PNEI—Peer Network Engagement Interns

Peer Network Engagement Interns (PNEI) enhance health profession students knowledge and access to information to inform their decisions about the health professions workforce and issues of diversity. Our PNEIs connect and build relationships to strengthen community service learning as a part of the Health Justice Revolution. As a part of this new and exciting partnership, students will help us identify community related activities promoting awareness of how the health professions assist in building human capital across communities. Please consider joining our community engaged service learning experience!

Mind Body Translational Research

This research enterprise embodies: preventative neuropsychology, Pyschoneuroendoimmunology (PNEI), health justice promotion, mind-body health policy parity. Primary care preventative neuropsychology recognizes and values various forms of collaboration between the disciplines psychology, immunology, medicine, psychiatry, and neurology that can enhance each other’s contributions to community, especially those persons experiencing the greatest disparities in health and health care.

More to come about our other signature programs and outreach strategies in the areas of: Health and Justice, Psychoneuroendoimmunology (PNEI), Mind Body Health Policy, Translational Health Equity and Preventative Neuropsychology.

Guide Right: Interdisciplinary Health Equity Civic Engagement Project

Building Ethics, Leadership, and Civic Responsibility. This program was started in 2005 by Dr. Mount. Dr. Mount proposes a novel opportunity for students to create collaborative teams to learn about health disparities in their local community. This opportunity is carried out through a community engagement partnership. All students participate in directed service learning, working with non-profits and faith-based organizations, supporting community outreach initiatives. Trainees learn how grassroots organizations serve and protect community. The learner-scholar develops skills in research design, data acquisition platforms, data analysis, and communicating research results at monthly seminars structured to support learning while promoting analytical reasoning. The health equity ambassadors rotate through a health care clinic learning about community health and participating multiple psycho-educational groups centered about mental health aspects of chronic disease management. They have the opportunity to shadow other health professionals. When participating in community health events the scholars learn how to appropriately and culturally competently educate our local community about research and serviced being conducted to reduce and/or eliminate health disparities; collect consent forms, and administer survey instruments.

“Building the Dream” Award Nomination

Every year, Wake Forest and Winston Salem State University through the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Programming Committee present the “Building the Dream” award to one professor or administrator and one student from each of the university. This year, Dr. Mount was officially nominated as an individual possessing Dr. King’s qualities and characteristics in the community.

Helping Residents in Assisted Living Facilities: Fulfilling one need at a time, one shoebox at a time

On October 18th 2011, Dr. David Mount, Community Outreach Director at the Maya Angelou Center for Health Equity, joined Ms. Wanda Reid, from Shoebox Ministry, in her pursuit to help assisted living facility residents have a merrier Christmas! Since 2008, Shoebox Ministry has been serving assisted living residents in the Piedmont Triad Area with personal need items during Christmas Time. Each year their gifts continue to grow with the support and help from the community. In 2010 alone, Shoebox Ministry was able to provide gifts for more than 150 residents. This year their vision is bigger! The goal for 2011 is to help at least 700 assisted living residents in Forsyth County and the Piedmont Triad.

During Ms. Reid’s first visit to one of the facilities, residents kept asking her the same question over and over: “Is this for me? But you don’t even know me. I didn’t think anyone cared.” Ms. Reid said: “It was truly an eye opener to see the condition that disabled and aged individuals are living in. Many are individuals who have worked their entire lives and due to an unexpected illness are no longer able to totally care for themselves.” Past research indicates that these residents are allowed to keep only a small portion of their income ($30 for nursing home residents and $66 for rest home residents per month) for their personal needs and this amount has remained the same for at least 27 years. “I truly believe in this ministry, it is so important that we show the individuals living in the assisted living facility that we care and appreciate them,” said Dr. Mount’s trainee, Kara Morrison, a recent graduate from Winston Salem State University. To have experienced this first hand made all the difference in the world to Ms. Reid. There is a genuine need to help residents in assisted living facilities and through this partnership we hope to fulfill one need at a time, one shoebox at a time.

If you would like to make a contribution to Shoebox Ministry, please contact Ms. Wanda Reid at 336-283-9287 or via email [email protected].

YWCA signs on for ‘health justice revolution’

The YWCA of Forsyth County is partnering with Dr. David L. Mount to promote an effort that Mount has coined a “health justice revolution.”

The outreach effort was announced September 2011 by Dr. Mount, a preventative neuropsychologist and health care advocate, and YWCA CEO Florence Corpening and Robin Ervin, the Y’s VP. It is aimed at improving the physical and mental health of those in the community, especially people battling against chronic diseases like diabetes, kidney and cardiovascular disease.

The partnership seeks to bridge the gap between community and health care institutions – which have been criticized for not working effectively to eliminate the many health disparities that exist between communities of color and whites. The program will work to bridge the gap between the minority community and the health care community, while also touting the importance of prevention and physical activity.

Dr. Mount says that he uses the term “health justice revolution” instead of a more common term like “ending health disparities,” because he says it resonates with the communities most affected by disparities.

“The language used to address health disparities and health equity must be accessible to the community and connect with social change, human rights and social capital promotion,” he said. “We believe this initiative will take us one step closer to promoting social justice e, empowering individuals and eliminating racism.”

Corpening says she believes that Dr. Mount’s cutting edge ideas and plans will serve the YWCA and its clients well.

“I am really looking forward to the innovation Dr. Mount has discussed with us and all that we can do together for our community,” said Corpening.

Student-run clinic at Wake Forest School of Medicine receives Helping Hands Program Grant

Medical students Tiffany Covas and Natalie Cassell with Dr. Mount
Medical students Tiffany Covas and Natalie Cassell with Dr. Mount

DEAC Clinic, the student-run free medical clinic of Wake Forest School of Medicine has been awarded the Helping Hands Program Grant by the American Psychiatric Foundation. The Helping Hands Grant Program awards up to $5000 to medical students for mental health service projects in an initiative by the Foundation to increase participation in community service for underserved populations, raise awareness of mental health illnesses and the importance of their early detection, and increase interest in psychiatry among medical students. The DEAC, or Delivering Equal Access to Care, clinic is a free medical clinic managed by Wake Forest School of Medicine medical and physician assistant students and faculty in collaboration with Winston-Salem’s Community Care Clinic. DEAC‘s mission includes providing free, high-quality healthcare to local underserved individuals and communities in a sustainable manner through a weekly clinic and associated outreach activities, creating a unique, service-oriented learning experience for the students of Wake Forest University that includes educational enrichment opportunities, and fostering a culture within the Wake Forest community which values the importance of providing healthcare for the underserved. DEAC plans to implement the grant at its weekly clinic through a program designed to help identify prevalent mental health illnesses in their patients, educate all patients about mental health illnesses, and help patients find available community psychiatric resources.