Have you ever been driving through Baltimore and seen a child on a bike pass you by with no helmet? Maybe you wonder why there isn’t anyone doing something about the safety education of youth in this city.
Do you ever see a homeless person on the street and wish you could help get them the resources they need?
Through its Campaign for Progress competition, the Johns Hopkins University student group Medical and Educational Perspectives (MEP) is attempting to address these problems. The group started Campaign for Progress last year as part of the Johns Hopkins IdeaLab Challenge. Its purpose is to raise public awareness surrounding medical and public health issues facing the Baltimore community.
The Campaign for Progress
In this new initiative, MEP selected three health advocacy issues from a total of 50 ideas submitted from members of the Baltimore community. Professors at the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health and a member of the Baltimore City Health Commissioner's Office selected the top three ideas. MEP formed interdisciplinary teams with both Johns Hopkins and non-Johns Hopkins affiliates to address and campaign these specific topics:
- Improving and clarifying the proper use of prescription drugs in patients.
Team members: Olufunke Pickering MD, MBA candidate (Pediatrician, Chase Brexton Healthcare), William Bryden (Johns Hopkins Whiting School of Engineering Student), Moon Lee (Johns Hopkins School of Medicine Student)
2. Homelessness in a city with an abundance of vacant houses.
Team members: Steve Fernandes, M.S., MBA, (lab manager, Johns Hopkins Medicine), Alyssa Florwick (research technologist, Johns Hopkins Medicine), Amy Holly (teacher, Hammond High School), Darcenia McDowell (research technologist, Johns Hopkins Medicine), Johnson Aja (independent consultant, Advantage Inc.).
3. Encouraging bicycle helmet use in the pediatric adolescent population in Baltimore.
Team members: Hasan Merali MD, MPH, (graduate, Johns Hopkins School of Public Health), Stacy Nam MPH (graduate, Johns Hopkins School of Public Health), Sally Mahmoud (student, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine), Hasina Maredia (student, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine), Mohamad Sebai MD (postdoctoral fellow, Johns Hopkins Medicine), Amberle Brown (student, Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health and Johns Hopkins School of Nursing), Charalampos Siotos (Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine). Contributing members: Eric Wan (clinical research fellow, Dellon Institute), Samuel Sarmiento Fernandez MD, MBA/MPH candidate (Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine) .
The teams went through a series of workshops through MEP and eventually created a 3-5 minute awareness campaign as a video and pitch to address the given issues. Participants were judged based on the presentation, the video summarizing their campaign, their ability to reach out to advocacy groups and the completion of a one- page resolution sheet. The winning team will receive up to $10,000 to further implement their proposed solutions to the aforementioned health issues.
A panel of judges, including community members and health professionals, selected the team with the highest impact: the Pediatric Bike Helmet Team! Other participating teams’ videos addressed health literacy and youth homelessness. The panel of and a panel of judges included: John Lim, Vincent DeMarco, Crystal Evans, Ernestine Jones, Laura Fuentes, Dr. Gregory Branch, Angela Flignor, Rev. William Spacek and Beatriz Vianna.
Joining the Campaign
To implement their solution the team is looking for new members interested in experience with needs assessments and implementing community programs. If you are interested in this selected health issue or in MEP and want to get involved, please contact MEP.
Members of the MEP’s leadership board include Carmen Kut, founder and president, M.D./Ph.D candidate with the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine; Meg Chow, vice president and Ph.D candidate with the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine; John Hickey, leadership board member and Ph.D candidate with the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine; Alina Predescu, leadership board member and MBA candidate with the Johns Hopkins Carey Business School.