News Release

July 30, 2007

Contact: Carolyn Pennington, 860-679-4864

Youth Health Service Corps Making Positive Impact Across the United States

National Conference Being Held at Health Center on August 2 and 3

FARMINGTON, CONN. – Youth Health Service Corps (YHSC), which took root in Connecticut, is now branching out nationwide. Created by the Connecticut Area Health Education Center (AHEC) nearly three years ago, the YHSC mobilizes diverse high school students to provide volunteer service in health care agencies in the state. Staff from a dozen AHECs across the nation will come to the University of Connecticut Health Center on August 2 and 3 to receive training, materials and support in order to replicate the YHSC program in their respective states. The training is made possible through a $1.1 million Learn and Serve America grant received by Northwestern Connecticut AHEC from the Corporation for National and Community Service.

The media is invited to attend a luncheon on Thursday, August 2, from noon to 1 p.m. in which the Commissioner of the Department of Public Health, Robert Galvin, M.D., M.P.H., will be introducing five YHSC students who will share testimony about their service learning projects. The students will explain how their volunteer work helped them develop a sense of civic responsibility and, at the same time, addressed unmet health care needs in the community.

Since December 2004, 730 Connecticut high school students have received volunteer training and over 5,000 hours of volunteer service has been performed at over 50 health care agencies including community health centers, homeless shelters, migrant farm worker clinics and long term care facilities. Three YHSC students have been awarded the President’s Volunteer Service Award recognizing outstanding volunteer service achievement.

The success of the Connecticut AHEC Program’s Youth Health Service Corps is made possible through key collaborations with the University of Connecticut School of Medicine, State of Connecticut Department of Public Health, Corporation for National and Community Service, Connecticut Health Foundation, Connecticut Primary Care Association and National Health Service Corps.

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