Come and meet the Staff Senate at the UMB Wellness Fair on Monday, March 26, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the SMC Campus Center.
To learn more about the Staff Senate, check out its web page.
Come and meet the Staff Senate at the UMB Wellness Fair on Monday, March 26, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the SMC Campus Center.
To learn more about the Staff Senate, check out its web page.Danielle WardBulletin Board, People, University LifeMarch 16, 20180 comments
Living in an apartment in Charles Village, near the Johns Hopkins University campus where she went to college, Shea Lawson had to take four buses and sometimes more than an hour to get to and from her job as a research project coordinator at the Brain and Tissue Bank at the University of Maryland School of Medicine.
She wasn’t crazy about the commute or, as she put it, “putting money down the rent drain.” Last fall, she was thinking about buying a house but wasn’t sure she could swing it financially, so she started thinking about shopping for a condo instead.
But when an email touting the University of Maryland, Baltimore’s (UMB) improved Live Near Your Work (LNYW) Program landed in her inbox in early November, her outlook on buying a house brightened. She sprang into action, eager to take advantage of the grant that provides University employees up to $18,500 toward the purchase of a home in seven targeted Southwest Baltimore neighborhoods — Barre Circle, Franklin Square, Hollins Market, Mount Clare, Pigtown/Washington Village, Poppleton, and Union Square.
“I jumped on it pretty quick,” Lawsonx said of the program, which officially launched Jan. 9. “When I saw the advertisement [in November], I went on the Zillow real estate website, looking at houses in these neighborhoods. I was mostly looking at Pigtown, Barre Circle, and Hollins Market, because I was more familiar with those areas.”
She soon contacted a realtor and toured about 10 houses between late November and mid-January, all while working with a mortgage company to set up the financing for a potential purchase. She completed the program’s required homebuying counseling sessions with UMB’s LNYW partner, GO Northwest Housing Resource Center, attended the employee kickoff event at the SMC Campus Center on Jan. 11, and was among the first to apply when applications opened Jan. 29.
Today, Lawson is the proud owner of a rowhouse in Pigtown, the first grant recipient in the improved LNYW Program, which offers $16,000 from UMB and $2,500 from the city of Baltimore, a dramatic increase from the program’s former $5,000 incentive. The University has committed $1.5 million to the initiative, with hopes that 90-plus employees will take advantage of this financial benefit. Lawson says the program was a perfect fit, opening the door to homeownership and fulfilling her desire to stay at UMB long term.
“I really didn’t have enough for a down payment on a house. I would’ve had to canvass some relatives for a loan,” said Lawson, who has been working at UMB since May 2017. “This allows me to be financially independent. And being near my work was appealing, especially after I decided I wanted to stay at UMB for a while. If it weren’t for this program, I probably would’ve ended up in another rental situation.
“I actually had been trying to get my financials in order to possibly look at condos. I thought that might be the next step for me. A house seemed like a much bigger investment than I initially thought I was ready for. But seeing the Live Near Your Work Program advertised and looking into that, it all of a sudden became feasible.”
Emily Kordish, Human Resource Services benefits manager and the LNYW coordinator, said of Lawson: “Shea was extremely pro-active and resourceful. She really utilized our resources and website and got everything together on her own to get this done. It was a very seamless and positive process working with her.”
Lawson, a city native who went to high school at the Baltimore School for the Arts before earning a bachelor’s degree in history at Johns Hopkins, is thrilled with her purchase, a rowhouse that was built in 1900 and had been refurbished in the past year.
“I didn’t have a specific type of house in mind when I started looking,” she said. “I just looked at everything in my price range and any place that had decent parking options. The house I found has a spacious, open floor plan that still manages to feel cozy and inviting, with solid workmanship on all of the interior features. All of the inside was redone. Half of the basement is finished. And they put a parking pad in the back.”
As for the neighborhood, Lawson says she liked “the close-knit and friendly vibe of the street and block,” and adds that her proximity to M&T Bank Stadium and other downtown attractions was a plus.
