Community Service posts displayed by category

Dean's office staff at Ronald McDonald House

Bringing Breakfast to Families at the Ronald McDonald House

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on Inside SOP, the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy’s blog. It is reprinted here with permission.

To encourage employees to offer their time and talents in service of the local community, Jay A. Perman, MD, president of the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB), recently launched the UMB Employee Volunteer Initiative. This initiative offers eligible employees four hours of paid leave to volunteer at a local charitable organization during a normal work day. Inspired by this effort to support and encourage UMB employees to give back to the community, seven staff members from the School of Pharmacy’s Offices of Communications and Marketing and Development and Alumni Affairs volunteered to make and serve breakfast at the Ronald McDonald House (RMH) of Baltimore on Dec. 10.

Serving Families in Need

Located within walking distance of Pharmacy Hall on the UMB campus, RMH provides an affordable “home away from home” for families of seriously ill children while they receive treatment at Baltimore’s world-renowned hospitals, including the University of Maryland Medical Center and R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center. Up to 36 families stay at the house each night, and more than 1,400 families stay each year.

When President Perman announced the UMB Volunteer Initiative in November, he remarked, “I hope this small gesture reinforces just how valuable your service is, and how much it contributes to the strength and vitality of Maryland.” I took this offer to heart and decided to rally my co-workers and coordinate our team’s service at RMH. As someone who previously volunteered with RMH, I had seen firsthand just how appreciative the families were of the service that volunteers provided. You know that you are making a difference.

Bringing the Comforts of Home

Breakfast and dinner at RMH are often prepared by volunteers, with the former providing much-needed energy before families head to the hospital each morning. Staying in a new city can be a bit uncomfortable, so we hoped that by cooking breakfast we could make it feel a little more like home for the families.

We arrived bright and early to serve egg casseroles, mini muffins, and yogurt parfaits to the families staying at RMH. Once the food was ready and the holiday decorations were in place, an announcement was made over the loudspeaker and families began trickling into the dining area. Some were more awake than others, but all were smiling when they saw the freshly made coffee and a hot meal waiting for them. We were humbled that, despite the circumstances, every single person made it a point to thank us for coming.

Encouraging Others to Serve

Dr. Perman’s offer of paid leave time to encourage employees across the University to volunteer in service to the local community is very generous, and just one of the reasons why UMB is such a great place to work. Our team was honored to have this opportunity to serve others, especially during the holiday season, when a hospital stay can take an extraordinary toll on a family. We hope other employees across the University will be as inspired by our experience as we were by Dr. Perman’s words and find time to give back to the local community this year.

— Kate Robinson, development associate

Kate RobinsonCommunity Service, People, University LifeDecember 12, 20180 comments
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The President's Message - December 2018

The President’s Message

Check out the December issue of The President’s Message. It includes Dr. Perman’s column on our record-shattering year in extramural funding — $667.4 million in grants and contracts. Also, a holiday greeting; TEDx UMB showcases our big ideas; ceremonial opening for HSRF III; Project Feast serves Thanksgiving meals to those in need; Nursing, Social Work win HEED awards for diversity; students prevail in national public health interprofessional challenge; informatics pioneer saluted at UMB; University takes the fight against opioid addiction on the road; be merry, and wary, around the holidays; and a roundup of student, faculty, and staff achievements.

Back issues of the newsletter can be found in the archives.
Chris ZangABAE, Bulletin Board, Clinical Care, Collaboration, Community Service, Contests, Education, For B'more, People, Research, UMB News, University Life, USGADecember 10, 20180 comments
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Project Jump Start brown bag

Project Jump Start: Helping the Homeless

Project Jump Start is funded in part by the University Student Government Association at UMB, and our mission is as follows:

  • To assist homeless individuals in meeting their basic needs through weekly food, clothing, and toiletry drives.
  • To provide homeless individuals in Baltimore with the information and support they need to access available resources in the community.
  • To collaborate and build partnerships with others to advocate for the development of policies and programs that will meet the needs of the homeless population in Baltimore.

