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JHU SOURCE Alumni & Friends Newsletter

Summer 2020

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The 2020-2021 academic year is here! The past few months have been particularly challenging for all of us, but SOURCE remains committed as ever to serving our Baltimore communities and the Johns Hopkins University health professional schools.

Our programs have moved to virtual environments so that we can continue collaborating with our community partners, students, faculty and staff on important service-learning opportunities. We have grown in new ways by hosting our first webinar and holding our 2020 National Volunteer Week celebrations via Zoom. We are excited to share more about these updates, as well as some highlights on the tremendous community service Hopkins students are doing in Baltimore in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Please remember to share your up-to-date contact information, and to keep in touch with SOURCE! Thank you for your ongoing support and commitment to Baltimore, community engagement, service-learning and social justice!

Hopkins Students Serving in Baltimore Communities' Response to COVID-19

Students from JHSPH, SON and SOM have been organizing to volunteer in support of our community during this challenging time. Read about the work they have been doing with the B'More Donation Hub, the Baltimore Neighbors Network and Apart Not Alone.

Student Spotlight: Sarah LaFavre and Ashley Gresh

This month we celebrate our Stars of the Month from the School of Nursing for their efforts supporting seniors in Baltimore! We spoke with Sarah LaFavre and Ashley Gresh about their service with the Baltimore Neighbors Network.

Meet our 2020-2021 Service-Learning Faculty and Community Fellows

Earlier this summer, SOURCE welcomed our newest cohort of Service-Learning Faculty and Community Fellows with our first ever virtual Fellows Seminar. Read more about our 2020-2021 Fellows below.

Congratulations to our 2019-2020 Community Service Award Recipients

Join us in congratulating the students, faculty and community partners who received the 2019-2020 SOURCE Community Service Awards! Read more about our awardees and watch our virtual Volunteer Appreciation and Awards Ceremony below.

Watch our Discussion with Author Lawrence Lanahan and other events on YouTube!

This year we invited author Lawrence Lanahan to discuss his book on systemic racism in Baltimore, The Lines Between Us, for our first-ever webinar. Watch the book discussion as well as our virtual National Volunteer Week events on our YouTube page linked below.


Hopkins Students Serving in Baltimore Communities' Response to COVID-19

Students such as Anna Najor from JHSPH, Ashley Gresh and Sarah LaFavre from SON, and Jose Reyes from SOM have been organizing to volunteer in support of our most vulnerable community members during the pandemic. Read about the work they have been doing with the B'More Donation Hub, Apart Not Alone and the Baltimore Neighbors Network.

B'More Donation Hub

najor-alum"Najor leads the B’More Donation Hub, which connects Baltimore’s community organizations with donated infection safety supplies. Items are provided to organizations that serve high-risk and stigmatized populations, such as people who are homeless or who are sex workers.

'Somebody needs to be connecting the dots and reaching everyone,' she told The Nation’s Health. 'Unfortunately, more stigmatized populations get less help.' - excerpt from "Johns Hopkins students step up to serve during COVID-19 outbreak", in The Nation's Health (July 2020)

Apart Not Alone

jose-alum-news"Because of the flexibility in how I volunteer, it has been relatively easy to transition during the COVID-19 outbreak to continue remote mentorship, but also look for other remote opportunities, such as Apart Not Alone, which connects volunteers with a vulnerable adult who is isolating during this outbreak." - from our April 2020 Star of the Month Interview with Jose Reyes

 


Student Spotlight: Sarah LaFavre and Ashley Gresh with the Baltimore Neighbors Network

alumssbnnCongratulations to our Stars of the Month for July 2020, Ashley Gresh and Sarah LaFavre from the School of Nursing! Ashley and Sarah have been leading efforts to support Baltimore seniors with the Baltimore Neighbors Network. We spoke with them about BNN’s mission and how others can get involved.

How did you start the Baltimore Neighbors Network? Can you tell us a little background information on BNN's mission and your work in the community?

BNN is a volunteer coalition founded to build social solidarity in Baltimore City. During the pandemic, BNN volunteers are calling older community members to check in, make conversation, and help make connections to resources and mental health services when wanted/ needed. In a nutshell, BNN is about neighbors helping neighbors and strengthening ties in our communities.

