A valuable opportunity

A valuable opportunity

To the Editor:

We on the Island are very fortunate. The Dukes County Health Council has the yearly opportunity to collaborate with University of Massachusetts Medical School and its Rural Scholar’s Program.

Since its inception, the university has required its medical (and now graduate school of nursing) students to experience an immersion course in population and community health. For the last several years, small groups of students have come to the Island for a two-week period to learn about communities and populations and to contribute to the work of the Dukes County Health Council. This year two student groups tackled the commanding subjects of mental health in the elderly and the reduction of tick borne diseases on the Island. The students presented their significant, and sometimes startling, findings last Friday. The community will benefit greatly from their efforts in both studies. The presentation was filmed by MVTV and will be available to the public shortly.

A grateful “thank you” goes to the many, many Islanders who agreed to be interviewed by the students, with a special nod to Michael Loberg, Maura Valley, Drs. Gerry Yukevich, Bruce Stelle, Michael Jacobs, who captained the TBI study, and Paddy Moore and Joy Ganapol, who led the elderly study. An important and admiirable job was done by all.

Patsy McCornack

Chairman

Rural Scholars Committee

Dukes County Health Council

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