS’s character and service goals. One component of this service involves student-organized patient outreach.
The RCHC program seeks to bring primary healthcare directly to Newark residents. Working with the staff of the RCHC and community members, students will see patients on-site at the RCHC locations within Stephen Crane Village, Pennington Court, John W. Hyatt Court, Terrell Homes and other public housing developments as the program expands. Clinical experiences will also occur at the Rutgers Nursing School’s Focus Clinic on Broad Street. Students will work in inter-professional teams with colleagues from Nursing School and other RBHS programs such as the school of health profession, pharmacy, and dental school. The ultimate goal of this outreach would be to provide preventive health services and maintain continuity of care in the community as well as to reduce morbidity, mortality, and hospitalizations. Students will present their patients to nurse practitioners and, when available, residents or attending physicians. Students should aim to see one to two patients per visit, or spend the session directly engaging community members with community health workers to bring patients into the RCHC system. This is a unique social, clinical, and inter-professional experience never before offered to NJMS students except as a 4th year elective.
South Asian Health Initiative (SAHI)
The South Asian Health Initiative (SAHI) is a community outreach project coordinated by the NJMS Association of American Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI), particularly aimed to serve local South Asian communities within New Jersey. SAHI holds several health screenings throughout the year at local temples, gurdwaras, mosques and other locations. Student participants conduct blood glucose and blood pressure screenings, and provide health education for members of these communities. We would like to hold 4-5 screenings throughout this academic year. We are in contact with SATHI - another South Asian Health interest group at Robert Wood Johnson, and we hope to potentially collaborate with them.
Student Family Healthcare Center (SFHCC) - Main Clinic
The SFHCC is a student-run clinic that provides free primary care services primarily to uninsured patients from the Newark community. Services provided include general health maintenance, chronic disease management, and gynecologic care. Each patient is seen by a team of 3-5 medical students under the supervision of board-certified physicians. During a patient visit, the medical student team will take a thorough history, perform a physical exam, present to the attending, and counsel the patient regarding recommendations. If the patient is unable to make it to their appointment, upperclassmen will lead the team in a teaching session or reflection session. There are also opportunities for students to get involved with subcommittees that coordinate Quality Assurance Quality Improvement (QA/QI) studies, patient education sessions, and interprofessional student experiences. The main clinic is located on campus and is open on Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 5:30-8pm. There are clinics located at two local homeless shelters. Each of these clinics is held twice per month. Students will be expected to participate in approximately 6 clinic sessions per year.
Student Sight Savers Program (SSSP)
50% of people living with vision threatening diseases such as age related degeneration, cataracts, diabetes, or glaucoma are not aware of having them. The Student Sight Savers Program aims to help eliminate preventable eye disease through telemedicine vision screenings and education. In order to help the Newark community, we visit soup kitchens in St. John's and St. Ann's once per month to offer retinal image screenings for homeless men, women, and children. Students are trained to use tonometer and auto refractor equipment for measuring intraocular pressure and visual acuity. In early signs of disease, we will recommend lifestyle changes like smoking cessation, wearing sunglasses, and diet changes. In advanced stages of disease, we refer them to visit ophthalmologists in University Hospital for surgical intervention. For patients who have an immediate need for visual acuity correctional eyeglasses, we also distribute vouchers sponsored by New Eyes for the Needy.
Students Learning About Medicine (SLAM)
SLAM is a program that will actively engage students at University High School in Newark, NJ in order to expose them to many areas of medicine in an interactive and informative way. The principal goal is to increase interest in health and science professions and to encourage students to pursue careers in these fields. SLAM will hold sessions at the high school after school once per month for approximately 2 hours. Medical students will lead lessons on topics such as medical careers and related health professions, vital signs, first aid, nutrition, and sexual education. High school students will be encouraged to participate in the discussions and ask questions. Medical students will be able to offer encouragement and guidance for any students at University High School who are interested in pursuing studies and training in a health profession.