NYMC > School of Medicine (SOM) > SOM Academics > Undergraduate Medical Education (M.D. Program) > Community Involvement and Service Learning

SOM Community Engagement and Service Learning

At NYMC, we believe that health care education should be used to both improve the lives of patients and benefit the communities we serve. Through its community involvement and service- learning programs, the NYMC School of Medicine provides students with a rich array of opportunities to get involved for the betterment of the surrounding communities throughout Westchester and New York City metropolitan area.

Students at Donate Life Club Blood DriveThe community engagement component of the curriculum fosters a sense of commitment, involvement, responsibility, and understanding of the communities in which their patients live, work, learn, and grow. Through community exploration, students identify issues most relevant to their patients’ lives and develop feasible health promotion strategies to best meet the needs of their patients. By volunteering with a community service organization of their choosing, students develop the skills necessary to identify the social structures that influence their patients’ lives and to navigate the resources available in their communities to benefit their health and well-being. Examples of service organizations that students work with include those dedicated to health promotion, food insecurity, human rights and domestic violence support, homeless outreach, global health, mental health and addiction support, disability assistance, and environmental needs. Students have opportunities to continue their engagement with the community during required clerkships, focused areas of concentration programs and electives.

Photo top right: One of the many clubs at NYMC, the Donate Life Club hosts regular blood drives, which had record turnout last year to impact hundreds of patients.

La Casita de la Salud

SOM Student Life LaCasita 6.8.22 cmSpanish for The Little House of Health, La Casita de la Salud, a health clinic run by NYMC medical students under faculty supervision, with locations in both East Harlem and on the NYMC campus, is dedicated to providing the uninsured population with quality, culturally competent care to help bridge the pervasive health disparity gap in the healthcare system.

SAAVE (Sexual Assault Abuse and Victims Empowerment) 

SAAVE at NYMC offers students the opportunity to volunteer alongside trained professionals in Westchester Medical Center’s SAAVE program to provide advocacy and crisis intervention services to victims of sexual assault, domestic violence, intimate partner violence, human trafficking, and all forms of sexual misconduct.

Center for Human Rights

The NYMC Center for Human Rights (NYMCCHR) promotes health advocacy and human rights for asylum seekers in the U.S. by providing pro-bono forensic medical evaluations conducted by students who received special training in conjunction with the Physicians for Human Rights organization.

HOME (Homeless Outreach and Medical Education)

HOME works to reduce healthcare disparities by connecting and serving individuals living on the streets of Westchester County by providing preventative medical care and education, food, clothing, as well as information regarding social resources. NYMC medical, dental and graduate students are connected with the medically underserved in the community through direct street outreach and engagement with homeless shelters in our area.

Gold Humanism Honor Society

The Gold Humanism Honor Society (GHHS) promotes the ideals of humanism in medicine on the NYMC campus and affiliated institutions through community service (NYMC Cares Week), mentorship, and role-modeling (Solidarity Week for Compassionate Patient Care). As an exemplar organization, the NYMC School of Medicine chapter of the Gold Humanism Honor Society received an outstanding ranking for its contribution to humanism in health care during the COVID-19 pandemic from the Arnold P. Gold Foundation.

  • Bethany A.M.E. Church Soup Kitchen
  • Bethesda Baptist Church Lad’s Lunch
  • Calvary Baptist Church Soup Kitchen
    • Nutrition Assistance Program
    • Health & Wellness Program     
    • Computer Instructor
  • Children’s Village
  • Church of the Holy Name of Mary: Loaves and Fish
  • Community Memorial Baptist Church Soup Kitchen
  • Community Service Assoc/Project Family/Heavenly Start/Through Gods Hands
  • Create a Smile/Serve a Meal, Salvation Army
  • First Reformed Church Food Pantry/Kitchen
    • The Food Bank for Westchester serves over 265 local hunger-relief programs throughout Westchester, including food pantries, soup kitchens, child and adult day-care centers, and shelters. The Food Bank provides 95% of all the food given to hungry families, children and seniors as cooked meals or groceries to take home.
  • GHHS - Woodfield Cottage Game Night
  • GHHS Spreading Hope with Soap Campaign
    • It's more than just providing the medical brigade for the spring break week. It's a huge volunteer opportunity, because students are required spend the whole year fundraising and getting medications/medical supplies. They also recruit doctors and dentists, as well as prepare health education for kids. For the actual brigade itself, we treat around 700 patients in hard to reach places in Honduras, and provide things from basic pain killers to BP medication to parasite meds to sunscreen (they often work outside all day and have major skin issues) to glasses for reading. Cases that are complex can be referred out to hospitals, and our organization also pays for all the medical care that they will need for the referral. The person running the trip this year is Kaitlin Swanson, but I'll be happy to provide more information if needed since I started the brigade second year.
    • Soup Kitchen
    • Men’s Homeless Shelter
    • Housing Services Office
    • Offers individuals who are homeless, shelter for the night. Also provides homeless men, women, and veterans social services, clothing and transportation. Homeless adults 18 years and older. Grasslands Homeless Shelter is a 149-bed facility providing temporary housing to men, women, and childless couples.
    • Soup Kitchen
    • Food Pantry
    • Mount Vernon Intermediate Care Facility
    • Students volunteer at the Woodfield Cottage Juvenile Detention Facility, which houses children ages 10 to 16 who have been charged with crimes and are awaiting the judicial process. Once a week groups of NYMC students spend some time with the residents of Woodfield Cottage, playing games such as charades, scattergories, and basketball. Our goal is to create an enjoyable atmosphere for the children and act as the role models they may not otherwise have.
    • Students organize three blood drives every year and NYMC recently won an award for blood donations to the surrounding  community.
    • Rockland Section Tales for Tots
  • Open Door Family Medical Center
    • The Ossining Food Pantry helps over 400 people per week. Clients include single people, couples, parents with children, senior citizens struggling to get by on Social Security, the newly unemployed, the underemployed, individuals returning to society after incarceration, veterans, the sick who cannot work and the well who cannot make ends meet under current circumstances. They can be men, women or children, young or old, new to the Ossining area or long-time residents. But all are hungry. The pantry is a very well-run organization that provides weekly household food supplies to families (with portions given depending on the family size).
    • A small group of students take the lead in organizing dates and times when other students at the school can take the opportunity to sign-up to help prepare a meal for 30+ individuals at the Westchester Medical Center Ronald McDonald House. Each meal takes about 2-3 hours to prepare, after which student volunteers are responsible for cleaning up the kitchen and arranging the meal for the houseguests to help themselves. It is a very easy-going and rewarding commitment that also gives students the opportunity to meet peers in the other SOM classes.
    • The Osborn in Rye, New York, has been innovating and exceeding senior living expectations in Westchester County for more than 100 years. We provide independent living with an engaging lifestyle and a continuum of health services.  
  • Wartburg Adult Care Center
    • It is a regional high school science fair hosted in Sleepy Hallow every spring, which NYMC students volunteer to judge. Volunteers specify which fields they are comfortable judging, including biochem, biology, medicine, engineering, etc.
  • Winter Clothes Drive for the Local Homeless Shelter
  • Women’s Toiletries Drive for My Sister’s Place