HEMPSTEAD, NY–Medical students and faculty at the Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell kicked off the month of November with several community service activities and events, including a Family Health Fair hosted at a local elementary school and Diversity Night to celebrate difference and inclusion.
Family Health Fair
Forty-five fourth graders and their families at the Barack Obama Elementary School in Hempstead, NY, participated in a Family Health Fair on Nov. 2, which offered several interactive and educational sessions emphasizing the importance of maintaining wellness for a lifetime. The event, part of the Healthy Living Long Island program designed to lay the foundation for healthy habits at an early age, was organized and facilitated by more than 30 Zucker School of Medicine students.
The event featured a healthy breakfast for families and various interactive stations, including arts and crafts promoting ways to spend 2 hours or less of recreational screen time, indoor and outdoor relay races to increase physical activity, and a dental hygiene session. Participants took part in various games to reinforce the amount of fruits and vegetables that should be consumed daily. The experience also promoted interest in the fields of science and medicine.
Parents of the young students attended an information session led by Zucker School of Medicine faculty, Janice John, DO, Michelle Pawelczak, MD, and Catherine Bangeranye, PhD on the 5-2-1-0 program—nationally recognized guidelines advising children to eat 5 or more fruits and vegetables, spend no more than 2 hours on recreational screen time, participate in at least 1 hour of physical activity, and drink 0 sugary drinks each day.
“It’s important for children to adopt healthy habits early and help them and their families to understand why it’s essential,” said Dr. John, assistant professor of science education and pediatrics.
On Nov. 14, the Zucker School of Medicine hosted its fourth annual Diversity Night. Supported by the Offices of Student Affairs and Diversity and Inclusion in conjunction with many of our student organizations, this event celebrates the varied backgrounds of the School of Medicine community members.
This year’s Diversity Night featured homemade cultural dishes and performances by student clubs including APAMSA, the Dance in Medicine club, SAMoSA, and more. Zucker School of Medicine assistant professor of medicine and emergency medicine, Sandeep Kapoor, MD, delivered the keynote speech for this year’s event, which centered on celebrating life and community. As students dined on food from Pakistan, Italy, and Nigeria, Dr. Kapoor remarked on the importance of celebrating our differences while affirming our commonalities as human beings.
“Even though we are different,” stated Dr. Kapoor, “we’re still together.”
The program moved onto the Community Service Committee’s panel discussion, headed by our student leaders. The panel touched upon the multitude of service-based initiatives led by our student body, such as the Medical Scholars Youth Program, Light the Night, Healthy Living Long Island, and Project TEACH. Students discussed the importance of diverse representation in both the medical field and in leadership, bringing in personal experiences from their outreach work and emphasizing our school’s commitment to service.
The evening ended with closing remarks from Dr. Bangeranye, assistant dean of diversity and inclusion at the Zucker School of Medicine, and Robert Roswell, MD, associate dean of diversity and inclusion at the Zucker School of Medicine.
“Every year, this event continues to grow and evolve,” said Dr. Bangeranye. “I look forward to continuously celebrating the truly special community we have here at the Zucker School of Medicine.”