Monroe College Health Students to Provide Medical Care to Impoverished West Virginia Community During Spring Break

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Students in School of Allied Health Professions to Spend Spring Break Offering Medical Assistance

Monroe College, a national leader in urban and international education, today announced that thirteen students in the college's School of Allied Health Professions will provide medical assistance, health education, and community work in Beards Fork, West Virginia during their spring break from April 19 through April 26.

The college's thirteen students will be working and living with members of the Beards Fork community, a highly rural area and historic coal-mining town in the Appalachian Mountains that has been designated a federal “empowerment zone” due to low incomes and limited employment opportunities. This isolated community is located within Fayette County, where 19.8 percent of people are living below the poverty line.

Students will work at different health clinics in the community to perform non-intrusive procedures such as immunization, blood pressure, weight and height checks, and diabetes and cholesterol screening. They will also draw upon their knowledge to provide health, nutrition, hygiene, and HIV/AIDS education to students at local high, junior high, and elementary schools. Additionally, they will undertake non-health related projects including painting, cleaning, repairing and building community facilities, and garden care.

“The Medical Mission not only affords these students the chance to apply their knowledge and skills to a real-world experience, but provides them with an opportunity to make a difference in the lives of others,” said Dr. Jerry Kostroff, Dean of the School of Allied Health Professions. “In the past, our missions have been based in foreign countries steeped in poverty, but this year we chose to stay closer to home to lend assistance to one of America's most impoverished communities.”

“We extend our deepest thanks to the students and faculty at Monroe for generously donating their time and efforts during spring break,” said John David, Director of the Service Program in Beards Fork, Fayette County, West Virginia. “Their desire to make a difference in the lives of our community is commendable, and the impact they will have is truly immeasurable.”

This is the third consecutive year Monroe's School of Allied Health Professions has organized the spring break Medical Mission. Last year, students traveled to Jamaica, and the year before that to the Dominican Republic.

More than forty students applied to participate in Monroe's Medical Mission this year, in a competitive process that resulted in the selection of thirteen students from across all Allied Health undergraduate and graduate programs.

Students will be accompanied by Dr. Kostroff and two other professors from Monroe's School of Allied Health. The college partners with Global Volunteers, an international non-profit organization that coordinates and manages local volunteer projects and programs.

Founded in 2000, Monroe College's School of Allied Health Professions is renowned for its commitment to innovative and engaging instruction. Taught by a faculty of experienced health professionals, students learn with a hands-on approach and are encouraged to take part in clinical and non-clinical programs designed to instill and nurture medical, problem-solving, and critical thinking skills. For more information on the school and its programs, please visit here.

About Monroe College

Founded in 1933, New York-based Monroe College is a nationally ranked private institution of higher learning with a real world learning approach that prioritizes hands-on academic experiences, practical and relevant academic programs, flexible learning schedules, best-in-class instructional technologies, and committed and engaged faculty to ensure that students are well positioned for career success upon graduation. Monroe College graduates more minority students than any other college in New York State.

Monroe College offers Certificate, Associate, Bachelor's, and Master's degree programs. It has campuses in the Bronx, New Rochelle, as well as in the Caribbean nation of St. Lucia, with programs offered through its Schools of Criminal Justice, Information Technology, Nursing, Education, Business & Accounting, Hospitality Management and Culinary Arts, and Allied Health Professions, as well as through its liberal arts and continuing education programs, and its King Graduate School. For more information and admissions criteria, please visit

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Katharine Rose
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Emma Smith
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