The JeffHOPE Education Committee is a group of medical students dedicated to using knowledge obtained at Jefferson Medical College to educate those individuals who don’t have access to such resources and training. We assist with diagnosing and treating illness, and we provide vital information to overlooked populations. Through creativity and collaboration, we seek to identify and create realistic healthcare solutions for patients facing difficult and often unstable circumstances.
Every week, five education teams go out to shelters in the Philadelphia community to work with homeless men, women, children, and families, as well as people with substance abuse issues. Educational programs run the gamut: from diabetes prevention and treatment to vaccination education; from nutrition, hypertension, and parenting classes to aerobics classes and running workshops; from reproductive health instruction and sexually transmitted disease prevention to smoking cessation. We inform patients about healthy choices and provide down-to-earth instruction for changing modifiable behaviors. We believe that providing patients with the tools to more effectively understand and manage their illnesses and diseases will empower them to take responsibility in bettering their own health. Better-educated patients are better patients. Moreover, better-informed students make better doctors. Through teaching, we as medical students connect with our patients and are privileged to learn about them and their experiences.
The needs of the JeffHOPE patient population are dynamic, and as those needs change, our goals and programs change. Using feedback from our patients, we continually aim to adjust our focus to include topics about which they care most.