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Students sacrifice to make holidays brighter for others

Community service and volunteerism are in keeping with LECOM’s mission

Whether it was a hand-made Christmas card, the special present a child had been dreaming about, or a warm coat for the harsh winter months, students at the Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine (LECOM) made the holidays brighter for others.

The students, in keeping with LECOM’s mission of service to others, organized a number of events to help spread holiday cheer, especially to the less fortunate in their communities. In addition, many students very generously sacrificed and gave of their time to serve others in spite of having to prepare for final exams.

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Medical students Christina Tatara, Mike Zalenski, Kim Tran, Joel Willis, and Cassandra Busler, and Jack Caldwell, Ph.D., Professor of Pharmacology, gave of their time to throw a holiday party at the YMCA Kids Club.

At LECOM’s campus in Erie:

  • Members of LECOM’s chapter of the American Pharmacists Association-Academy of Student Pharmacists (APhA-ASP) collected nearly 40 gently used coats for donation to Erie’s Multicultural Community Resource Center (MCRC). The coats were contributed by LECOM students, faculty, and staff and are greatly needed by the MCRC’s clients, many of whom are refugees and immigrants.
  • Members of LECOM’s Mentoring Club and Student Osteopathic Medical Association (SOMA) collected and distributed presents for children at the YMCA Kids Club and for residents of Millcreek Manor. The presents were purchased by LECOM students, faculty, and staff and were based upon the specific wishes of the child or the resident. The participating students also took the time to individually wrap each of the 100 presents. A holiday party, complete with a visit from Santa, was held for the children, and the students personally delivered presents to the residents of the Manor.
  • Members of LECOM’s chapter of the Student Society of Health-System Pharmacists (SSHP) designed and decorated hand-made holiday cards for children at Shriners Hospitals in Erie.
  • Joshua Smith, a third-year osteopathic medical student, generously gave of his time to play Santa at a breakfast for children at Millcreek Community Hospital.
  • Members of LECOM’s chapter of Rho Chi, the academic honor society in pharmacy, volunteered at a “Cookies with Santa” event at Saint Vincent Hospital.

At LECOM’s campus in Bradenton, Fla.:

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Members of LECOM’s chapter of Rho Chi (academic honor society in pharmacy) and Janene Madras, PharmD, Professor of Pharmacy Practice (bottom right) volunteered at a Cookies with Santa event at Saint Vincent Hospital.
  • Students from the School of Dental Medicine volunteered for the Salvation Army of Manatee County’s Adopt-A-Family program, which matches families with special circumstances with individual or group sponsors so as to help them have a brighter Christmas.
  • Osteopathic medical students collected and sorted canned goods for All Faiths Food Bank in Sarasota.
  • Student pharmacists volunteered at the Manatee Concert Band’s Christmas Cabaret concert.
  • Members of LECOM’s chapter of the Student National Pharmaceutical Association (SNPhA) served Thanksgiving meals at the Salvation Army.