On November 7, 2013, Adventist University of Health Sciences (ADU) was recognized by Florida Campus Compact for its exceptional service programs in our state, during the Compact’s Awards Gala. Florida Campus Compact is a comprised of over 50 colleges and universities across the state of Florida. The University took second place in the Campus Community Partnership Award category.
According to the Florida Campus Compact program, “This award recognizes outstanding campus-community partnerships that produce measurable improvements in and demonstrate a commitment to a community while enhancing higher education. In so doing, Florida Campus Compact hopes to promote cooperation between education, community, government and business leaders on critical social and economic issues.”
The award was presented for the collaborative service-learning project Walking Buddies, which involved the Occupational Therapy Department students and local community partners Winter Park Foundation and Rebuilding Together Orlando.
The program was design to educate elderly about the risk of falls and subsequent brain injury. It included an educational and exercise component to ultimately decrease the number of falls in the elderly population and was implemented in Eatonville, Florida.
The collaborative endeavor included wellness assessments, leisure walks, interviews, home assessments, home modifications, and it involved undergraduate and graduate students in the program. The results of the program included student civic engagements, increased critical thinking skills, enhanced professional expertise, community programming, understanding of the home assessment, and modification processes. It also increased the student’s appreciation for various sociocultural backgrounds, and an increased sense of social justice.
Additionally, Ms. Ruby Gutierrez, Director of Community Engagement at ADU, was presented with the Above and Beyond Award. The award recognized Ms. Gutierrez, “as a tireless champion of Florida Campus Compact’s mission to create a culture of engaged scholarship, while educating students for civic and social responsibility across the State of Florida.”