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PEOPLE HELPING PEOPLE: GA-PCOM gives back

Georgia Campus of Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine is committed to the advancement of knowledge and intellectual growth through teaching and research, and to the well-being of the community through leadership and service. These words are part of the mission statement of the private, not-for-profit institution which was founded in Philadelphia in 1899. Georgia Campus, based in Suwanee, opened in 2005. Students and faculty in the osteopathic medicine, pharmacy and biomedical sciences programs, as well as staff members, have taken this mission to heart contributing to the local and broader communities through many hours of service and fundraising.

Student-led community service is spearheaded by 30 student clubs and organizations which organize activities according to their interests. Under the leadership of the Anesthesiology and Critical Care Special Interest Group, Rainbow Village, a transitional housing community for homeless families with children, was adopted as one of the charities of choice this year.

In November, students, faculty and staff helped to prepare and serve a Thanksgiving dinner to supporters and villagers alike. Then in March, students worked with Rainbow Village on a Health Fair & Fun Day at George Pierce Park in Suwanee. The health fair provided free blood pressure checks, resume drafting assistance, help with interpreting prescriptions, and information on breast health, prostate health, stroke awareness, blood glucose, poison control and toxicology. In addition, attendees received information on managing stress, HIV, childhood obesity and healthy eating.

The International Medicine Club has hosted regular student, faculty and staff lunches to raise funds for its medical mission trip to Nepal this summer. A group of 15 medical students will assist doctors in providing free primary care services like vaccinations, physicals and other clinical procedures to approximately 600 Nepalese citizens in the village of Jhor over the course of two weeks. Additionally, the medical students will provide basic public health education at local schools and in the community. For more information on the trip, visit www.gofundme.com/6epjwg.

Student representatives from the PCOM School of Pharmacy are planning an outing next week to Riverside Elementary School in Suwanee to educate students on what it means to be a pharmacist. These elementary students will then participate in creating “Get Well” cards that will be distributed to patients at Gwinnett Medical Center.

Other projects this year have included shoe drives, book collections and fundraising efforts for such charities as the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life, and Canine Assistants, a non-profit organization that trains and provides service dogs to enhance and improve the lives of children and adults who have physical disabilities, seizure conditions or other special needs.

A first time occurrence which involved students, faculty and staff was participation in the Gwinnett Regional Science and Engineering Fair, a full day event at Gwinnett Center where science fair winners from local schools learned about science, technology and medicine and competed for positions in the state science fair. The science fair featured a Career Expo in which Dr. Brian Matayoshi, Professor and Associate Director of the Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program, and Dean of Medicine William H. Craver, DO, were featured speakers. In addition, six faculty members served as science fair judges and students and staff manned a GA-PCOM information booth.

Students, faculty and staff of Georgia Campus recognize that giving back to the community in which they live, learn, work and play is key to bettering the community for all involved, and contributes to the College’s success and the community’s understanding of the College’s special purpose mission.

About GA-PCOM

Georgia Campus – Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine is a private, not-for-profit branch campus of the fully accredited Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, a multi-program institution with a 115 year tradition of educational excellence. GA-PCOM offers the doctor of osteopathic medicine degree, the doctor of pharmacy degree and a master’s degree in biomedical sciences. The campus includes the Georgia Osteopathic Care Center, an osteopathic manipulative medicine clinic, which is open to the public by appointment. For more information, visit www.pcom.edu or call 678-225-7500.

Barbara Myers is the marketing and public relations manager for GA-PCOM.

People Helping People is a publication of the Gwinnett Coalition for Health & Human Services.

For more information contact Ellen Gerstein - ellen@gwinnettcoalition.org or at 770-995-3339.