VCU Council for Community Engagement awards grants to support community needs

Virginia Commonwealth University’s Council for Community Engagement has awarded one-year grants totaling $100,000 to eight university-community programs.

The Community Engagement grant awards were announced at a reception at the University Student Commons on May 4.

Cathy Howard, Ph.D., vice provost for community engagement, told attendees they were playing a critical role in increasing the level of community engagement, which has been identified as a key theme in VCU’s strategic plan.

“Over the past three years, the university has provided $300,000 in community engagement grants to support 25 university-community partnerships,” Howard said. “The variety of these partnerships spans nearly every academic program on both campuses. These awards allow us to build sustainable partnerships with organizations in greater Richmond, which enhances our community's quality of life.”

Grants were awarded to:

ICare CPR Online, a partnership between VCU’s Department of Anesthesia, Department of Emergency Medicine, Department of Surgery, the School of Medicine and Henrico County Schools to use an online and videoconferencing program to deliver CPR training and certification to high school students and their families in Henrico County through online PE.

Improving the Quality of Mental Healthcare for Richmond’s Youth, a partnership between VCU’s Virginia Treatment Center for Children, Department of Psychology, School of Social Work and Childsavers, a community non-profit group that addresses the mental health and developmental needs of children, to develop an interdisciplinary mental health program to increase service capacity, improve service delivery and reduce treatment drop-out for adolescent clients of Childsavers.

Caregiver Support Program is a partnership between the School of Allied Health’s departments of Gerontology and Occupational Therapy and the “a Grace PLACE” adult care center. The pilot program will create a training curriculum and resource manual for caregivers in need of support.  Students will follow up by phone to monitor stress in providing care for aging family members who are day clients at the center.

Peep This Film Camp, a partnership between the Department of African American Studies, the School of the Arts, the Department of Photography and Film, media, arts and text program, the Department of English and the East District Family Resource Center in which male adolescents in Richmond’s East End will create documentary films relevant to Richmond history and their own community experiences. VCU students from the Afrikana student organization and the MATX will serve as mentors for these Family Resource Center clients.

Development of a Chronic Care Model in an Underserved Population, a partnership between the School of Pharmacy, Department of Internal Medicine, VCU Health System and Cross-Over Health Center in which students and clinicians will develop and measure a chronic disease management model for the Cross-Over Health Center to improve care and treatment of diabetic patients.

Our Park, Our Environment, a partnership between the Department of Pathology, Department of Biology, the Center for Life Sciences Education, Powhatan Public Schools, the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation and the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality in which high school students will participate in the development and implementation of a longitudinal data collection and monitoring system prior to the opening of a new state park in Powhatan County. 

Diffusion Theory to Promote Care in a Homeless Population, a partnership between the School of Pharmacy, the Department of Psychology, the School of Social Work and the Daily Planet, a non-profit service provider to the homeless, in which the team will implement and test the effectiveness of an innovative bracelet storage device to increase the medication reconciliation for a homeless, uninsured and underinsured population.

It’s Time to Press Play, a collaboration between the department of computer science, EDEN (Enhancing Diversity in Engineering Nucleus,) the Mary and Frances Youth Center’s Lobs & Lessons Program, the Division of Community Engagement, Richmond Public Schools and Hanover Public Schools to develop and implement a middle school summer camp at the Mary and Frances Youth Center that uses video game programming to stimulate an interest in math and science, while also offering on-site tennis and life skills activities.

The eight grantees were selected from a group of 19 proposals. Members of the Council for Community Engagement gifts and grants committee selected the grantees.