Community Engagement

Community Engagement
Members of the Class of 2020 work at Kalamazoo Loaves & Fishes during the medical school's 2016 Day of Service.

At WMed, we are a medical school born through community collaboration and built on a strong foundation that is formed by tremendous community assets. Kalamazoo boasts a nationally recognized university and award-winning hospitals, as well as a 39-year history of medical education and a century-long heritage of drug discovery and medical device development.

With all of this in mind, we are working together at WMed to strengthen education, patient-centered care, and research by creating and maintaining strong partnerships with community physicians and our hospital partners, Ascension Borgess and Bronson Healthcare. Every day, we are actively engaged in improving the lives of our patients and their families.

The active engagement is accomplished several ways, including in our MD degree program where the community health curriculum for students is a core component of the Profession of Medicine course. The curriculum is a longitudinal educational experience designed to introduce our students to important concepts in public health, prevention, population, health, social medicine, and health care systems and finance, as well as healthcare advocacy.

Community Engagement
In May 2017, the work by M2s Brittany Chow, Megan Cibulas, Xavier Jean, Sarah Khalil and Maria Mason with Kalamazoo Probate Court during Active Citizenship was named the top poster presentation at the 35th Annual Kalamazoo Community Medical and Health Sciences Research Day.

An integral component of our community health curriculum is the Active Citizenship rotation, a service learning and longitudinal program that focuses on community service and fosters students' understanding of social determinants of health, as well as advocacy, team-based skills, population health and cultural competence. Students participate during their first and second years of medical school and work at several different sites throughout the Kalamazoo community.

During the 17-month rotation, students spend 4-8 hours per month designing a community project that will benefit the community organizations and the clients they serve. The community project identifies an issue or need, gathers and assesses information, develops conclusions, and provides recommendations. Students present their project to their respective community organization, their classmates and WMed Active Citizenship advisors.

The organizations who work in collaboration with WMed and our students as part of Active Citizenship are: