Cooper Medical School of Rowan Univerisity
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Volunteerism is an integral part of the culture on the CMSRU campus.

Community & Social Health: Service Learning

Service to the community is a core component of CMSRU’s mission and an integral part of the culture. Each academic year, all CMSRU students are required to engage in service projects that support Camden residents. This commitment not only reflects what we believe is a professional responsibility of those in medicine, but also our belief that the community has much to teach students about what it means to provide compassionate, empathic and high quality health care.

By spending time with our community, CMSRU students directly learn about the social and physical environments that influence health status, health maintenance, treatment and healing. In service learning, students participate in small group discussion sessions and complete essays to reflect on their community experiences as they develop their personal approach to healthcare delivery. They also spend time in the Cooper Rowan Clinic (the student-run free primary care clinic), and their clinical rotations in both inpatient and outpatient settings.

As the landscape of the healthcare delivery system continues to evolve and change, we believe that addressing social determinants of health is increasingly vital in the delivery of effective care services. Exploring how programs, practices and policies affect individuals is essential to our curriculum and prepares students to uphold a commitment to service, advocacy and excellence of care to vulnerable patients and populations.

Current CMSRU service learning program fall under the following service domains:

• Health/Social Outreach
• Tutoring/Student Mentoring
• Community Engagement
• Youth Activity/Fitness

Health/ Social Outreach

Cathedral Kitchen
A monthly opportunity for CMSRU students and staff to support Cathedral Kitchen's evening meal service to working families in Camden and others challenged with food insecurity.

Cooper Rowan Clinic Care Coordination
Students work and learn directly from social work staff at Cooper Hospital, then serve as care coordinators in the Cooper Rowan Clinic.

ESL Class at Center for Family Services
Teaching English as a Second Language to Spanish-speaking Camden residents with limited or basic English ability.

Sidekicks at CMSRU
Students are connected with pediatric patients with life threatening or chronic health conditions to build relationships with their patient and support family members as they continuously seek treatment for their health conditions.

Street Medicine Outreach
Meeting weekly, this group ventures to various parts of Camden to provide basic necessities, social connection and support to men and women who live on the street.

Volunteers have the opportunity to spend time on the pediatric unit each evening to be with hospitalized children who are alone.

VOICE: Veterans Outreach
Providing outreach and support to veterans of the Volunteers of America's Home of the Brave housing initiative.

SERV: Services Empowering Rights of Victims
Trains students to be a part of the Sexual Assault Response Team, providing support and resources to victim seen in the hospital ER.

Camden Prenatal Collaborative
Med students are paired with high risk prenatal patients to provide social support, encouragement and advocacy throughout the term of their pregnancy.

Tutoring/ Student Mentoring

Cooper After-School Mentoring Program (CAMP)
Pairs CMSRU students with local college bound high school students to provide academic support and individualized mentorship as they manage the application process.

Science on Saturdays: Upward Bound for English Language Learners
CMSRU students provide support to the Upward Bound program, teaching science to students in the program. This service learning opportunity encourages medical students with formal teaching experience to continue to use their teaching skills, while also serving as an important resource to these students.

Primary Urban Partnership (PUP)
The goal of PUP is to provide elementary school students early exposure to health professions. CMSRU students, faculty, and staff conduct bi-monthly sessions with 5th graders Catholic Partnership Schools that engage students in health related subjects.

JUMP High Academy
JUMP is a Saturday program for area high school students who excel in math and science. The program's hands-on activities and interactive learning sessions expose students to applied science, and provide an overview of a variety of science and healthcare careers.

Tutor Time
Tutor Time is a student mentoring program that takes place in the Ferry Avenue Library where med students provide help with homework, engage kids in activities and build consistent relationships with kids and teens from the local neighborhood.

Community Engagement

Cooper Sprouts Community Garden
The Cooper Sprouts’ Community Garden works with residents of the Cooper Square and Lanning Square neighborhoods, where CMSRU resides. Together with the neighborhood associations, medical students support the garden by helping with planting, maintaining, harvesting and distributing fresh produce at no cost to neighborhood residents.

ARTx Camden
ARTx Camden works with local youth groups, nonprofits, and freelance artists to support and advocate for the Arts and Arts Education in our Camden community. ARTx is a service organization led by CMSRU students and physicians who believe the Arts have the power to improve personal, population, and public health.

Youth Activity/ Wellness

Camden Youth Soccer Club (CYSC)
The Camden Youth Soccer Club (CYSC) provides organized soccer instruction and games for Camden kids aged 4-14. CMSRU students serve as coaches for the 4-6 age group, teaching basic soccer skills, teamwork, self-esteem, fitness and social skills.

Forging Youth Resilience: Heart of Camden
FYR is a national program that seeks to bring fitness, nutrition, and mentorship to at-risk and underserved youth. The Heart of Camden chapter, run out of CMSRU, provides guided workouts for local teens that are looking for a safe and nurturing environment to become fit, strong, and supported.

Girls on the Run
Girls on the Run is a physical activity based positive youth development program for girls in 3rd-8th grade. CMSRU's program operates in partnership with the KIPP Cooper Norcross Academy and works with participating 5th grade girls.

Haven at LUCY Outreach
Haven provides a safe and positive environment for LGBTQ youth and allies at LUCY Outreach. Meeting bi-monthly, students provide a mix of social activities and outings, as well as opportunities for youth to talk about anything on their minds.