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Loyola’s Health Outreach Baltimore program to celebrate 5 years serving families at Mercy Medical Center

Health Outreach Baltimore 2019-2020
Health Outreach Baltimore Program 2019-2020

Health Outreach Baltimore, a partnership program between Loyola University Maryland and the Mercy Medical Center, will host a five-year anniversary celebration on Thursday, Jan. 23, 2020, at 6:30 p.m. in 4th Floor Program Room.

The Health Outreach Baltimore program consists of six leaders and 25 students—referred to as “advocates”—who come from Loyola to provide supportive services to families at Mercy Medical Center. With its motto, “Beyond the Scope,” Health Outreach Baltimore aims to teach students about the medical and social impacts of healthcare.

“Over the years, Health Outreach Baltimore advocates have continued to expand on the reflection and professional growth that goes into constantly challenging oneself and setting ambitious goals to secure the best possible client outcomes,” said Maiju Lehmijoki-Gardner, Ph.D., director of Pre-Health Programs and National Fellowships. “The program offers leadership, internship, independent study, and research opportunities—all these are hallmarks of quality and prepare Loyola students for their future medical careers.”

Most students participating in service-learning stay with the program for two to three years. Since the program started in 2014, students have volunteered nearly 8,500 hours and provided aid to more than 1,500 clients. Support services include food and employment resources, childcare, and cribs for Mercy Medical Center’s Advanced Fetal Care department, Emergency department, Family Physicians Unit, and Mother-Baby Unit. Nearly 50 advocates have graduated from Loyola and most have gone on to study medicine and work in other health professions.

The anniversary event will feature a keynote address by Joshua Sharfstein, M.D., vice dean for public health practice and community engagement and professor of practice in health policy and management at Johns Hopkins University. His lecture, How to Get More Health out of Healthcare, will focus on how to improve healthcare and provide positive outcomes for patients and society.

“At a time when life expectancy is on the decline, we have to ask how health care can be more of a contributor to greater health, not just less sickness,” said Sharfstein.

Following the presentation, a panel discussion will be held featuring as panelists Michelle Hammack, a social worker at Mercy Medical Center; Nick Musacchio, ’17, a medical student at the University of Maryland and former participant in the Health Outreach Baltimore program; and Kristina Burns, ’20, a Health Outreach Baltimore advocate.

For more information about the upcoming five-year anniversary celebration, contact Gardner at