This month, 30 students from the Paul L. Foster School of Medicine (PLFSOM)’s class of 2017 were recognized for their service to the community.
Of the students recognized at the awards ceremony, 29 are members of the PLFSOM’s newly established 100-hour Club, which recognizes medical students for service hours accumulated during the course of their studies.
In addition, Natalia Sidhu (class of 2018), was presented with the United States Public Health Service (USPHS) Excellence in Public Health Award. Natalia was selected as the PLFSOM student who best embodied the USPHS mission of promoting public health. She is one of a select group of students throughout the nation to receive the award.
Community engagement is a central element of the PLFSOM curriculum. As part of their core requirements, all medical students at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso complete the Society, Community, and the Individual (SCI) course. SCI introduces public health issues through a social, cultural, economic, political, and environmental lens. E. Lee Rosenthal, Ph.D., M.S., M.P.H., a course faculty member, serves as a mentor for students’ community service projects.
“It is great to support our students in volunteering in activities and organizations that mean something to them. Their contributions make a difference to El Paso and the region and through service learning, our students grow and better understand both the challenges and opportunities around them,” said Dr. Rosenthal.
Inspired by Eric Potter (class of 2020) and Dana Zhao Potter (class of 2017)’s proposal for a new club on campus, Dr. Rosenthal, Barbara Stives, SCI unit manager, and Diana Andrade, assistant director for Student Services, have been key proponents of the 100-hour Club. With support and guidance from the PLFSOM Service Learning Committee, the club was initiated this year. The goal of the 100-hour Club is to bring awareness to the impact that PLFSOM students are making in the community. The pinning ceremony is part of that effort.
In February, 48 first, second, and third-year students were also honored and pinned at the annual Service Learning Symposium. In total, 67 students have qualified for the 100-hour Club since its creation. Together, this year’s inductees have accumulated more than 18,000 hours of service. Dr. Rosenthal hopes to see that number stay steady or even grow in the years to come.
Service learning hours are documented through a collaborative effort between the Service Learning Committee, the Information Technology Department, and the Department of Medical Education. Jose Lopez, associate director of academic technology for medical education, Visente Sanchez, associate director for IT in the Gayle Greve Hunt School of Nursing, and Manuel Nava, analyst for IT application development systems, have been dedicated to making this database more accessible and an even more valuable tool to enhance student learning through service.
“Kudos to graduating students Phillip Paul and Jerry Fan, each of whom have more than 700 hours of community service,” said SCI Course Manager Barbara Stives. Jerry is vice president for the class of 2017, and has also been an active member of the Service Learning Committee and helped develop the guidelines to establish the club.
“I would like to congratulate our graduating class of 2017 for having more than 8,000 hours of documented service learning reflecting participation by more than 75 percent of our class members,” said Jerry. “These contributions at clinics and other settings are a jump start for the future, where we hopefully will continue service to improve health and community wellness.”
See a complete list of 100-Hour Club members.
Photos by Tommie Morelos, Office of Institutional Advancement.