William Gafford and Newton Tinsley, Samford University, Ida Moffett School of Nursing
Gafford and Tinsley are addressing unmet medical needs for adults with developmental disabilities at Unless U by implementing preventative measures to optimize the physical well-being of students. Preventative measures include developmentally appropriate teaching on physical fitness, nutrition, and hygiene. The project will also focus on preparing teachers and families for medical emergencies that may be encountered by this vulnerable population.
Community Site: Unless U
Jasmine Grayson and Micah Thomas, Tuskegee University, College of Veterinary Medicine, Nursing and Allied Health (Occupational Therapy)
Grayson and Thomas are addressing health education, physical activity, and gardening for underprivileged and low socioeconomic status children in Macon County through various activities including bicycling and gardening. These activities are intended to capture and maintain the attention of the children, while also providing them with an opportunity to lead healthy lifestyles. Overall, the program will promote physical activities, healthy food choices, and proper gardening techniques with the goal of establishing sustainable health behaviors for the rest of the children’s lives. The children will develop positive relationships with role models, and congenial relationships with peers in attempts to build a closer-knit community.
Community Site: Tuskegee Youth Safe Haven
Hamilton Behlen, University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Dentistry
Behlen is providing an “edible education” to the children of the Norwood community of Birmingham with a focus on the importance of nutrition and how it relates to holistic health. She will teach participants basic cooking instructions utilizing ingredients that they grow in their community garden. The ultimate goal is for these children to develop a connection to nutrition through cooking and to encourage them to embrace the acts of growing, knowing and preparing freshly grown food and to make informed decisions on food consumption.
Community Site: Norwood Resource Center
Raymond Dawkins, University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Dentistry
Dawkins is addressing the occurrence of tooth decay in young children living in underserved areas of Birmingham by establishing an outreach program to educate parents on the benefits of oral health. The program will incorporate educational sessions that will promote oral hygiene and nutrition for children under the age of 6. Additionally, the program will strive to raise awareness of the dental benefits available to children through Medicaid. The ultimate goal of the project is to prevent tooth decay in young children by increasing oral health literacy in parents.
Community Site: Christ Health Center
Bhakti Desai, University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Dentistry
Desai is addressing the disparate access to oral health care in Birmingham by establishing a health education curriculum that will help improve oral health literacy while emphasizing the importance of preventive health care. This program will also focus on the role of nutrition in helping minimize risk factors for oral disease. Overall, the program will show patients the widespread effects of oral disease and its relationship with systemic diseases, especially diabetes.
Community Site: Cahaba Valley Health Care
Caroline Fuller, University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Medicine
Caroline is addressing childhood nutrition and exercise in the East Lake community by establishing a nutrition curriculum during PEER, Inc’s summer camp at East Lake United Methodist Church. This program is intended to help children from 2nd grade to Highschool learn how to exercise safely and eat healthy given their limited access to food and materials. Ultimately, the curriculum “Student Bodyworks: A Mobile Kitchen to Integrate Nutrition Science (and math) Into Elementary School Classroom” will give these students the tools to allow them to take care of their bodies and their minds.
Community Site: PEER, Inc.
Ashleigh Burns Irwin, University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Medicine
Irwin is addressing health literacy in children in downtown Birmingham, Alabama through the creation and implementation of a healthy lifestyle curriculum for the downtown YMCA afterschool program. This curriculum, targeted to students from Kindergarten through 2nd grade, addresses themes including nutrition and physical activity, as well as diseases and behaviors often seen in the community (Diabetes, hypertension, smoking, alcohol, etc.). Ultimately the goal of this program is to increase the students’ knowledge about the many factors that contribute to health and increase the likelihood of these students making good choices regarding their own health and lifestyle.
Community Site: YMCA of Greater Birmingham Youth Center
Koushik Kasanagottu, University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Medicine
Kasanagottu is addressing lack of access to quality nutrition information to disadvantaged groups by developing a lifestyle checklist that contains evidence-based guidelines to prevent or manage chronic diseases. This checklist will contain simple, but effective methods to switch to a healthier lifestyle and participants will be asked to select 2-3 goals that they wish to accomplish. The program aims to motivate individuals to make permanent lifestyle changes that are healthy and habitual.
Community Site: University Medical Center
Carson Klein, University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Medicine
Klein is addressing the effects of social isolation on the elderly in Birmingham, Alabama by developing a volunteer program that pairs interested medical students with socially isolated vulnerable elders currently enrolled in the UAB House Calls Program. The program aims to reduce the impact of social isolation on the mental and physical health of these vulnerable elders through various activities and games. It also provides a rich service learning opportunity for the engaged students.
Community Site: UAB House Calls Program
Katherine Cassidy, University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Nursing
Cassidy is addressing caregiver burden and stress by creating a support and resource program for those providing the full-time care for individuals impacted by muscular dystrophy. Speakers with backgrounds in mental health, nutrition, occupational therapy, and other disciplines will be connected with the caregivers to assist in enriching and supporting the caregiving experience. Partnering with Alabama’s Muscular Dystrophy Association, Cassidy will facilitate a program to accommodate both individuals in the greater Birmingham area and those located throughout the state by using online media platforms.
Community Site: Muscular Dystrophy Association
Meghan Pattison, University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Nursing
Pattison is addressing developmental disabilities in young children in Central Alabama by working in partnership with the Help Me Grow initiative. The goal of Help Me Grow is to connect children and families with health and developmental resources to equip them for success. This project will deal specifically with increasing awareness of services offered through Help Me Grow among parents, teachers, and healthcare providers as well as provide additional screening opportunities to promote early intervention for developmental disabilities.
Community Site: United Way of Central Alabama
Catherine Jones, University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Public Health (Epidemiology)
Jones is addressing needs of senior citizens by establishing arts and crafts and art therapy programs for permanent and temporary residents of rehabilitation and retirement facilities within the local community. The goal is to lead life enhancing activities for seniors by empowering the residents to develop a sense of control and independence as they create, as well as work fine motor skills for patients recovering from rehabilitation, and stimulate the residents cognitively. Ultimately, the program will aim to induce a higher sense of self regard and independence in patients by reassuring the creative process and allowing patients to have creative freedom over their artwork.
Community Site: Eastglen Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation
Sherna Joseph, University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Public Health, Collat School of Business (MPH/MBA)
Sherna will develop and implement a health program for East Thomas Neighborhood Association. This program will assist the residents with navigation to health services, diabetes self-management education, and heart disease initiatives.
Community Site: East Thomas Neighborhood Association
Jennifer Payne, University of Montevallo, College of Education (Counseling)
Payne is addressing adolescent aggression in at-risk youth in Shelby County, Alabama by holding group bibliotherapy sessions. The group will focus on the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling to address common issues faced by children and adolescents.
Community Site: The DAY Program