The Community Medicine and Population Health Mini-Grant program, sponsored by the UCR School of Medicine's Center for Healthy Communities, has announced its recipients for the 2021-22 academic year.
The recipients are “Addressing Cardiovascular Health Through Nutrition and Food Access in Underserved Communities” and “Mutual Aid as a Strategy of Increasing Effectiveness of Outreach-based Street Medicine Programs.” Each program will receive $5,000 to support their projects.
“These projects carry out the UCR School of Medicine’s mission to improve the health of the people of California and, especially, to serve Inland Southern California by developing innovative research and health care delivery programs that will improve the health of the medically underserved in the region,” said Michelle Burroughs, director of Community Engagement & Outreach for the Center for Healthy Communities.
The grant program is designed to engage medical students, graduate students, residents and fellows of the UCR in service and advocacy projects within the Inland Empire communities focused on projects that serve the underserved; improves access to medical care and resources for at-risk populations; promotes cross-departmental collaboration and community-partnered research; or increases community engagement opportunities for the UCR School of Medicine.
The Addressing Cardiovascular Health Through Nutrition and Food Access in Underserved Communities Program is led by second-year medical student Stephanie Marin and will focus on access to nutritious foods that will improve diet-related health conditions in Latinx farm-working communities in the Coachella Valley. The project will distribute cookbooks made up of affordable, healthy recipes to CVFC patients, provide patients with fresh ingredients needed to cook the recipes from the cookbook, and offer patients nutritional counseling on healthy food choices and food budgeting.
The “Mutual Aid as a Strategy of Increasing Effectiveness of Outreach-based Street Medicine Programs” led by first-year medical student Sernah Essien is focused on examining the effectiveness of mutual aid programs to meet the non-medical needs of the community. The group will also focus on community outreach within Riverside and Ontario houseless population and identify and implement new ideas to improve street medicine.
To date, grant recipients have provided essential support to several community health initiatives. These initiatives include providing important health information to isolated communities and arranging access to preventative care and medical services to the homeless population. Most recently, project goals have been adapted to the current climate to include providing rapid COVID-19 response efforts.