Urban Health Project educates, inspires, and challenges medical students through their service to
marginalized populations in Greater Cincinnati to produce more socially responsible physicians who have
a greater understanding of factors that impact health.
Urban Health Project strives to improve healthcare by molding future physicians who will have a
personal understanding of the factors that impact health and use this knowledge to provide better care to
all populations, especially the underserved.
Summary of Urban Health Project
This year marks the 26th anniversary of Urban Health Project. Urban Health Project was developed in 1986 by medical students at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine and operates as an entirely student run, non-profit 501 (c)(3) organization. The core goals of UHP are to improve community-based healthcare and to provide medical students with a meaningful service-learning opportunity.
Two medical student co-directors coordinate the internships and conduct fundraising to support the organization. This summer, in partnership with local agencies, 21 medical students were placed in 8-week internships providing health-related services to underserved populations of Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky, including the homeless, elderly, mentally ill, minorities, and women and children. These agencies include shelters, clinics, rehabilitation resources, youth social services, hospice facilities, and organizations assisting the elderly. Responsibilities of the interns vary widely from site to site. Some internships require students to lead group sessions with the clients, participate in the day to day administrative duties that come with running an agency, and interact with the residents at meals, on outings and during chores. Others sites request that students accompany doctors, nurses, counselors, or social workers as they see patients and then allow the students to develop a project that benefits the clients, while using their experiences as a medical student.
Despite the varying tasks, the theme tying these internships together is the same: allowing medical students to develop a commitment to the community and gain a better understanding of many cultural, socioeconomic, and environmental health factors, while contributing to the care of those who have the greatest need for support and assistance.
At the end of the summer, the Co-directors coordinate an event- The Committed to Community Event- for everyone involved in Urban Health Project. The Committed to Community Event is a way for the community to learn about each interns' individual experience at their respective sites, as well as to celebrate the strides that each intern takes to continuously improving Urban Health Project. For this event, held at the end of July or beginning of August, each intern makes a poster displaying information about their site, their experience, and the project they conducted during their time at the site, and presents it to the community members that attend.