Learn more at this webpage.

 

Darya BarshakCommunity Service, People, University Life, USGADecember 4, 20180 comments
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Hello ... Hola on chalkboard

Spanish Language Conversation Group Meeting on Dec. 7

The Spanish Language Conversation Group will meet Friday, Dec. 7, from 12:15 p.m. to 1:15 pm. at the School of Social Work, Room 2310.

The group will be joined for the first part of the meeting by guest speaker Amy Greensfelder, who will talk about her work as executive director of the Pro Bono Counseling Project of Maryland and will offer information about volunteer opportunities and advanced clinical field placement opportunities for social workers. The meeting will include some time afterward for discussion in Spanish.

There will be light snacks provided, so please bring your lunch.

For questions, please email Katie  at kgolden@umaryland.edu.

Katie GoldenClinical Care, Collaboration, Community Service, Education, People, UMB News, University LifeDecember 3, 20180 comments
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The Christmas Store

UMB’s Christmas Store Seeks Donations of Affordable Gifts

We know Christmas gifts can be expensive. Our goal at the Christmas Store, an annual partnership between UMB’s Office of Community Engagement and The Foundry, is to provide families with a unique opportunity to purchase gifts at a significantly reduced price, so that every family can experience the joy of giving.

Donating to the Christmas Store is fast, easy, and affordable. Using the online Target Registry or Amazon Wish List, donors can purchase gifts priced as low as $3.99 from their computers or mobile devices, whether at work or at home. The gifts are automatically shipped, at no cost, to the Christmas Store organizers, who will arrange the gifts in the Community Engagement Center.

If you’re donating through a registry for the first time, the directions below might come in handy. Thanks for donating, and happy holidays!

How to Donate to the Christmas Store

    1. Click here to access the The Foundry & Christmas Store’s Target Registry. Alternatively, click here to access the Amazon Wish List. 
    2. Select toys to purchase by clicking “Add to Cart.” After adding an item to your cart, you can either “View Cart and Checkout,” where you can immediately purchase the item(s) added to your cart, or you can click “Continue Shopping” to select more items. When you’re ready to check out, click the button shaped like a shopping cart at the top right corner of the screen.
    3. Review your cart summary to make sure that your order is correct.
    4. If you have a Target.com or Amazon.com account, make sure you’re signed in. If you do not have an account, create one.
    5. Under shipping address, select “Ship to the address on the registry (or wishlist).” Do not add a new address. Click “Save and Continue.” The delivery cost in your order summary should say “free.”
    6. Choose your payment method, then enter your payment and contact information. Follow the order process until you successfully place your order. You will receive an e-mail confirmation of your purchase and notification of its shipment once it is processed.

There also are opportunities to volunteer at the Christmas Store on two Saturdays, Dec. 8 and Dec. 15. Please contact Camille Givens-Patterson in the Office of Community Engagement or call 410-706-3955 for any questions.

Office of Community EngagementCommunity Service, Global & Community Engagement, University AdministrationNovember 21, 20180 comments
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Three helpers

Kudos to the Facilities & Operations Team

Bill Joyner, MSW, senior economic inclusion specialist in UMB’s Office of Community Engagement, contacted Dawn Rhodes, MBA, chief business and finance officer and vice president for administration and finance, this week with praise for the facilities and operations team and Terence Morse, MS, interim associate vice president, facilities and operations:

Dawn,

I want to tell you how much it meant to me that your team went out of its way to rescue materials for our community garden.

A Home Depot delivery of fencing materials, including at least 1,600 pounds of concrete, and additional lumber and supplies were dropped off without a phone call, and therefore left at the wrong place. Because of this error, thousands of dollars of materials were left exposed to the elements and the possibility of theft. They also were  dropped in a place that prevented access to utility areas of the BioPark Garage. The materials were just too heavy and too large to move.