“I can see the stadium lit up at night from my back bedroom window, which is a fantastic view for a lifelong Ravens fan like me,” she said. “It will be convenient to my new digs in Pigtown without being overwhelmingly intrusive. It’s the best of both worlds!”
Lawson was extremely pro-active in pursuing the grant, but she also praised Kordish and the program’s partner organizations for helping make her homebuying experience a success.
“It’s been very smooth. The program is run very well,” Lawson said. “Everyone I’ve encountered who’s a part of it — Emily Kordish, Live Baltimore, GO Northwest — they’re very much enthusiastic about it and want to get you the information you need. Also, the Live Near Your Work website has a lot of good information and is really well done.
“I got a lot of help from a lot of good people in the program and from my realtor and my lender — everyone made it easy for me to communicate with them. The Live Near Your Work Program, you can tell they are passionate about this, they want it to work. It’s not just the money UMB has put up, it’s that they’re engaged.”
— Lou Cortina
The Southwest Partnership is holding housing fair Sunday, March 25, that is open to the public and will feature UMB’s Live Near Your Work Program. The fair runs from 11:30 a.m to 4 p.m. Click here to register.
To learn more about the LNYW Program, click here.Lou CortinaFor B'more, People, UMB News, University Administration, University LifeMarch 16, 20180 comments
The Cuddling Withdrawing Infants (CWIN) Research Study is recruiting volunteers to cuddle babies in the University of Maryland Medical System NICU who were born dependent on opioids. To become a volunteer cuddler, contact Anastasia Booth at email@example.com or call 443-812-1442.
More than 200 babies are born in Maryland each month to mothers who have used opioids. Cuddling helps shorten the babies’ hospital stays, reduce the medications they need, and improve their outcomes.
Anastasia BoothClinical Care, ResearchMarch 16, 20180 comments
Over the past few years, criminals have stolen more than a billion user names and passwords from many websites across the Internet, including LinkedIn, Adobe, and Tumblr. Criminals use these stolen user names and passwords to log in to other sites, including Exchange, Google, TeamViewer, GoToMyPC, and other popular sites. Many of these logins succeed because people reuse their passwords.
You can check to see if your password was stolen in one of the larger breaches at this link. You do not need to supply your password to check. This database does not include all breaches, so even if your password is not listed as stolen, you may still be at risk.
There’s a huge amount of hacked data floating around the web, and every week you hear of another site getting hacked, and all of those credentials are being advertised around the internet, but then what? What do hackers and others with bad intentions do with all of those email addresses and passwords? Among other things, they attempt to break into accounts on totally unrelated websites. And this is where the real problems begin.
Like it or not, people reuse passwords. Most people are just out there with the same password or three across all of their accounts. The hackers know this, so they’re going to try and break into as many other accounts as they can using the credentials collected from a data breach. One way this is accomplished is through credential stuffing.
Credential stuffing is the automated injection of breached user name/password pairs to fraudulently gain access to user accounts. This is a subset of the brute force attack category, where large numbers of compromised credentials are automatically entered into websites until they are potentially matched to an existing account, which the attacker can then hijack for their own purposes.
This is a serious threat for a number of reasons.
We’ve all done it at one time or another, but please remember to use separate passwords for each of your accounts. If you reuse any of your passwords, please change them immediately. Consider using a password manager to allow you to have separate, strong passwords created automatically for all of your accounts.
Never use your UMID password for any other site, including other UMB sites.Fred SmithEducation, TechnologyMarch 16, 20180 comments
All UMB faculty are eligible to apply for a Faculty Award in Support of Interprofessional Education. Please see the IPE web page for additional information. Submit your two-page proposal, including budget, to Patricia Danielewicz at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Additional applications will be considered on a bimonthly basis (May, July 2018) pending availability of funds. Please visit our website for additional information and to download a proposed template.
The purpose of the IPE Faculty Award is to encourage and build a community of faculty members across the schools of the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) and throughout the University System of Maryland who have an interest and expertise in interprofessional education. This includes, potentially, IPE activities nationally and internationally.