When physical distancing precautions were put into place, Ashley was mentoring a group of nursing students in a public health clinical rotation. She worked to quickly transition the group to provide phone-based support rather than in-person support for the older adults they’d been working with all semester at a senior housing building. Sarah’s background is in older adult and community health, so the two of us naturally began talking about how many older adults in the city could probably use that same kind of phone-based connection but weren’t looped into such a system. We soon realized that many community members had the same concern — BNN was exactly the kind of resource we were looking to develop! Rather than re-create the wheel, we dove into supporting BNN’s existing infrastructure.

As nursing students with busy schedules, has it been a challenge to make time for your work with BNN or other community service? Is there a set number of hours you volunteer per week or has it been somewhat flexible week to week?

There is no set number of hours, and some weeks are hectic as a result! We both feel strongly that we have an obligation to support the community in the ways they want to be supported, when they want to be supported. That means evening hours, weekend hours, and sometimes long hours. One thing that’s eased that potential stressor is that our work directly connects to our overall career “missions” so it refills us rather than burning us out.

How has BNN been collaborating with others at Hopkins? Are there specific partnerships with student groups or organizations in the community that you would like to highlight?

Long story short, with the help of City Council President Brandon Scott and his team, Drs. Sarah Szanton and Nicole Warren in the School of Nursing, and Councilperson Zeke Cohen and Ann Coy from Healing City Baltimore and Baltimore Neighbors Network, we formed a partnership whereby students could gain clinical and volunteer experience by participating in BNN. It was a great “marriage” because BNN wanted to expand capacity and we wanted to find ways to support the community during the pandemic while capitalizing on students’ strengths. Since that time, we’ve had two large cohorts of nursing students involved for clinical experiences and we’re now forming a cross-university interdisciplinary cohort of students who will be involved as volunteers. We also have to give a shout-out to Debra Brodlie and her team in the School of Nursing for helping Dr. Warren get a MOU in place between BNN and JHUSON — Debra worked really quickly to do work in a few days that would normally take much longer because she understood the urgency of this partnership during a public health crisis.

Are there any opportunities for others to get involved with BNN that you would like to share?

This summer, we’re piloting an interdisciplinary volunteercohort experience for students from public health, nursing, social work, and medicine at JHU, Morgan State, UMD, and Coppin State. That group is getting started in a couple of weeks and, depending on how it goes, we hope to keep something going in the fall. We’ll be sure to share those opportunities with students through the SOURCE newsletter! In the meantime, anyone (student, faculty, staff, community member) can sign up to volunteer with BNN on their
website: baltimoreneighborsnetwork.org/

Thank you, Ashley and Sarah, for your service to our community!


Meet our 2020-2021 Service-Learning Faculty and Community Fellows

Join us in welcoming our newest cohort of Service-Learning Faculty and Community Fellows! We are proud to continue our Fellows program this year with our ninth cohort of Hopkins faculty and community partners. Read our 2020-2021 Fellows bios here.

2020-2021 Faculty Fellows

2020-2021 Community Fellows

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Congratulations to our 2019-2020 Community Service Award Recipients

As a part of National Volunteer Week, SOURCE annually presents awards to individuals and groups that have shown a strong commitment to community engagement, service-learning and public health practice. Watch our 2020 Virtual Volunteer Appreciation and Awards Ceremony here and join us in thanking our awardees for their outstanding service to our community!

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Watch our Discussion with Author Lawrence Lanahan and other events on YouTube!

lanahanwebIn April 2020, SOURCE invited author Lawrence Lanahan, historian Steven Ragsdale and community leader Elder CW Harris to discuss Lanahan's book on systemic racism in Baltimore, The Lines Between Us. Watch the book discussion as well as our virtual 2020 National Volunteer Week events on our YouTube channel! Click the links below for videos of some of our other 2019-2020 events.

"The Lines Between Us" with author Lawrence Lanahan

Community Outreach Program Virtual Poster Session

SWEET Seminar