An important part of the mission of American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine (AUC) is a dedication to developing physicians with a lifelong commitment to public health and community service. It is this belief that drives the university’s faculty, staff and physicians-in-training to engage with the St. Maarten residents through Community Action Day.
The most recent Community Action Day, held June 22, gathered 131 physicians-in-training, along with members of AUC’s faculty and administration, for events held throughout the island. “The values of service and responsibility to one’s community are strong at AUC,” said Dr Golden Jackson, director of service-learning and community affairs. “Our students demonstrate these values daily, but especially on Community Action Day when we have a greater opportunity to bring the AUC and St. Maarten communities closer together,” added Dr Jackson.
The day’s events focused on health, education, animal welfare and environmental awareness and were conducted in partnership with several St. Maarten organizations. These included the Tzu Chi Foundation, Crystal House Orphanage, United Volleyball Club, the Generation New Status Drum Band, SXM Paws, Tzu Chi Foundation, ICan, and the AUC Spouses Organization.
Over 50 students took part in an all-day HIV-AIDS screening event with the St. Maarten AIDS Foundation. Students assisted with taking histories, performing testing, and providing counseling for over 160 residents. “We thank the AUC physicians-in-training for their assistance and willingness to perform any task required to make the HIV testing day run smoothly,” said Kimberley Meijers, the Community Projects Coordinator at the AIDS Foundation. “It is with such partnerships that we can continue to run these successful testing events for the community of St. Maarten.”