A Year at a Glance: Empowering Communities and Promoting Health Access

Downing-Larick C, Montalvo A, Spangler B, Quigley M, Patel A, Sahhar H
Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine- Carolinas Campus, Spartanburg, SC, USA

Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine - Carolinas Campus (VCOM-CC) is located in Spartanburg, South Carolina, a small community with many public health issues, such as high rates of communicable diseases, obesity, poor public education, low socioeconomic status, and poor medical access and accessibility. However, there are thriving community organizations, dedicated teachers, local citizens, and committed medical professionals who are passionate about working together to tackle these issues. With this in mind, ACOP-CC’s year was filled with a variety of local and international community outreach, research, student education, and promotion of osteopathic values.
The ACOP-CC community outreach included, but was not limited to: working with Safekids-Spartanburg; teaching kids about science and nature at a woodland preserve and community garden; participating in National Fire Prevention Week; continued activity in Big Brothers Big Sister; and partnering with a local bookstore to distribute books to children most in need. We worked closely with three local elementary schools on a variety of events but began further our relationship with an international elementary school and two orphanages in El Salvador, where VCOM-CC goes for international medical outreach. We also began research with our Promoting Lifelong Activity in Youth (PLAY) group and are very excited to see the initial results! Our members were able to participate in multiple health screenings, attend our guest speaker series, fundraise for natural disasters, host our annual Pediatrics Wellness Fair, and much more.
Last year, 35 of our members attended the ACOP conference, gave four presentations and one member received a presentation award. We gained valuable insight into what projects we could implement and in doing so received 2 Club of the Months acknowledgments from National ACOP; we are looking forward to learning more at this year's conference and using this knowledge to better our outreach efforts.