That’s when Terry Morse jumped into action, while simultaneously addressing the water main break on Baltimore Street. He coordinated with Mark Drymala to get a forklift to move the materials. Because this was at the very end of the work day for many facilities workers, he moved. When I left the Saratoga Building to meet him there, he was racing on foot in the pouring rain.

After the forklift moved the pallet of materials to the garden, Terry and I started loading the bags of concrete and lumber into the shed by hand because the forklift couldn’t enter the unpaved lot. Matt and Bill, also pictured, heard what was happening and drove over to help volunteer.

These three guys went out of their way to literally do the heavy lifting of community engagement in pouring rain. And Terry did so while dressed like an AVP in dress clothes and dress shoes, covered in mud and concrete.

Then, he went right back to the Saratoga Building to continue working on the water main issue, like it was just another day. I was so grateful, and so impressed. It was a great example of the amazing culture of service in Administration and Finance.

I thought you should know. We were so hot and sweaty in the humid and rainy weather that my camera was fogging up. I’m sorry I couldn’t get a clearer picture.

Thanks!

Bill JoynerCommunity Service, People, UMB News, University LifeNovember 20, 20180 comments
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Students and police officers at Drug Take-Back Day

Helping Baltimoreans Safely Dispose of Medications

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on Inside SOP, the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy’s blog. It is reprinted here with permission.

On Wednesday, Oct. 24, and Saturday, Oct. 27, student pharmacists from the American Pharmacists Association-Academy of Student Pharmacists’ (APhA-ASP) Generation Rx joined forces with the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) Police Force and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to host our bi-annual Drug Take-Back Day at the SMC Campus Center. An initiative started by the DEA in 2010, Drug Take-Back Day has led to the collection of almost 10 million pounds of prescription and non-prescription medications across the United States.

National Initiative, Local Impact

Drug Take-Back Day is a nationwide initiative aimed at addressing a critical public safety and public health issue. According to the 2011 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), more than 50 percent of individuals ages 12 and older received pain relievers, stimulants, and sedatives from a friend or relative for a nonmedical use in the past year, with 5.7 percent of those individuals taking the medication without asking the original owner. By offering a convenient location for community members to bring in these medications, we are helping to reduce the risk of those medications being diverted and protecting our most vulnerable populations from misuse or abuse of these drugs.

Set up in the heart of the UMB campus, the drug take-back boxes are available to the public beginning at 9:50 a.m. These boxes are completely free, anonymous, and open to anyone to use. All members of our community are encouraged to bring in their unused or expired medications for safe disposal. In the three years during which I have participated in Drug Take-Back Day events led by the School of Pharmacy, our group has collected more than 300 pounds of medications for safe disposal. This means those medications are no longer taking up space on people’s shelves and no longer have a chance of being improperly disposed of or detrimentally impacting our environment.

Nationwide, more than 910,000 pounds of medication were collected and disposed of at EPA-approved facilities during this year’s event, with 11,119 pounds of medications collected across the state of Maryland alone.

Improving People’s Health and Protecting Our Environment

Having been involved in numerous Drug Take-Back Day events during my time as a student pharmacist, I hold these events close to my heart.

As a strong environmentalist, I approached my first Drug Take-Back Day from that perspective, really wanting to pair my environmental background with my future pharmacy career. I was immediately overwhelmed by the outpouring of support not only from the Generation Rx chair at that time, but also from community members, who shared with me their support of those same ideals. Each year, many community members thank us for providing this service, saying that they specifically set aside their old medications to bring to our Drug Take-Back Day events because they want to dispose of them properly and in a manner as safe to the environment and to those around them as possible.

In addition, the 2017 NSDUH reported that 11.4 million individuals ages 12 and older admitted to having misused opioids in the United States — a dramatic increase from the 4.3 million Americans reported to be nonmedical users in 2014. With approximately 115 Americans dying every day from opioid overdose, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services declared the opioid crisis a national public health emergency on Oct. 26, 2017, which has helped to bring even more light and attention to treating the prevalence of this substance abuse.

