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Community engagement awards recognize UofL service efforts

by UofL Today last modified Jan 03, 2011 03:33 PM

The University of Louisville honored faculty, staff, students and a community partner Tuesday for playing significant roles in bringing university resources to the community.

Community engagement awards recognize UofL service efforts

President James Ramsey spoke at the ceremony.

UofL President James Ramsey, Provost Shirley Willihnganz and other university and community officials acknowledged the work of the honorees:

  • William J. Crump, M.D., faculty
  • Connie Sorrell, Virginia Bradford and Beth Hobson, staff
  • School of Public Health and Information Sciences Student Association, students
  • J.B. Atkinson Elementary School, community partner

About 150 people attended the university's first Community Engagement Outreach Recognition program.

"UofL has a tradition of serving its community," Ramsey told them. "Recognizing its employees and its partners who serve the community also is important.

"Tonight we recognize the faculty, staff members, students and community partners who really are the ones making a difference in the lives of our community," he said. "This is the start of a new tradition. And this will become a more important tradition each year."

Here are profiles of the winners:

William CrumpWilliam J. Crump, M.D.

Thanks to the leadership of William Crump, underserved residents in Western Kentucky now have access to quality health care, and UofL medical students are receiving world class medical education and clinical training in a rural setting.

As associate dean of the School of Medicine, Trover Campus, Crump has played a lead role in establishing a student-directed free clinic for working, uninsured, low-income people in Hopkins County.

Thanks to Crump many students, physicians, pharmacists, nurses and administrators have come forward to volunteer time and services. This past year students logged more than 628 service hours at the clinic.

Crump also initiated a summer program that provides mandatory school physical exams for sixth grade and kindergarten students free of charge in their home communities. Last summer, more than 80 students received the exam.

This program provides invaluable learning experiences for second-year medical students and pre-med students.

Crump also helped re-establish a community-based prenatal clinic in Caldwell County, which no longer had such a clinic. The clinic’s success shows. A recent study indicates that Caldwell County residents take advantage of prenatal care at a rate higher than the rest of Kentucky and above the national average, and the incidence of low birth-weight babies is lower than in the rest of Kentucky and the national average.

Staff community engagement award recipientsConnie Sorrell, Virginia Bradford and Beth Hobson

Connie Sorrell, Virginia Bradford and, Beth Hobson have a common passion. Individually and as a team these staff members with the Kentucky Cancer Program are helping wage war against cancer.

Beyond their responsibilities in support of the KCP, they have committed themselves to raising public awareness and support for the Kentucky African Americans against Cancer initiative. They have encouraged dozens of organizations and hundreds of individuals to join in reducing health disparities in the African American community.

They have planned many successful programs, including Pink Ribbon Sunday, which saw 23 churches participate, and “Tea Party Just Us Girls,” which drew nearly 1,000 participants. The latter program provided a fun and educational event for women to learn about breast and cervix cancers and screening resources.

Bradford, Hobson and Sorrell have directed many services to the community, including cancer resource kits, free mammograms and prostate cancer screening. As a result of their efforts, 353 women were screened for breast cancer and 193 men were screened for prostate cancer last year.

They coordinate a constant schedule of health fairs, workshops, cooking institutes and support group activities for cancer survivors. Three years ago, they helped launch the annual Red and Black Ball, an event that has raised more than $190,000 for the Harriet B. Porter Education and Research Endowment.

SPHIS student group membersStudent Association, School of Public Health and Information Sciences

The Student Association of the School of Public Health and Information Sciences (SPHIS) has made community engagement and service a top priority.

The association planned, coordinated and implemented school-wide participation in the Louisville AIDS Walk/5K Run. For the last two years, SPHIS has won the award for the top school or university team in the annual event, raising almost $10,000 to provide direct services for people in Louisville who struggle with HIV/AIDS.

The student association also sponsored a spring break service-learning project that focused on homeless and at-risk children in Appalachia. Seven graduate students from SPHIS traveled to Peterstown, W.Va., to partner with Scottie's Place, a non-profit organization that provides for children whose lives have been disrupted by homelessness, abandonment and isolation. These students designed a health promotion curriculum, conducted a community assessment study and provided one-on-one mentoring and tutoring for Scottie’s Place residents.  

Members of the student association also sponsored a series of events that incorporated volunteerism, community health, civic and academic learning during National Public Health Week in April. Activities included a walking campaign, a networking luncheon for public health students and professionals and a public health awareness campaign.

J.B. Atkinson Elementary J.B. Atkinson Elementary School

Located in the heart of Louisville's Portland neighborhood, J.B. Atkinson Elementary School has worked closely with UofL students, faculty and staff since 2007 to help boost academic achievement among its student body.

Ninety-six percent of Atkinson students come from economically challenged households, but the school continues to outperform many others that have much greater resources. Principal Dewey Hensley and outstanding teachers and staff have worked with UofL to create innovative programs that are helping to enhance academic performance.

UofL faculty, staff and students are involved in professional development for Atkinson teachers, community safety efforts, the Atkinson Magnet Program Design Team, the Louisville Writing Project, ballroom dance classes and the development of an early childhood development program.

The results are well-documented. For Atkinson, student test scores are rising at a remarkable rate, student suspensions have declined significantly and teacher turnover is no longer an annual problem. Meanwhile, UofL students and faculty are gaining real-world experience in pursuit of their academic, research and professional development. 

In recognition of this unique partnership, the Jefferson County Public School System recently renamed Atkinson as "J.B. Atkinson Elementary School for Excellence in Teaching and Learning – A University of Louisville Signature Partnership Magnet Program." 

In addition to their awards, faculty, staff and student winners received $2,500 each, plus another $2,500 to be donated to the organizations with which they partnered on their winning efforts.

Crump directed the $2,500 he received personally and the $2,500 he received to donate to go to the Hopkins County Community Clinic. The student recipients directed their portion to donate to go to Scottie’s Place, while the staff winners directed their $2,500 to be donated to go to Kentucky African Americans against Cancer.

Atkinson Elementary received $5,000.

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