New York Campus Compact is an association of college and university presidents and their campuses committed to promoting active citizenship as an aim of higher education. We encourage member institutions and prospective members to utilize the resources available on this site for college and university presidents, community service and service learning coordinators, faculty and students.
Spotlight on Members- SUNY Geneseo
Geneseo is located in a rural area, and like many rural areas, is under-served by the health care profession. Early in his Geneseo career, Geneseo senior Mike Mattiucci felt compelled to do something about this, and he founded a student organization committed to aiding local communities in addressing health-related needs. The organization, the Geneseo Community Health Alliance, partners with community members and local healthcare organizations to assist both individuals in need and the local agencies that serve this population.
Mike began to establish the Community Health Alliance by approaching a number of local community agencies, offering the assistance of Geneseo students to supplement the small staffs of these agencies. His vision was that our students could bring their unique strengths and skills as undergraduate students to have a multiplier effect on the ability of these agencies to meet the needs of their many clients, while learning about health care by gaining hands on experience. Simultaneously, he began recruiting students for this new student community service organization. In a short time, he had not only assembled a large cadre of student volunteers, but had developed a training program for them. His vision was well on the road to becoming a reality.
The impact of the Community Health Alliance has been both broad and deep. It has organized training programs for students on nutrition, diabetes education, exercise, and smoking cessation. It has to date enabled over 50 students to shadow doctors and nurses providing rural health care at a free clinic, allowing them to explore their career interest in rural healthcare and working with the underserved. Students are also able to work directly with patients in taking survey information for the county’s Department of Health and talking with them about their chronic health needs and resources that are available to them in the county. The organization also was awarded a $5000 grant through the College’s Center for Inquiry, Discovery and Leadership’s Ambassador program, which they used to purchase an electronic medical records system. The students are currently using the system to organize and analyze the clinic’s data to learn more about their patient population. The Community Health Alliance also works in local schools, partnering with the Cornell Cooperative Extension to provide after school nutrition education programming.
Most importantly, in terms of community impact, the students have coordinated or assisted in the coordination of a series of programs that were new to the community, such as a community wellness fair, an event honoring local home health care givers, and free diabetic healthy dinners in conjunction with a diabetic foot health clinic, all of which creatively extended the reach of local health care providers.
Last year the organization’s members expanded its scope by traveling twice to northern Haiti to establish a service-learning study abroad trip and expand public health research opportunities for students. Among the social services agencies that the Community Health Alliance has partnered with include the Geneseo Parish Outreach Center, the Cornell Cooperative Extension and Haiti Outreach Pwoje Espwa (H.O.P.E.).
Educating Citizens, Building Communities