South students partner with local Medical Reserve Corps Chapter
March 3, 2020
Recently, a group of students at South Forsyth High School dedicated their time and effort to give back to the community. Sophomores Minakshi Shivananda, Siya Kumar, Krithika Kasireddy, Aasha Kodukula were passionate about helping their community and wanted to promote healthcare awareness within the county. These students chose to participate in an event called MRC (Medical Reserve Corp.) Partnership. SFHS HOSA , an organization for future health professionals, sponsors the event. This club centers on healthcare and works to build individuals with strong leadership and teamwork skills.
“The hope for our event is to advance to the HOSA International Conference and be able to spread awareness on public health,” said Kodukula. “We are working with MRC because we believe that it is the best way to spread information on public health. Additionally, the opportunites presented through this organization help us to better develop our project.”
MRC Partnership is an event dedicated to growing relations between a group of students and their local Medical Reserve Corps Unit. South students partnered with MRC Gem, a local Medical Reserve Corps chapter in Atlanta. This non-profit organization helps eastern counties in Georgia such as Gwinnett improve the overall healthcare and emergency needs of their citizens. The organization works closely with members of nearby hospitals and health departments to ensure the best care they can to the people they serve. From October to now, the students have remained in contact with their youth coordinator, Mr. Okine, for planning and reflection purposes.
“We have been working on our event since October,” said Kasireddy. “MRC Partnership is not a last-minute project; we are very proud of ourselves with spreading out all of our ideas throughout the year. By doing this we were able to talk about seasonal health issues such as the flu as well as current issues such as the coronavirus and the wildfires.”
Throughout the school year, the group planned many different and unique events to fit the target audience of each health awareness topic. Each event is designed to fall under a certain impact category. Some categories include: improving community preparedness, supporting emergency response, or strengthening public health knowledge. Earlier in the year, to help strengthen the awareness around public health, the group participated in Stop the Bleed. This is a training session to help individuals understand the importance of blood wound procedures. Additionally, to raise the attention on the rising ‘epidemic’ of vaping, which is a leading cause of health injuries among the society’s teens today, the students interacted with Mr. Okine to some captivating ways to spread information on its dangers and risks.
Furthermore, the group also prepared events to collaborate with the children in the community. They created different presentations that showcased important and crucial health tactics for young individuals. For one presentation, the group showed primary and elementary school students the importance and procedures behind washing hands properly. Through a skit and informational lesson, the students then had the opportunity to apply the information they learned. Afterward, they gave each child their own bottle of hand sanitizer to remind them about the material they learned that day.
Later in the year, the students partnered with different organizations within the school such as SFHS Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) to help spread community awareness on certain topics. Students volunteered at a blood drive held by South Forsyth earlier this year to display their passion for their cause. Since they were not able to donate blood, they helped to guide donors and assisted other volunteers to carry boxes and set stations up.
Along with their partnership, the group instilled their use of social media to gain more publicity for their events and opportunities with the local MRC chapter. Through their Twitter and Instagram accounts, they had the ability to increase public health awareness and support a variety of related campaigns.
Shivananda, Kumar, Kasireddy, and Kodukula have worked endlessly to assure their goal of spreading awareness in their community was met. After participating in many different events and creating many of their own, the students have made a portfolio to document their journey and partnership with the local Medical Reserve Corps Unit. These students will present their portfolio at HOSA’s State Leadership Conference this upcoming March.
“MRC Partnership has allowed us to broaden our horizons and help out people in our community,” said Kumar.”We were able to gain much insight on many different public health topics, which in return helped us educate our community effectively. By maintaining a sting partnership with the MRC, it will not only benefit our group, but also SFHS HOSA as a whole.”