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Future is NOW Nashville launches in the community

Nov. 21, 2023, 3:27 PM

Cayden Starks, 9, wraps Shama Dufresne’s, a Vanderbilt University medical student’s, hand with gauze at the Future is NOW event. (photo by Erin O. Smith)
Cayden Starks, 9, wraps Shama Dufresne’s, a Vanderbilt University medical student’s, hand with gauze at the Future is NOW event. (photo by Erin O. Smith)

by Kylie Avery

Vanderbilt University Medical Center’s Division of Acute Care Surgery launched the first session of the Future is NOW (Non-violent Options Win) Nashville on Nov. 4.  

The goal of this program is to build relationships with youth in the community between the ages of 6-13 who are affected by gun violence and inspire them to pursue futures for themselves and their communities.

Ashton Mitchell, 7, tries on a surgical gown during the Future is Now Kick Off Event on Saturday, Nov. 4, 2023 at Smith Springs Church of Christ in Nashville, Tennessee.

Led by Rachel Appelbaum, MD, assistant professor of Surgery in the Division of Acute Care Surgery, in collaboration with Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Stronger Than My Father, Nashville Metro Police, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) – Nashville Field Division, this is the first expansion of the Future Healers Network, which was founded in Louisville, Kentucky.  

“Our community being impacted by violence is, unfortunately, not a new problem. We want to actively encourage youth in Nashville by exposing them to science and health care and provide mentorship and support to explore and learn,” said Appelbaum. 

The theme for the first session focused on first aid. The children learned about wound care, choking and CPR, and techniques to help stop bleeding by rotating through three hands-on education stations. 

“Our first session was special in many ways. This program is over a year in the making, so it was amazing to finally witness the children and medical students interact and bond,” Appelbaum adds. 

“It was very special to hear the parents’ thoughts on the program as well. They were very excited to have their children exposed to this curriculum and what opportunities are possible for their futures.” 

Sessions will continue monthly at the Stronger Than My Father facility and are free for all community members. For more information visit: https://www.vumc.org/trauma-and-scc/now.

Markos Lewis, 10, watches a presentation. (photo by Erin O. Smith)
Markos Lewis, 10, watches a presentation. (photo by Erin O. Smith)

 

Sydney Meneese, 9, creates a wrap with gauze. (photo by Erin O. Smith)
Sydney Meneese, 9, creates a wrap with gauze. (photo by Erin O. Smith)

 

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