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FMU develops first service learning course for credit in rural community health

New Service Learning Course - Felician CenterThe Francis Marion University Nursing Department will offer its first service learning course for credit, Interprofessional Health Care (IPHC) 500, which provides free health screenings at the same three designated locations each week. 

Dr. Paul DeMarco, university physician, and Dr. Ruth Wittmann-Price, nursing chair, developed and oversee the course collaboratively. Crystal Graham is course coordinator and instructor.

“This is the first service learning course for credit offered at FMU,” said Wittmann-Price. “Students in the course are pre-professionals from many health care disciplines, including nursing, pre-med and pre-dentistry, which further distinguish it from other courses.”

The service learning component of the course replaces that of the Advancing Rural Community Health (ARCH) Program, which was led by DeMarco. He will take on new responsibilities as the medical director of the physician assistant program to begin in 2016. Under the guidance of FMU’s administration, the ARCH program has transitioned into a three-credit course open to junior and senior students interested in a health profession career.

“The nice thing about this program is the consistency of location. By holding the screenings in the same place each week, there is a greater likelihood of patients returning for follow-up care,” said DeMarco. “You develop a small following and it becomes a way to augment their health care.”

The IPHC screenings will take place in Marion, Marlboro and Williamsburg Counties at the following locations each week:

 

  • Mondays           Marlboro Drug Company, 113 N. Marlboro Street, Bennettsville, 12 – 5 p.m.

                           “Move! With Renata” Studio, 325 N. Main Street, Marion, 12 – 5 p.m.

Fridays              Felician Center, 1000 Thorne Ave., Kingstree, 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.

The 3-credit course includes an online didactic session coupled with six hours of service in rural communities each week.

The free screenings consist of height, weight, body mass index (BMI), blood pressure, blood sugar and total cholesterol. The blood sugar and total cholesterol are obtained by finger stick with the results immediately available.  Patients are able to walk into the screenings without an appointment and fasting is not required.  Free educational materials about healthy nutrition, smoking cessation, and better control of diabetes, high bold pressure, and high cholesterol are available.

For more information about the screenings or the program, contact Graham at (843) 661-4658 or by email at cgraham@fmarion.edu.

 

Last Published: April 9, 2014 4:31 PM
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