Members of the HPU Family Find Ways to Give Back During Global Pandemic

Led by Dr. Jackson T. Sparks, assistant professor of biology and director of the Natural Sciences Fellows Program at High Point University, students in the Natural Sciences Fellows Program sent letters to 30 nursing homes and retirement communities to lift spirits during the global COVID-19 pandemic.


HIGH POINT, N.C., May 11, 2020 – In addition to university-wide efforts, members of the High Point University family, both at the class-level and as individuals, are taking the values cultivated at HPU to make an impact in their local communities.

HPU Natural Sciences Fellows Sent Letters to Nursing Homes and Retirement Communities to Lift Spirits

Led by Dr. Jackson T. Sparks, assistant professor of biology and director of the Natural Sciences Fellows Program at High Point University, students in the Natural Sciences Fellows Program sent letters to 30 nursing homes and retirement communities to lift spirits during the global COVID-19 pandemic.

“It is important to give back to your community,” said Abby Copeland, service leader for the Natural Sciences Fellows and a rising junior majoring in biology. “Our community has loved and supported us in innumerable ways, so when we had the chance to give back even a portion of what they have given us, we jumped at the chance. It takes 10 minutes to write a letter that could make someone feel loved and cared for.”

In the letters, the students introduced themselves, shared guidance from the CDC and encouraged residents to speak to staff about how they are feeling. Individuals who received letters are residents at nursing homes and retirement communities both locally, including Brookdale, Brookdale North, Agape Homes and Meridian Center, and across the nation.

HPU’s Health Behavior Change course, led by Dr. Kimberly Reich, partnered with D-Up to develop health promotion campaigns.

“These communities were among some of the hardest hit, and we felt like they could really use the hope that can be offered by a caring letter,” said Copeland. “While we hope to encourage them, we also realize our elders have lived a lot of life and hope to learn from them as well.”

HPU Students Partner with D-Up to Provide Health Promotion Programming

HPU’s Health Behavior Change course, led by Dr. Kimberly Reich, associate professor of exercise science, partnered with D-Up to develop health promotion campaigns and interventions in response to the stay-at-home orders brought on by COVID-19.

The service-learning course supports D-Up’s mission to ensure kids are eating, are coping emotionally, are continuing to receive education and are benefiting from enrichment. During these unprecedented times, Jakki Davis, executive director of D-Up, recruited help from HPU students to support children in healthy behaviors at home, such as getting proper sleep, practicing portion control and good nutrition, and paying attention to their health.

“This course provides the opportunity for HPU students to apply their growing knowledge of health behavior change in a community setting,” said Reich. “In addition, by helping D-Up make a difference in the lives of children in the local community during this critical time, they are serving a greater purpose.”

Dr. Daniel Hall served dinner to the homeless at Open Door Ministries.

HPU Economics Professor and Students Support Open Door Ministries

Dr. Daniel Hall, chair and associate professor of economics at High Point University, volunteered on several occasions and served dinner to the homeless at Open Door Ministries. Hall serves as a board member at Open Door Ministries and has partnered with the organization through numerous service-learning courses he teaches and groups he advises on campus.

The Civitan and Circle K groups Hall advises were originally scheduled to serve at Open Door Ministries with Hall. However, with the COVID-19 pandemic, plans changed. Instead of physically volunteering, students donated bulk hygiene items to individuals in need at Open Door Ministries.

“Giving back to the community is important and even more critical in a time like this,” says Hall. “When my students could not serve because they could not return to campus, they inspired me to serve in their place. We can all work together to help others, no matter the physical distance.”

 

 

Faculty in the Congdon School of Health Sciences at High Point University recently provided a virtual tour for 20 Southwest Guilford High School students who are members of Health Occupational Students of America (HOSA).

HPU Physician Assistant Faculty Provide Virtual Tour for Guilford County School Students

Dr. Linda Sekhon, professor, founding chair and program director for the Department of Physician Assistant Studies; Dr. Jim Johnson, assistant professor and assistant program director; and Billy Vaile, simulation center manager, all in the Congdon School of Health Sciences at High Point University, recently provided a virtual tour for 20 Southwest Guilford High School students who are members of Health Occupational Students of America (HOSA).

“This outreach is critically important to these students,” said Sekhon. “Promotion of career opportunities in the health care industry that will enhance the delivery of quality health care to all people is central to the HOSA mission, and I am proud that our PA program has been able to support and enhance high quality patient care for years to come.”

Johnson and Vaile conducted a walkthrough of the simulation lab, discussed the physician assistant profession, the physician assistant program at HPU and the benefits of medical simulation.

“The students were very interactive during the discussion and simulation portions of the tour,” said Vaile. “We appreciate the opportunity to educate students on the career paths available in health care and are fortunate for the technology that allowed us to come together virtually during this time.”

“Often small things can make a huge difference in a student’s life,” said Johnson. “I love that we have not lost track of why we do what we do during these difficult times. We are all in this together, and patient care must remain central to our program.”

Dr. David Bergen has volunteered at D-Up every Tuesday for the last several months, collecting and distributing food to socioeconomically challenged families.

HPU Professor of Human Relations Volunteers at D-Up

Dr. David Bergen, Z. Smith Reynolds professor of human relations and chair of the Department of Human Relations and Nonprofit Studies at High Point University, has volunteered at D-Up every Tuesday for the last several months, collecting and distributing food to socioeconomically challenged families.

“I have volunteered at D-Up for many years,” said Bergen. “During this global pandemic, serving local families in need is more critical than ever, and I am proud to support these efforts. This partnership with D-Up is yet another reflection of High Point University’s commitment to making a difference locally.”

D-Up’s PNAC on Washington Street in High Point currently supports 50 children who are enrolled in the program. Each week, volunteers deliver essentials like food, but also ensure the students are staying active, both mentally and physically, with items like hula hoops and board games.

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