Faculty Awards may be used for a variety of endeavors that can include, but are not limited to, travel to other institutions to study IPE; regional and national meetings focused on IPE, including poster and podium presentations; educational products focused on IPE; and other faculty development activities that are inclusive of UMB students from two or more schools. The funds must be used within a one-year window, and any individual is limited to one award per year. Faculty Awards may provide a one-time salary enhancement stipend, if allowed by the UMB school and appropriate for the proposed activity.
All UMB faculty members are eligible to apply for a Faculty Award of up to $2,000 annually. Other faculty from the University System of Maryland require a partner from the UMB faculty and are eligible for up to a $1,000 award. A two-page proposal, including a budget, should be submitted via email to the Center for Interprofessional Education. Please include a title for the award, along with a description of the proposed activity and its potential to further IPE at UMB. If you plan to use standardized patients through the Clinical Education and Evaluation Laboratory, please contact the director, Nancy Budd Culpepper, at email@example.com. The co-directors of the Center for Interprofessional Education serve as the award committee.
Patricia DanielewiczCollaboration, Education, UMB NewsMarch 15, 20180 comments
On March 13, members of the Francis King Carey School of Law’s trial team hosted 32 students from UMB partner school George Washington Elementary’s after-school program for a career exposure activity.
The activity held in the Ceremonial Moot Courtroom involved a mock trial of fairy-tale character Gold E. Locks, played by third-year student Jackie Taylor, “for having bad manners” for entering the home of the three bears, eating their porridge, and vandalizing their rocking chairs. Pop A. Bear was played by third-year student Donavan Ham, Babe E. Bear was played by second-year student Timothy VanCisin, and Mom A. Bear was played by third-year student Jhonell Campbell.
Other law students involved in the activity included third-year student Courtney Watkins as Gold’s mom Curl E. Locks, third-year student Ashley Fellona as the judge, and third-year student Andrew Nagel as attorney for the Bear Family. The children were split into three separate juries of approximately 10 students each, all of whom got a chance to sit in the jury box. One jury found Gold guilty of having bad manners, but the other two juries were more sympathetic to the defendant, finding her not guilty.
The exercise in career exposure allowed our K-12 community partners an out-of-classroom learning experience that many of our partner schools are not funded to provide. These types of experiences are well-documented to have positive outcomes for participating students and are among the most cost-effective ways for us to engage our community partners.
The Office of Community Engagement challenges student groups, staff, and faculty across the UMB campus to develop creative ways to share their chosen career paths with our K-12 partners. If you, your student organization, or department would like to propose such an activity or for assistance in developing creative ways to engage our community partners, please contact Brian Sturdivant, MSW, director of strategic initiatives and community partnerships, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 410-706-1678.Brian SturdivantCommunity Service, Education, For B'more, UMB News, USGAMarch 15, 20180 comments
Everyman Theatre is offering UMB faculty, staff, and students 20 percent off tickets.
Everyman Theatre is a professional theater with a resident company of artists from the Baltimore/Washington, D.C. area. Each season of plays is carefully curated to foster a diverse range of human experiences found in a mix of dramas and comedies selected from timeless classics to world premieres.
The UMB discount offer is valid until June 10, 2018. Use the discount code UMB18 when making your purchase (excludes previews and opening-night performances).
Click here to buy tickets.
The theater’s current play, Aubergine, runs through April 15. The next play, The Book of Joseph, is scheduled to run May 9 to June 10. Click here for more details.Alice PowellBulletin Board, For B'more, People, University LifeMarch 15, 20180 comments
As part of their coursework in preparation for graduating from the University of Maryland School of Nursing’s (UMSON) Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program, students submit poster presentation abstracts on health topics to national nursing organizations.
