The Ross University School of Medicine (RUSMB) in Barbados has embarked on a community support initiative offering up to US$50,000 in charitable funds to 11 organisations involved in healthcare, medical research, health education and youth development.
The Eden Lodge Youth Charitable Trust, Barbados Cancer Society, Step-by-Step Diabetes Foot Care programme, the Type 1 Diabetes Registry, the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Barbados, Precious Touch Foundation, Caribbean Ophthalmology Research Alliance, the Barbados Breast Screening Programme, the Myeloma, Lymphoma and Leukaemia Foundation of Barbados, K9 Friends and the Diabetes Association of Barbados each received up to US $5, 000 in donations from the recently established medical school.
The community outreach programme launched in Barbados is the first of a series that will occur at the other campuses throughout the region.
The RUSMB has been in Barbados for five months, and according to the Associate Dean of Medical Sciences Dr Rhonda McIntyre, the institution felt that it was time to give back to the public.
While speaking to Barbados TODAY at the launch ceremony held on the RUSMB campus, McIntyre outlined that the organisations were selected based on the island’s health concerns.
She indicated that the students were excited to participate in the charitable efforts as it gave them an opportunity to go beyond the logistics of the classroom and make a difference and also get to know the communities across the island.
“If you are learning from patients and you are learning from the community, what better way to embrace that community and be a part of it than by contributing meaningfully and [becoming] engaged, helping and through service learning?” said McIntyre.
“We expect students will grow with the community, learn from the community and therefore, we want to do the best for the community by giving,” she continued.
McInytre said students were committed to helping communities and giving back whether through financial support or other resources.