Community, The Braxton Democrat

Health Students Participate in Rural Community experience

Thirteen students pursuing various health professions degrees participated in an interdisciplinary rural immersion experience at the Normantown Historical Community Center on Friday, November 11 and the Mountaineer Food Bank on Saturday, November 12. The two-day experience was designed to immerse students in a rural community while gaining knowledge about a local topic. In partnership with WVU Extension, the students participated in hands-on learning activities related to food preservation (canning and freezing), food insecurity, chronic disease, and cooking on a budget.
NHCC volunteer, Sandra Beall, showcased the Center’s opportunities including the sewing room, the free clothing closet, the food distribution site, meeting rooms and endless options for residents to volunteer or utilize the Center. Friday evening, students traveled to Sutton and enjoyed dining on the river at the Elk River Café followed by axe throwing at the Bad Axe Bistro and lodging at the Days Inn.
On Saturday, November 12, students toured the Mountaineer Food Bank in Gassaway, a member of Feeding America. The Mountaineer Food Bank partners with feeding programs in 48 West Virginia counties to distribute over 23 million pounds of food annually to combat food insecurity. The students participated in Mountaineer Food Bank’s Volunteer Saturday held on the second Saturday every month and packed 234 food boxes that will be distributed to seniors.
This event was hosted by Northern West Virginia Rural Health Education Center, one of five regional Area Health Education Centers in West Virginia. The mission of the non-profit organization headquartered in Glenville and serving 23 counties is to train, recruit, and retain health care professionals in underserved areas.
Student participants included: Kaitlyn Bruce, Kimberly Halsey, Breanna Morgan, Allison Smith, and Haley Smith from Glenville State University, Morgan Bland and Keaton Moore from the University of Charleston, John Brosky, Payten Brown, Caleb Shrout, and Thomas Williams from West Virginia University, Trevor Lovell from West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine, and Emma Garland from Eastern Kentucky University.