June 24, 2005

Gold Fellowships support community health research

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photo by Dana Johnson

Gold Fellowships support community health research

Seven medical students in the Community Health Emphasis program were recently awarded research fellowships totalling $19,600.

The Arnold P. Gold Foundation awarded Student Summer Research Fellowships of $2,800 each to Sara Creighton, Elizabeth Bleecker, Heather Burks, Kirsten Gibbs, Kathryn Jongeward, Dana Guyer and Erin Horn.

“It is rather unusual for the Gold Foundation to award so many summer fellowships to one school, however, [the] students' proposals were excellent and we are quite pleased to support them,” wrote Ann Bruder, director of programs for the foundation, in her notification letter.

The Arnold P. Gold Foundation awards summer fellowships specifically to programs that conduct research in community health and cultural competency issues. The foundation's overarching mission is to promote relationship-centered health care, and to encourage humanism in medicine.

The winning students are involved in the Medical School’s Emphasis Program, which is designed to challenge students while allowing them to pursue research in a specific area. They were all participating in the Community Health Initiatives and Health Outreach focus area of the program, which is one of eight areas of study. This area addresses health and health care issues, with emphasis on problems affecting underserved populations.

Specific projects by individual students include: Guyer's work with a free clinic, Burks' program involving the sheriff's department and incarcerated women, Creighton's project with the Health Department trying to increase the use of immunizations by the Hispanic population, Horn's work with Planned Parenthood and emergency contraception, Bleecker's project concerning the racial disparity in rates of infant mortality and Jongeward’s and Gibbs's project with Renewal House to provide health education for children with mothers who are addicted to cocaine.

The Gold fellowship will conclude with participating students writing a paper describing their research and the outcome of each study.