When we come together to host Drug Take-Back Day events, it can sometimes feel like we are only taking a small step when compared to the enormity of this crisis, but together these small actions add up to create larger impacts on our communities and among our friends. We start a ripple of awareness, and that ripple carries across communities, counties, and even states.

The October Drug Take-Back Day events marked our group’s 14th year of hosting Drug-Take Back Day events across UMB, a feat we could not have accomplished without the assistance of Cpl. J.R. Jones of the UMB Police, Special Agent Andrew Biniek from the DEA, and all of our amazing student volunteers who took time from their days to make these events possible. Each time I reflect on my involvement in these events over the past three years, I am reminded of the positive impact that Generation Rx has hopefully imparted on the West Baltimore community.

— Kimberly Cai, third-year student pharmacist

 

Kimberly CaiCommunity Service, University Life, USGANovember 13, 20180 comments
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The President's Message-November

The President’s Message

Check out the November issue of The President’s Message. It includes:

  • Dr. Perman’s column on UMB leadership’s 10-day trip to Asia
  • A look back at Founders Week
  • UMB Police launch COAST outreach team
  • A new cohort of CURE Scholars dons white coats
  • First piece of public art at UMB unveiled
  • Then-Baltimore Police spokesman T.J. Smith joins White Paper discussion on gun violence
  • A look ahead to the UMB TEDx event (Nov. 9) and Barbara Mikulski’s visit (Nov. 27)
  • A roundup of student, faculty, and staff achievements and a call for Board of Regents’ Staff Award nominations
Chris ZangABAE, Bulletin Board, Clinical Care, Collaboration, Community Service, Contests, Education, For B'more, People, Research, UMB News, University Life, USGANovember 9, 20180 comments
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Thanksgiving Food drive volunteers

Thanksgiving Collection: Donate a Basket Through Nov. 13

UMB’s Staff Senate and the Office of Community Engagement are teaming up to host a Thanksgiving food drive through Tuesday, Nov. 13, to benefit CURE Scholar and Police Athletic/Activities League families of West Baltimore.

Departments or individuals can sponsor a family by collecting the items below to fill a Thanksgiving food basket.

Each donation basket should include:

  • 2 boxes of stuffing
  • 2 cans of cranberries
  • 2 boxes of mashed potatoes
  • 2 cans of sweet potatoes
  • 2 cans of gravy
  • 4 cans of vegetables (corn, peas, green beans, etc.)

Don’t Have Time to Shop?

You can donate online through the Staff Senate giving page.

Collection Drop-Off

Through Nov. 13, donations can be placed in collection bins located at the following locations:

  • Saratoga Building lobby, 220 Arch St.
  • Lexington Building, first- and second-floor lobbies, 620 W. Lexington St.
  • MSTF Atrium, BIORESCO, 695 W. Baltimore St.
  • Cancer Center, Clinical Research Center, 22 N. Greene St.
  • School of Social Work lobby, 525 W. Redwood St.
  • School of Nursing lobby, 655 W. Lombard St.
  • School of Nursing, sixth floor, in front of elevators
  • SMC Campus Center lobby, next to guard station, 621 W. Lombard St.
  • Facilities Maintenance Service Center, 622 W. Fayette St.
  • Bressler Research Building, Room 7-022, 655 W. Baltimore St.
  • HSF II Building lobby, 20 Penn Street
  • School of Law lobby, 500 W. Baltimore Street
Brian SturdivantCollaboration, Community Service, For B'more, People, UMB News, University Life, USGANovember 9, 20180 comments
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Se Habla Espanol

Spanish Language Conversation Group to Meet in November, December

Join us for a meeting of the Spanish Language Conversation Group, a chance to practice your Spanish language skills with other students. Spanish speakers of all abilities are welcome, and we will speak primarily in Spanish.

The group will meet Monday, Nov. 26, from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m., and Friday, Dec. 7, from 12:15 p.m. to 1:15 p.m., in Room 2E10 at the School of Social Work (SSW).

This group is convened with the International Social Work Organization (ISWO), Latinx Unidos for Community Healing and Awareness (LUCHA), and the International Learning Department at SSW.

