TouroCOM-Middletown Co-Sponsors Community Volunteer Fair
Students network with various Middletown health and family agencies at this community fair.
Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine (TouroCOM)-Middletown recently co-sponsored a Community Volunteer Fair with the Joint Membership of Health and Community Agencies (JMHCA), a united federation of voluntary health and community agencies that offer wellness and recovery services for Orange County residents.
The fair was organized by TouroCOM-Middletown’s Community Service Committee, chaired by D.O. students Bianca Zapanta and Christine Boyajia, under the guidance of Professor Tara V. Sobel, Touro’s representative to the JMHCA.
Held on the TouroCOM-Middletown campus on October 13, 2015, the fair was “a one-stop opportunity for our medical students to familiarize themselves with the many health and community agencies in the Middletown area,” said Dr. Jerry Cammarata, TouroCOM-Middletown Dean of Student Affairs. “The agencies provided our students with knowledge to help direct their interests in community volunteerism, and students were also given the chance to set up some volunteer hours with the agencies they were attracted to.”
D.O. student Andrea Attenasio is one example. After meeting a representative from Maternal-Infant Services Network (MISN), and hearing about the kinds of services they offered women in the Middletown community—such as teen pregnancy prevention education, breastfeeding support groups, and health insurance enrollment events for new mothers—she became intrigued by the nonprofit and offered to volunteer for the organization. “Their goals aligned with my interests, and volunteering for them seemed like a worthwhile opportunity,” said Andrea, who is hoping to involve other Touro students in the volunteer events she’s helping with in the upcoming semester as well.
The Massachusetts native said she was thankful that the JMHCA fair allowed her “to see everything all at once, in one spot, and get to speak one-on-one with the organizations there, face-to-face.”
“Being from an out-of-town city, and not being familiar with any of the community organizations, I would have had to do my own searching and research otherwise,” said Andrea.
“Medical education promotes an appreciation for community health programs,” said Dr. Kenneth Steier, Dean of Clinical Education. “It is through this appreciation and participation that students understand the health needs of the community so they can provide clinical care to meet those needs, once they become osteopathic physicians. I am so very proud of our students.”
Outreach agencies from around Orange, Sullivan, and Westchester Counties attended the fair, including: ACCESS: Supports for Living; Action Toward Independence; Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Council of Orange County; American Cancer Society; Bon Secours Community Hospital; Catholic Charities Community Services of Orange County; Crystal Run Village, Inc.; Ezras Choilim Heath Center; Friends of Recovery – Orange; Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center; Greater Hudson Valley Family Health Center; Highland Rehabilitation and Nursing Center; HONOR; Independent Living, Inc.; Mental Health Association in Orange County, Inc.; Middletown Community Health Center; NAMI-AMICO; NHS Human Services; Orange County Department of Mental Health; PEOPLE, Inc.; Rehabilitation Support Services, Inc.; Safe Homes of Orange County; St. Anthony Community Hospital; SUNY Orange Center for Assistive & Rehab Technology; SUNY Orange OTA Program; The ARC of Orange County; and the SUNY Orange BRIDGES Program.