Eight UMSON DNP students — Kelly Allen, BSN, RN, CCRN; Sharon Ballinger, BSN, RN, CCRN; Eugena Bergvall, BSN, RN, CCRN, CNRN; George Bigalbal, BSN, RN, CEN; Jamie Bowman, BSN, RN; Ajibola Ibironke, BSN, RN, CCRN; Megan Lucciola, BSN, RN, CMSRN; and Theresa Nowak, BSN, RN, CCRN — had their abstracts accepted to several national nursing organization conferences.
In developing their abstracts, DNP students in Diagnosis and Management 5: Advanced Practice/Clinical Nurse Specialist Roles in Health Care Delivery Systems were asked to select a national nursing organization to which to submit a poster presentation abstract, review the organization’s abstract submission guidelines, and describe how and why they identified the health care need or topic they focused on. Assistant professors Maranda Jackson-Parkin, PhD, CRNP-BC, ACNP, CCNS, CCRN-K, and Alicia Williams, DNP, RN, MBA, ACNP-BC, CCNS, served as mentors. Some students’ presentations were accepted to multiple conferences.
“Having so many of our students have their abstracts accepted at national conferences demonstrates the dedication of our students and their faculty mentors to advancing the practice of nursing and is the reason UMSON is a top-10 DNP program,” said Shannon Idzik, DNP ’10, MS ’03, CRNP, FAANP, FAAN, associate professor and associate dean for the DNP program. “Much like any of the other skills our advanced practice registered nurse students learn, dissemination takes practice. Presenting at these conferences will set the stage for lifelong scholarship.”
Allen will be presenting “Using Clinical Data to Design Nurse Education for Expansion of Oncology Services” at the Oncology Nursing Society’s 43rd Annual Congress on May 17-20 in Washington, D.C. The abstract also will be published in an online issue of Oncology Nursing Forum. Allen had a second abstract, “Translation of a Vascular Specific Cardiac Risk Stratification Tool into Practice for Patients Undergoing Open Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Repair,” accepted for display at the Society for Vascular Nursing 36th Annual Conference on June 20-21 in Boston.
Ibironke also had two abstracts accepted. She will present “Effectiveness of Quick Sequential Organ Failure Assessment (QSOFA) as Sepsis Screening Tool in the Emergency Department (ED)” as a podium presentation at MedStar Washington Hospital Center’s Third Annual Nursing Evidence-Based Practice and Research Conference on March 8 in Washington. The same abstract also was accepted to the Sixth International Congress on Bacteriology and Infectious Disease on May 21-22 in New York.
Additionally, Ballinger, Bergvall, Bigalbal, Bowman, Lucciola, and Nowak presented their posters at the National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists’ annual conference on Feb. 28-March 3 in Austin, Texas.Kevin NashBulletin Board, Education, People, Research, UMB News, University Life, USGAMarch 14, 20180 comments
Join United Students of African Descent for “Jazz Fusion and the Arts,” a celebration of black culture that will include music, dance, and food on Friday, April 6, 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., at the SMC Campus Center, Room 349.
Learn more about the history of jazz music and its role in black culture. There will be a live jazz band, an African dance group, and other performers who will bring awareness about black culture.
The event is sponsored by the University Student Government Association.Temitope FoleysonBulletin Board, University Life, USGAMarch 14, 20180 comments
“Bringing Marginalized Voices to the Center: A Policy Forum on Gender-Based Violence” on April 18 will feature a panel of Baltimore-based community organizations to highlight marginalized voices in the current national conversation on gender-based violence, including trends in the #MeToo and #WhyIStayed movements.
Panelists’ perspectives on sexual violence, sexual harassment, and intimate partner violence against women with disabilities, women veterans, transgender women, Latina immigrant and undocumented women, and women in low-wage work will be presented, including potential policy solutions to end gender-based violence. A moderated Q&A session will follow.
Register here for this free event.Lisa FedinaBulletin Board, Collaboration, Community Service, Education, For B'more, People, UMB NewsMarch 13, 20180 comments
Editor’s note: This post by third-year student pharmacist Teny Joseph was originally published on Inside SOP, the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy’s blog. It is reprinted here with permission.