A guest speaker (in English) will join us for part of the Dec. 7 session to speak about Spanish clinical practice work and volunteering opportunities. There also will be information about a bilingual advanced clinical field placement.

Please contact Katie Golden at kgolden@umaryland.edu with any questions.

Katie GoldenCommunity Service, Education, UMB News, University LifeNovember 7, 20180 comments
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School of Social Work logo

Alliance of Anti-Racist Social Work Practitioners to Meet on Nov. 16

The first meeting of the Alliance of Anti-Racist Social Work Practitioners will take place on Friday, Nov. 16, at 12:15 p.m. in Room 2W11 of the School of Social Work at 525 W. Redwood St.

Social workers, other students, and Baltimore community members are welcome to join us.

Come hungry! There will be sticky wings, salad, drinks, and cake, provided by Breaking Bread LLC.

The Alliance is a student-led community organization dedicated to racial justice.

For more information and questions, email Katie Golden or follow the group on Facebook.

Kaitlyn GoldenBulletin Board, Community Service, Education, For B'more, Research, University Life, USGANovember 2, 20180 comments
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Dr. Perman with early voters

Community Engagement Center Early Voting Site ‘Gets Out The Vote’

The University of Maryland, Baltimore’s Community Engagement Center (CEC) is making good on its campaign to “Get Out The Vote” by hosting an early voting site for the 2018 general election. Baltimore City residents can vote and register to vote at the center through Nov. 1.

Since Oct. 25, the polls have be open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. every day, including Saturday and Sunday. The CEC, located in the Poppleton neighborhood, adjacent to the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) campus, is one of seven voting sites operated by the Baltimore City Board of Elections and the only site in the downtown Baltimore area.

“I consider it a privilege that UMB is able to host a polling place for our neighbors, that I get to join them in exercising my right to vote, and that together we can show Baltimore’s children the importance of this civic responsibility,” says UMB President Jay A. Perman, MD. “Every single election is vital. And by coming together in this way, we’re recommitting to our shared community and standing up for the people we think will strengthen us and advocate for us and uphold the values we believe are non-negotiable.”

Perman joined community members at the polls on Oct. 25, when he cast his ballot at the CEC. He also spoke with members of several organizations that spent weeks canvassing the neighborhoods to boost voter registration and maximize early voting participation.

 

“We see voting as one way for our neighbors to build political power, and we are very happy to assist in that effort,” says Kelly Quinn, PhD, the CEC coordinator.

Leading up to the polls’ opening, Quinn worked in tandem with the Southwest Partnership, a coalition of seven Baltimore neighborhood associations and six institutions including UMB, as well as #BaltimoreVotes, an organization committed to engaging Baltimoreans, without prejudice or bias, in every election. Together, they organized several events to help raise civic awareness in the West Baltimore community and encourage residents to engage in early voting.

“Voting is our superpower,” explains Curtis Eaddy, manager of events and marketing for the Southwest Partnership. “Voting gives us the power to change laws that impact our daily living.”

Back in September, the CEC along with #BaltimoreVotes and the Baltimore People’s Climate Movement hosted a “Get Out the Vote” pep rally. The goal of the pep rally was to help Baltimore residents learn more about what will be on the ballot while also emphasizing the importance of community building and participation in the Maryland General Election.

Several other community-based organizations also attended the pep rally in support of the efforts to push Baltimore City residents to vote and register to vote, including: the Southwest Partnership, No Boundaries Coalition, Black Girls Vote, Baltimore Women United, Be the Change, Communities United, and former first lady Michelle Obama’s campaign, When We All Vote.

Their support for voter participation did not stop at the pep rally. When the polls opened for early voting Oct. 25, Communities United, an organization that empowers low-income Marylanders to achieve transformative change on racial, economic, and social justice issues, was out in front of the voting station with a van full of people eager to cast their ballots. Members of the organization volunteered to provide transportation to and from the CEC during early voting to make it more accessible to people who would not make it to the polls otherwise.

