The College of Health Professions Community Engagement Committee honored various faculty, students and community partners for their efforts to advance community relations during an awards ceremony at the Health Professions Building on February 18. .
The ceremony included awards for five categories, including faculty and staff, graduate students, undergraduate students, community partnership development, and outstanding community partners.
The winners were chosen based on a pool of applicants who submitted a proposal demonstrating their work within the community.
“Everyone submits a poster to showcase their work, which the committee evaluates,” said Dr. Susan Naeve-Velguth, chair of the community engagement committee. “What is the goal of the project? How does this benefit our college? How does this benefit our community partners? That’s what we envision, and it ends up being a competitive process.
Recipients of each award receive a commemorative plaque and cash to further support their community partnership efforts.
Many recipients, like Brighton junior Melanie Schell, said they were happy to see their efforts noticed. Schell won the Undergraduate Student Award for Excellence in Community Partnership.
“It is truly an honor to be recognized by the college,” she said. “Health Professions Residential College is our college, so it’s great that they’re willing to make the effort to show that they see what we do and know that sometimes just one person can make a big difference and have an impact on the community.”
This is the third year that the Health Professions College has hosted an awards ceremony celebrating community partnership. The ceremony was postponed last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and funds were given to students who needed money to overcome the obstacles presented by the pandemic.
Members of the community engagement committee said they were excited to bring back the in-person awards ceremony this year.
“It’s great to celebrate in person rather than in a zoom where you’re just looking at someone’s face,” said Tom Masterson, dean of the College of Health Professions. “That’s the human touch and that’s what community engagement is, so to be able to experience that moment in person is wonderful.
The following students, staff and faculty received awards at the event:
● Jamie Haines received the Faculty and Staff Award for Excellence in Community Partnership. Haines has partnered with the Michigan Parkinson’s Foundation to run the Doctor of Physical Therapy program, where students offer online exercise classes to community members with Parkinson’s.
● Jodi Brookins-Fisher and Debra Kimball-Christie received the Faculty and Staff Award for Excellence in Community Partnership. Brookins-Fisher and Kimball-Christie have partnered with the Mid-Michigan District Health Department to lead volunteer public health physician assistants and nursing students in distributing COVID-19 vaccines to community residents through a mobile health vehicle.
● Get moving! The DPT student team received the Community Partnership Graduate Student Excellence Award. Members of Move! The DPT student team has partnered with the MP Fit Club to offer low-cost or no-cost in-person exercise classes to members of the community who suffer from Parkinson’s disease or multiple sclerosis.
● Melanie Schell received the Undergraduate Student Award for Excellence in Community Partnership. Schell, in conjunction with the Health Professions Residential College and the Mount Pleasant Care Store, raised funds and created bags of feminine hygiene products to donate to women in the community facing poverty.
● Susan Naeve-Velguth received the Community Partnership Development Award. Naeve-Velguth, in partnership with local teachers, is working to expand an audiology learning service program to create kits of materials that educate school children about the importance of hearing loss prevention.
● Nicole Ferguson, AuD, received the Community Partnership Development Award. Ferguson is working with the Michigan Ear Institute to expand a program to educate audiology students about how otologists and audiologists coordinate patient care.
● Amy Malheim, MS, received the Community Partnership Development Award. Malheim is working with the Grand Valley State University Simulation Center to develop an escape room activity for students and faculty from different healthcare professions to learn how to work in interdisciplinary teams.
● Spectrum Health received the Outstanding Community Partner Award. Spectrum Health, a nonprofit health care organization, has partnered with Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow College of Health Professions for more than 20 years and has provided internships and internships for more than 200 CMU students. clinical internships.
● Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital received the Outstanding Community Partner Award. Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital, an inpatient rehabilitation hospital requiring physical rehabilitation, has partnered with the Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow College of Health Professions for more than a decade to provide internships, clinical placements and volunteering to CMU students in a variety of different health-related fields.
For more information on the winner’s projects or how to apply for a 2022-23 award, visit the Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow College of Health Professions website.