Release Date: March 16, 2023
BUFFALO, N.Y. – A veritable who’s who of impactful community organizations will be sharing their wisdom on Thursday, March 23, when the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at the University at Buffalo hosts its first Community Engagement Fair.
The fair, which is free and open to the public, will feature representatives of community organizations dedicated to providing a wide array of services to the city of Buffalo and the Western New York region as a whole. Jacobs School student groups will also be represented.
What: The Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences’ first Community Engagement Fair featuring information and representatives from more than 20 community organizations.
The event will also feature a sampling of foods from these local, minority-owned businesses: Sunshine Vegan Eats, A Taste of Soul and La Flor Bakery. Local businesses include Zawadi Books and Buffalo Scrubs & Uniforms.
Where: Second floor atrium, the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, 955 Main St., Buffalo.
When: 2-5 p.m. on Thursday, March 23.
“Our goal is to create a space for our faculty, trainees, staff, health care workers on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus and the general public to learn more about how to get involved and engaged in our Buffalo area community,” said Anyango Kamina, PhD, interim unit diversity officer in the Jacobs School.
While different departments and a wide array of student groups already engage closely with the community, Kamina said there was interest in a schoolwide initiative. That interest emerged as a long-term goal from a Jacobs School community response team that the school’s administration established in the aftermath of the mass shooting at Tops last May.
“We were talking about addressing the social determinants of health,” explained Tanya Biscardi, director of the Office of Accreditation and Quality Improvement in the Jacobs School, “but there are so many things that are not in our wheelhouse that we are still passionate about and there are so many groups doing the work. So we said, ‘Let’s invite them in and learn.’”
In her invitation to community groups, Allison Brashear, MD, vice president for health sciences at UB and dean of the Jacobs School, wrote, “I am in awe of the strong sense of community in the City of Good Neighbors. The Jacobs School is committed to increasing community engagement, and we are excited to make this happen by strengthening existing partnerships and building new ones with community organizations.”
Brashear noted that the fair is an opportunity for these groups to educate the rest of the community, as well as faculty, students and staff of UB and the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus about their missions and to gain volunteers and support.
“It’s important that the community feels supported and gets to know us,” said Maria Wilson, inclusive excellence workforce specialist at the Jacobs School. “The Jacobs School can be a hub for community engagement.”
Community and UB organizations that will be present include:
Aspire of WNY
Buffalo City Mission
Say Yes Buffalo
International Institute of Buffalo
Mental Health Advocates of WNY
Grassroots Gardens WNY
Lighthouse Free Medical Clinic
Confident Girl Mentoring Program
Jericho Road Community Health Center
EPIC for Children
Journey’s End Refugee Services
Christian Medical and Dental Associates (CMDA of WNY)
The Salvation Army Buffalo Area Services
Michigan Street African American Heritage Corridor
BestSelf Behavioral Health
Harvest House Ministries - Good Neighbors Healthcare
GLYS WNY Inc.
WNY Children’s Environmental Health Center
Hispanic Heritage Council of Western New York
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