The opportunities within the Tisch College and Tufts University School of Medicine Community Service Learning (Tisch & TUSM CSL) program are many and diverse: they can address issues of health, education, or homelessness; they can focus on children, immigrants, or the elderly, and more. Regardless of the specific organization or population served, each CSL project is aimed at giving students the tools to identify and address complex social, behavioral, and health issues in our communities.
Over the many years of TUSM’s engagement with the community, students have created and sustained a number of student-led organizations and projects. The organizations listed in alphabetical order below, with links to more information about the groups, are representative of what TUSM students are accomplishing. For contact information for any of these groups or to propose a new project, please email the CSL Coordinator.
BountyShare is a food rescue charity created and run entirely by TUSM Maine Track students in Portland, ME. Its mission is to use local resources to help fight hunger by providing underserved individuals with consistent, high quality meals. Students collect donated, excess food from local vendors and deliver it to Preble Street soup kitchen, as well as managing publicity, fund raising, food safety, donor recruitment, food handling and more.
- Emergency Department Patient Advocates
As Emergency Department Patient Advocates, medical students support patients as they enter, are treated in, and leave Tufts' Emergency Department. Throughout the course of a visit, student-advocates help to ensure that patients understand their conditions and what they need to do upon returning home. Through these initial interactions and subsequent follow-ups over the days and months after discharge, medical students not only assist the patient but also gain a better understanding of social determinants of health.
- Health Care Alliance for the Homeless
The Public & Community Health Interest Group has partnered with Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program's Foot Care Clinic at St. Francis House, a homeless-serving organization in Chinatown, just minutes away from the TUSM campus. Through this partnership, medical students provide basic foot care, treating a chronic yet often overlooked problem faced by men and women experiencing homelessness. Patients seen at the clinic receive a foot soak, treatment for their foot-related ailments, and a free pair of socks, and then are connected to numerous other services provided on site, such as MassHealth coverage and/or primary care. Students participating in this partnership may also get involved beyond the clinic, including organizing health fairs or developing workshops on health topics.
- Health Impact Partnership (HIP)
The Health Impact Partnership (HIP) is a program through which medical students from Tufts partner with the English High School in Jamaica Plain. Medical students work alongside high school students to help them assess the health needs in their school community, analyze their data, and develop and implement public health interventions based on the information they gathered.
- IDEAS in Medicine
IDEAS in Medicine is a science education outreach program that integrates medicine and public health into the 7th grade life science curriculum at Wright Middle School in Chelsea, Massachusetts. The program aims to increase diversity in medicine by encouraging students to achieve academic excellence and engaging them in youth-led public health advocacy. Medical students deliver the IDEAs curriculum in four parts, which consist of 1) tutoring students toward mastery of state math standards, 2) leading medical problem-based learning sessions during the human biology curriculum, 3) guiding students through independent research projects on topics in public health, and 4) a year-end symposium that synthesizes the students’ critical thinking skills and experiences acquired through the program.
- Kids in Care at The Floating Hospital & TUSM Student Allies (KICKS!)
Pairing Tufts medical students with children undergoing chemotherapy for cancer, KICKS! allows children to have an engaging mentor who can understand their medical needs. Medical students meet with their matches (ages 3 – 21) and provide emotional support to patients and their families throughout the course of chemotherapy and subsequent treatment.
- The Phoenix Project
Through the Phoenix Project, medical students help inmates and ex-offenders at the South Bay House of Corrections get the tools they need to lead healthier lives and to successfully reintegrate into society. Students lead weekly discussion-based health workshops covering a wide range of social and health topics, ranging from substance abuse to maintaining healthy relationships.
- The Sharewood Project
As a free healthcare organization, The Sharewood Project's mission is to enhance the health of the Boston area community by providing free, acute primary care services for the medically underserved. To this end, Sharewood engages with a strong network of community organizations, educational institutions, and local resources to contribute to the care of patients and their families. The Sharewood Project also strives to orient medical students to the process of healthcare delivery under the guidance of a physician, to provide them with an opportunity to build interpersonal skills through clinical engagements, and to expose them to a diverse patient population.
- Team Cathedral Project
The Team Cathedral Project engages medical students and Orthopedic residents in a partnership with Cathedral High School in the South End of Boston. This partnership includes free school physicals so that students are eligible to play school sports, a medical presence at athletic events to assist with injuries, a final Sports Medicine field trip to TUSM and Tufts Medical Center (TMC), and ongoing mentoring with the teens.
- Tufts Obstretic Patients and their Students (TOPS)
The Tufts Obstetric Patients and their Students (TOPS) program pairs TUSM students in one-to-one mentoring matches with pregnant young adults and teens receiving prenatal care at Tufts Medical Center (TMC). TUSM students serve as additional supports and advocates, accompanying the woman to all prenatal appointments, checking in between scheduled visits, and being present at the labor and delivery.