JOHNSON CITY (Janurary 4, 2013) – East Tennessee State University’s James H. Quillen College of Medicine recently received a “Friend of Recreation” award from the Johnson City Parks and Recreation Department for the multiple community service projects that medical students are involved in at Carver Park.
Dr. Philip C. Bagnell, dean of the college, and three Quillen students – Anushri Desai, Austin Whitaker and Arash Eslami – accepted the award at the department’s 31st annual Wall of Fame Banquet in December.
Desai, Whitaker and Eslami were among the many ETSU medical students who were involved in programs designed for children and teens at Carver. In addition to the education programs the students manage at Carver, the college’s Family Medicine Interest Group (FMIG) held a fundraiser to help raise money so children from Carver could travel to Washington, D.C., to tour the U.S. Capitol and the Smithsonian Institution.
The education initiatives are all facets of an outreach program, “Color My World Healthy,” that Quillen’s Medical Library began three years ago. The Color My World Healthy partnership, which established a health library at the recreation center, is designed to help bridge the health disparities gap in the community and is supported through a grant by the National Institutes of Health’s National Library of Medicine. Elaine Evans, consumer health information specialist at Quillen Medical Library and coordinator of Color My World Healthy, is principal investigator for the grant project.
“Meet the Doctor,” “Kid’s Nutrition,” “Senior Sit 2 Be Fit” and “Anatomy, How the Body Works” are just some of the programs that medical students managed throughout the year to help alleviate kids’ fears of visiting the doctor, learn about healthy eating and exercise, and familiarize themselves with basic human anatomy.
The Color My World Healthy library includes books, brochures, DVDs and computers which provide easy access to consumer health information for minority populations. Instructors from the ETSU Medical Library teach classes at the center on how to find reliable health information using the Internet.
For the Carver trip to the nation’s capital, the ETSU FMIG held a bake sale and family game night to raise funds. Members of the FMIG were involved in several of the Carver education programs throughout the year, and that participation was among the community service criteria that led the Quillen FMIG to receive – for the ninth time in 10 years – a Program of Excellence Award from the American Academy of Family Physicians.