“People have the right to vote, they work hard to be able to vote,” explained Nabeehah Azeez, organizer for Communities United. “We want to make sure that every person has access to a polling site to exercise their right.”

Meanwhile, Black Girls Vote, a local nonpartisan organization designed to represent the concerns and interests of black women, focused on getting first-time voters to participate. Members of the organization transported vans of voting-age students from Augusta Fells Savage Institute of Visual Arts to the CEC to cast their ballots for the first time.

“I feel grown up,” exclaimed 18-year-old Denise Johnson as she exited the polling station. “It feels great to know that I am doing my part as a member of the community”

The push for civic engagement even stretched to individual members of the community. Heather Kangas, LCSW-C ’14, is a resident of the Pigtown neighborhood in West Baltimore and an employee assistant social worker for housekeepers and food staff at the University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC). To motivate her colleagues, she hosted a registration event at UMMC during shift change and informed them about the early voting site just a short walk away from the hospital at the CEC.

“An early voting site at the CEC creates more time for working people who have these precarious schedules to actually participate,” Kangas explains. “It’s great that it’s in such a central location for people to come and vote before or after work or even on their lunch break.” With help from Quinn, Kangas managed to get about a dozen hospital employees registered to vote ahead of early voting.

The contributions and support from all parties seemed to make a lasting impression on the community. In the first two hours of the polls’ opening Oct. 25 more than 200 people flooded the CEC to vote, and a steady stream of voters continued in the days to follow.

In an effort to continue this momentum, the CEC will host a “Party at the Polls” on Thursday, Nov. 1, outside the center for their West Baltimore neighbors. On that same day, the CEC also will be partnering with Vivien T. Thomas Medical Arts Academy, located a few blocks away from the center in the Franklin Square neighborhood, to host a second “Party at the Polls” in the hopes of turning high school students into first-time voters.

Thanks to a generous donation from Mile 22 and #BaltimoreVotes, the CEC will provide food, games, and music at the polling parties as well as shuttle service to and from the voting station. Members of the Southwest Partnership along with students from the University of Maryland School of Social Work and Master of Public Health students at the University of Maryland School of Medicine will be on hand to volunteer at these polling parties, which create yet another avenue to make voting fun and accessible for the community.

The CEC will resume its regularly scheduled activities with neighborhood residents, including the Police Athletic/Activities League, exercise classes, and food markets on Nov 2. Call the CEC at 410-706-8260 for details.

— Jena Frick

View an early voting photo gallery and a pep rally photo gallery.

Jena FrickCollaboration, Community Service, For B'more, UMB News, University Life, USGAOctober 31, 20180 comments
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Do Good with Burritos

UMB Police to Support Special Olympics with Chipotle Fundraiser

The UMB Police Force is teaming up with Chipotle to help raise funds for this year’s Polar Bear Plunge.

On Oct. 30, from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., head over to Chipotle at 300 W. Pratt St., and tell the cashier you are supporting the cause to make sure that 33 percent of the proceeds from your purchase will be donated to the UMB Police to benefit Special Olympics Maryland.

Jennie RiveraCommunity Service, University LifeOctober 25, 20180 comments
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Women in Bio logo

Next Women In Bio Baltimore Meetup: Nov. 13

Chitra EdwinChitra Edwin PhD, senior vice president of regulatory affairs and compliance at Spotlight Innovation, Inc., will give a talk titled “Innovative Career Strategies — How to Maximize Opportunities with Current Life Sciences Trends” at the next Women In Bio (WIB) Baltimore Meetup.

Here are the details:

  • When: Tuesday, Nov. 13
  • Time: 8 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.
  • Where: Johns Hopkins Tech Ventures, 1812 Ashland Ave., Baltimore, MD  21205
  • Tickets: Free to WIB members and students; $5 for non-WIB members.
  • Registration: Go to this link.

 

Karen UnderwoodCollaboration, Community Service, EducationOctober 24, 20180 comments
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