February was American Heart Month. To help raise awareness about the prevalence and impact of cardiovascular diseases across our campus and in our community, the School of Pharmacy’s American Pharmacists Association-Academy of Student Pharmacists’ (APhA-ASP) Operation Heart committee continued its longstanding tradition of celebrating American Heart Month and the national Million Hearts Initiative by hosting a number of community outreach and student welfare events throughout the month. The Million Hearts Initiative focuses on the ABCs of heart disease and stroke prevention — including, appropriate aspirin therapy, blood pressure control, cholesterol management, and smoking cessation — in an effort to prevent 1 million heart attacks and stroke-related incidents within a five-year time period. On Feb. 24, Operation Heart celebrated the culmination of its month-long series of Million Hearts-themed events by organizing the Charm of a Million Hearts Health Fair at Lexington Market in Baltimore.
Because we received such positive and encouraging feedback from last year’s Charm of a Million Hearts Health Fair, we wanted to continue improving and building upon our success with this year’s event. The community members, Lexington Market staff and administrators, community vendors, and student representatives who were involved in last year’s health fair shared how much they appreciated having the opportunity to participate in the event as well as the impact and value that it had on them and their community. Last year, we invited 25 student organizations from across the University and community vendors to provide various patient care resources and health screening services. We served approximately 250 patients and provided 25 blood pressure screenings, 40 oral health/cancer screenings, and eight HIV/Hepatitis C screenings. The response and feedback that we received motivated our committee members to host the health fair again this year and envision new ways that it could have an even larger and more meaningful impact.
By reaching out to the Baltimore City Health Department, we were able to advertise and invite numerous local community organizations and vendors to participate in this year’s event. Our committee members also reached out to their peers in other student organizations throughout the University to ask if they would like to participate in our interprofessional community health fair.
As a result of these outreach efforts, this year’s Charm of a Million Heart Health Fair featured screenings and patient education provided by nearly 40 organizations, including 21 student organizations from the School of Pharmacy; interprofessional support from the schools of nursing, dentistry, medicine, and social work; as well as community vendors such as JACQUES Initiative, the PATIENTS program, Giant Food, theBaltimore City Fire Department, and Community Risk Reduction Services — just to name a few. The health fair featured screenings for blood pressure, HIV/Hepatitis C, body mass index, sleep apnea, and diabetes risk, as well as naloxone training and certification, immunization services, CPR-chest compression training, and a separate exercise and educational section just for kids.
With the help of all of the student volunteers and community vendors involved, we surpassed our outreach and engagement goals for this year’s event. By the end of this year’s Charm of a Million Hearts Health Fair, we had:
In addition, student pharmacists had the opportunity to work collaboratively with their peers in different professional schools, as well as community members, to educate patients on topics such as smoking cessation, services available through the Maryland Poison Center, medication adherence, nutritional and affordable healthy foods, opioid overdose and naloxone use, hospice awareness, and much more.
Operation Heart thanks the University Student Government Association and the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy Student Government Association for supporting and funding this year’s health fair; Lexington Market for hosting us; the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) Community Engagement Center for helping with advertising and promotion; the Baltimore City Health Department for helping to recruit community organizations; all of the organizations that participated in the health fair; the more than 90 students who served as volunteers; and Amy Howard, PharmD, staff pharmacist at the School of Pharmacy; Lucianne West, PharmD, PGY-2 cardiology pharmacy resident at Johns Hopkins Medicine; and Tricia Schneider, PharmD, community pharmacy administrative resident with Johns Hopkins Home Care Group, for serving as our preceptors.
I also would like to thank my fellow Operation Heart committee members, especially first-year student pharmacists Ayaa Ahmed, Bhavna Jois, Clynton Musngi, Juhi Hegde, Katelyn Callaghan, and Qianyu “Rita” Chen; second-year student pharmacists Carly Cheng, Jennifer Joo, and Nabila Faridi; and third-year student pharmacist Charlie Summerlin for serving as this year’s Charm of a Million Hearts Health Fair coordinators and hosting a successful and meaningful health fair. We hope that we were able to offer a valuable experience to our community through this outreach effort and hope to continue learning and improving for next year’s Charm of a Million Hearts Health Fair.
