Community Engagement

kingstreetConnection with the community isn't something that happens outside the medical campus — indeed, it is impossible to find a border between the campus and the community.

Our students are integral members of the community right from the start, and our medical student interest groups offer many opportunities to get involved with everything from local, national and international, politics to helping locally with refugee resettlement in Vermont to teaching health topics in the elementary schools.

The more than 500 faculty members, 400 students, and nearly 500 staff members of the College are intimately involved with the community around us on a daily basis. Those connections have translated into programs large and small that link the work of the College to the communities of Vermont and the wider world.

Students learn about community problems and seek to find solutions,members of the public use the school as a resource for better health care knowledge, and faculty members help improve scientific study at schools around the state: all just a few examples of the bond between College and Community.

Some of the ways our students are involved in the community include:

  • COM Cares Day: organized originally by a group of first-and second-year Schweitzer Fellows, over 100 students volunteer with local agencies for a full day of service.
  • Community Health Center of Burlington: our students volunteer at this Federally Qualified Health Center, whose mission is to provide exceptional care to those who have a limited ability to pay.
  • Vermont City Marathon: each year, medical students complete the Vermont City Marathon to raise funds to support UVM cancer research to combat neuroblastoma, a childhood cancer.
  • Smile Docs: medical students volunteer teaching health related topics in local schools through the Smile Docs interest group. 
  • Ronald McDonald House: students share dinner with parents at the local Ronald McDonald House.
  • MedQuest: our students serve as mentors to high school aged students who participate in a week-long health science camp

piyush2Schweitzer Fellow Piyush Gupta '12, created "Bedside Brainiacs" to provide tutoring services to children who are long-term patients so they can keep up with their school work.

In addition, medical students have frequently been honored as Schweitzer Fellows. One of only eleven such programs in the U.S., the New Hampshire/Vermont Schweitzer Fellows Program annually selects a group of health professional students who seek to help those currently underserved by the healthcare system.

Our students, spurred on by a curriculum that integrates education and community service, bring information and preventative care to community members young and old.

The UVM Approach

testifying in montp

Serving Our Communities

As part of their public health projects students are directly involved in influencing public health policy in the state of Vermont.

One recent group was called to testify before the Vermont House of Representatives' Committee on Natural Resources and Energy.

The group's public health project, titled "Assessing Health Concerns and Obstacles to Diesel Exposure Reduction in Vermont Diesel Vehicle Operators," was completed in conjunction with the American Lung Association of Vermont.