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On Thursday, the Association of Schools & Programs of Public Health (ASPPH) awarded the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health the Harrison C. Spencer Award for Outstanding Community Service. The Bloomberg School’s commitment to Baltimore can be seen through meaningful and lasting collaborations with local organizations and residents. Departments, centers and offices, particularly SOURCE, have all contributed to the partnerships throughout the city.

SOURCE works with students, faculty and staff from the Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins School of Nursing and School of Medicine by connecting those wanting to volunteer with organizations. In addition to organizing days of service and other community events, SOURCE offers service-learning opportunities. These efforts help students enhance their public health education and connect students with the community while ensuring both the community-based organizations and students benefit from the experience.

As part of the award process, ASPPH visited the School’s campus in early March and met with some of the community partners. In the School’s press release, Josh Sharfstein, MD, vice dean for Public Health Practice and Community Engagement, said, “Our community collaborations have contributed to improvements in infant mortality, reductions in overdose, assistance to individuals experiencing homelessness, support for teachers and schoolchildren, and many other steps forward for health in Baltimore. We are looking forward to growing these collaborations to accomplish even more together in the future.”

For a closer look at the work of SOURCE and to hear from the community-based organizations, watch the short video below.

 

Many students at the School of Public Health value volunteering or working within the Baltimore community while earning their degree. Whether it’s through one-day volunteer opportunities, a volunteer partnership or through a service-learning class, SOURCE (the Student Outreach Recourse Center for the School of Public Health, School of Medicine, and School of Nursing) helps students find the right opportunity for them.

SOURCE’s annual National Volunteer Week offers popular events and culminates with the Spring Tri-School Day of Service. This year’s National Volunteer Week begins, Monday, April 23 and ends on Saturday, April 28.

The week really kicks off with the SOURCE Community Involvement Poster Competition. The event is a wonderful way to see how students, student groups and service-learning courses have partnered with Baltimore City non-profit organizations throughout the year. During the entire week, SOURCE will also be collecting toiletry items as part of their donation drive efforts.

For the Tri-School Day of Service, SOURCE has many different volunteer opportunities available to students. The projects for the Tri-School Day of Service, which are listed below, assist popular community partners that many students volunteer with throughout the year.

Tri-School Day of Service Activity List
BUGS Farmers Market – Volunteers will work with Living Classrooms’ BUGS (Baltimore Urban Gardens for Students) afterschool program to set-up and assist in running their annual farmer market.
YO! Baltimore Volunteers help clean and organize the clothing closet and food pantry at YO! Baltimore and help organize the commuter and file room.  
Blue Water Baltimore Volunteers will spend time in the community planting trees to support the diversification and expansion of the City’s tree canopy.
Civic Works Volunteers will assist in setting up and welcoming guests to an event commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the Fair Housing Act and help a community beautification project.
Baltimore American Indian Center – Volunteers will learn about the indigenous people who call Baltimore home while assisting with exterior painting and beautification projects around the garden courtyard at the center.
Commodore John Rodgers Volunteers will help with a variety of projects at the school, including painting, to create a more welcoming environment for students and their families.
Amazing Grace – Volunteers will help this East Baltimore urban garden get ready for spring and summer while beautifying the landscape! Volunteers will help weed, mulch, trim bushes and pick up trash.
Franciscan Center Volunteers will assist with bagging and handing out fresh produce to individuals experiencing homelessness.

Last week was SOURCE’S Volunteer Week for students here at the Bloomberg School. All the different events and activities culminated in a Day of Service on Saturday with students, faculty and staff going out to different neighborhoods and volunteering in the communities. The Environmental Health and Engineering students and staff spent their time at Bethel Street Farm.

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 Admissions Services is doing our own Day of Service today at the House of Ruth (Maryland), which is a intimate partner violence center. While the places we choose are different each year, it is a great way to connect with different areas of Baltimore.

Admissions Services will resume normal hours on Friday, May 5 at 8 a.m.

As I learned when I started here at the Bloomberg School of Public Health, Public Health is about serving the communities and the population, rather than the individual. All our students have a particular focus on what topic in a particular community or population they want to work with, whether it is toilets in India, Dengue Virus research, gun policy, or one of the thousands of other topics being researched and studied. But putting into practice what you’re learning in the Baltimore community is a wonderful opportunity open to all Bloomberg students.Student Volunteering

The Student Outreach Resource Center (SOURCE) was founded ten years ago to connect the Bloomberg School of Public Health, the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing with the Baltimore community. Partnering with a large number of organizations ranging from advocacy, chronic/infectious diseases, and tutoring/mentoring, students from the medical campus are able to reach out with their personal skills and expertise and practice public health in our urban setting. Whether students are looking for a short term or long term commitment, our students have the opportunity to put into practice the very ideas they are discussing during class in the community.

Our tagline is Protecting Health, Saving Lives-Millions at a Time. That tagline isn’t just referring to the work as a whole the School is doing, or what our alumni have and are accomplishing, it also is for our current students who volunteer in Baltimore thanks to the opportunities SOURCE provides.

Tomorrow, – or the Student Outreach Resource Center – will be celebrating its Tenth Year!

SOURCE was established in 2005 as a resource for students of the schools of medicine, nursing and public health to put the skills learned in the classroom to work in our community. Below is an infographic illustrating their accomplishments over the last decade.

SOURCE Infographic

Congratulations, SOURCE!

Happy Birthday!