To see photos from the event, click here.
Teny JosephCommunity Service, University Life, USGAMarch 12, 20180 comments
The University of Maryland School of Nursing (UMSON) and Harford Community College (HCC) in Bel Air, Md., recently signed an agreement of dual admission that will ensure students’ seamless transition from HCC’s Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) program to UMSON’s Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program. HCC becomes the eighth community college in Maryland to sign such an agreement with UMSON.
Through the agreement, students can apply and be admitted to UMSON’s BSN program while in HCC’s ADN program. Students will receive transfer credits from UMSON for completed coursework at HCC and will be granted special student status, allowing them to take UMSON courses while still working on their associate degree, thereby saving them time and money in completing their BSN degree.
“We encourage all of our nursing students to determine their career goals early in their nursing education and develop an academic progression plan,” said Laura Cianelli Preston, dean, Nursing and Allied Health Professions, HCC. “This partnership adds to our students’ options in taking the next step in advancing their nursing degree.”
An effort to increase qualified nursing candidates, the agreement is helping to further the mission of the Future of Nursing: Campaign for Action, an initiative of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the AARP to advance comprehensive health care change. The campaign uses as its framework the landmark 2010 Institute of Medicine report, The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health. The partnership program specifically addresses one of the eight goals set forth in the report: to increase the proportion of nurses with a baccalaureate degree to 80 percent by 2020.
“We are excited to begin this partnership with Harford Community College. It will provide ADN students at Harford Community College with a flexible BSN degree option for continuing their education,” said Linda Murray, DNP, CPNP-Ped, assistant professor and director, RN-to-BSN Program, UMSON. “This option provides them with a seamless transition to the BSN, as it enables them to work on prerequisites or take UMSON courses while enrolled in their prelicensure program.”
To matriculate to UMSON’s BSN program, students must graduate with an ADN from HCC and satisfy UMSON’s progression criteria.Kevin NashCollaboration, Education, UMB News, USGAMarch 12, 20180 comments
Since 1962, the third week of March has been celebrated by presidential decree as National Poison Prevention Week (NPPW), providing poison centers across the country — including the Maryland Poison Center (MPC) — an opportunity to raise awareness about the dangers of poisonings and highlight steps that families can take to prevent them. This year, NPPW will be observed March 18-24 and will focus on several poison prevention-related themes:
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), poisoning is the No. 1 cause of injury death in the United States, with most of these deaths caused by drug and medication misuse and abuse. The MPC, part of the Department of Pharmacy Practice and Science (PPS) at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy, is a 24-hour telephone service that offers free, fast, and confidential expert advice about poisonings and overdoses. It has provided poisoning treatment advice, education, and prevention services to Maryland citizens since 1972 and is certified by the American Association of Poison Control Centers (AAPCC) as a regional poison center.
“The MPC, along with the nation’s other 55 poison centers, is committed to safeguarding the health and well-being of every American through proactive poison prevention and free, confidential, and expert medical services,” says Bruce Anderson, PharmD, DABAT, FAACT, director of operations for the MPC and professor in PPS. “The center is staffed 24/7 by pharmacists and nurses who are certified as specialists in poison information and uniquely trained to help individuals who have been exposed to a poison or have questions about a potential poisoning.”
Although about half of the calls received by the MPC involve children younger than 6 years old, teens, adults, and seniors also are at risk for poisoning. To help prevent poisonings in your home, follow these tips from the MPC:
Families in Maryland that would like more information about poison prevention can request a Mr. Yuk packet for their homes. This packet contains information about poison safety, Mr. Yuk stickers, telephone stickers, and a magnet that can help families prevent or prepare for poisoning emergencies.Malissa CarrollClinical Care, Community Service, For B'more, UMB NewsMarch 12, 20180 comments
The annual Academic Primary Care Symposium celebrates primary care on campus at the University of Maryland, Baltimore and around the city and state on Friday, May 11. The symposium will be held from noon to 4 p.m. at MSTF Leadership Hall (685 W. Baltimore St.).
