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News Release

New students go straight to work at public health sites for Practice Plunge

Sept. 6 , 2011, University of Michigan School of Public Health release (updated with video and photos)

The University of Michigan School of Public Health put new students out in the "trenches" of public health even before classes officially started. During the August 31 Practice Plunge, part of new SPH student orientation, more than 300 students spent the day volunteering at community health sites in 1 of 4 Michigan counties (Wayne, Oakland, Washtenaw, or Genesee). The service-learning experience gave them a first-hand introduction to the kind of work they could be doing the rest of their careers.

Accompanied by faculty mentors, students spent the morning at 1 of 5 health departments, and the afternoon volunteering at a community public health site. One such site was the Catherine Ferguson Academy in Detroit, a school for pregnant teens and a working farm, where students helped in the fields and even cleaned out chicken coops. The school had been slated for closure but is now staying open.

View photos from the 2011 Practice Plunge on UM SPH's Facebook page

 VIDEO from the Wayne County sites:

Community sites:

  • Food Bank of Eastern Michigan, 2310 Lapeer Road Flint 48503-4221
  • Baldwin Center, 212 Baldwin Ave., Pontiac, 48342
  • Catherine Ferguson Academy/Greening of Detroit, 2750 Selden St., Detroit, 48208-2544
  • ACCESS, 6450 Maple St., Dearborn, 48210
  • Food Gatherers, 1 Carrot Way, Ann Arbor, 48105-9290
  • Regional Alliance for Healthy Schools/Ypsilanti High School, 2095 Packard, Ypsilanti, 48197

Health Departments:

  • Detroit Department of Health and Wellness Promotion, 1151 Taylor, Detroit
  • Wayne County Public Health Department, 33030 Van Born Road, Wayne
  • Genesee County Public Health Department, 630 E. S. Saginaw St., Flint
  • Oakland County Health Department, 1200 N. Telegraph Road, Bldg. 36E Pontiac
  • Washtenaw County Public Health, 555 Towner, Ypsilanti

University of Michigan School of Public Health has been promoting health and preventing disease since 1941, and is ranked among the top public health schools in the nation. Whether making new discoveries in the lab or researching and educating in the field, our faculty, students, and alumni are deployed around the globe to promote and protect our health.

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Contact: Terri Mellow
Phone: (734) 647-1848