This year’s theme is “Creating the Future of Primary Care” and will be a collaboration with Johns Hopkins Medicine’s Primary Care Consortium. In addition to a research poster session, there will be a workshop component this year. A networking reception with light fare will follow.
The keynote speaker is Robert L. Phillips Jr., MD, MSPH, a family physician, professor of family medicine, and nationally recognized leader in primary care policy and health care reform. He is the vice president for research and policy at the American Board of Family Medicine and a member of the National Academy of Medicine.
To register, click here.Barbara Perez MarquezCollaboration, Education, ResearchMarch 12, 20180 comments
Editor’s note: This post by third-year student pharmacist Alli Cowett was originally published on Inside SOP, the School of Pharmacy’s blog. It is reprinted here with permission.
Feb. 14 — Valentine’s Day — is now tied to one of the saddest days in recent U.S. history.
On what was supposed to be a national day of love, Marjory Stoneman Douglas (MSD) High School — my alma mater — fell victim to one of the largest mass shootings in America. Seventeen lives were lost and many others were wounded, making this shooting worse than the one that took place at Columbine High School in 1999.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) last complete report regarding firearm fatalities in 2013, more than 30,000 Americans die from gun violence every year, which is comparable to the number of causalities reported in car crashes. However, unlike car crashes, the federal government does not view or fund gun-related injuries or fatalities in the same way — as a public health crisis.
In addition, Americans currently own 357 million firearms, despite the fact that the country only has 317 million residents. The number of weapons owned surpasses the number of civilians in our nation.
The 1996 Dickey Amendment is also still in place. Lobbied for by the National Rifle Association (NRA), this amendment essentially prevents the CDC from using its funding to research the impact of gun violence on public health.
This information is absolutely alarming to me and only helps demonstrate the immense need for change in our nation.
Spearheaded by Danielle Cordero, a graduate of MSD’s Class of 2010 who attends the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) School of Medicine, the #WhiteCoatsAgainstGunViolence movement encourages alumni enrolled in health profession schools across the country to show solidarity with our alma mater and bring awareness to gun violence as a public health issue. My former classmates from MSD’s Class of 2011 have organized #WhiteCoatsAgainstGunViolence rallies at Tufts University, Vanderbilt University, the University of Florida, and the University of Miami.
On March 1, I added my voice to theirs and organized a #WhiteCoatsAgainstGunViolence rally at the School of Pharmacy. It was great to see dozens of my colleagues show their support for the cause. Many took the time to leave a note on the banner that I designed to honor the lives of the students lost or wounded at MSD. We also came together to take a picture with the banner and other posters that we created to display messages of support, which I plan to send to my alma mater.
At the end of the day, students at the School of Pharmacy are future health care professionals. When we put on our white coats, we accept responsibility for the care of our nation and the public health issues that plague it. Gun violence is a public health issue that needs to be addressed. I am thankful for the opportunity to have brought awareness to this issue through the #WhiteCoatsAgainstGunViolence rally at our school. I am also proud of the overwhelming support demonstrated by my peers and faculty.
As incidents of mass shootings become more commonplace in our nation, it is clear that action needs to be taken to keep our nation safe. Regardless of our individual political affiliations, I hope this is a cause that everyone can agree requires more attention. After attending the School of Pharmacy’s anti-gun violence event, I hope my colleagues consider incorporating calls for new gun safety legislation into their own advocacy efforts.
If you’re looking for a way to make your voice heard on the issue of gun violence, consider participating in the March For Our Lives in Washington, D.C., on March 24, when children and their families will take to the streets to demand that their lives and safety become a priority and that we end this epidemic of mass school shootings.
Alli CowettUniversity Life, USGAMarch 9, 20180 comments