Signature Programs

The Center for Civic Engagement's network of partner institutions, programs, and opportunities reflects the population and priority areas in which we hope to make an impact. To create both learners and active citizens, CCE offers a range of opportunities that engage Upstate students and faculty in learning through real-world, community-based problem solving while also responding to a significant need in the area. Student and faculty work benefits the community as well as their own intellectual development.

For more information on any of these programs, please contact Simone Seward at engage@upstate.edu or 315-464-8807.

Patient Navigation Programs

The concept of patient navigation was founded and pioneered by Harold P. Freeman in 1990 for the purpose of eliminating barriers to timely cancer screening, diagnosis, treatment, and supportive care. Currently the patient navigation model has been expanded to include the timely movement of an individual across the entire health care continuum from prevention, detection, diagnosis, treatment, and supportive, to end-of-life care. Patient navigation has shown efficacy as a strategy to reduce cancer mortality and is currently being applied to reduce mortality in other chronic diseases. (Harold P. Freeman Patient Navigation Institute)

Students participating in this category of programs will be able to accomplish the following:

  • Develop a deeper understanding of the patient demographics, social and structural determinants of health through hands-on experiences.
  • Develop a plan by applying health related beliefs and practices to the development, implementation and evaluation of community-based programs and services.
  • Develop an understanding of the complexities that exist in linking individuals to appropriate health and social services to improve patient care and community health.
  • Develop a sense of themselves as health care professionals working collaboratively to address a community need.
  • Communicate (written and oral) to Inform, educate, and empower patients and their families about health issues and resources.
  • Foster respect for diversity and inclusion of all individuals

Amaus Pediatric ClinicPDF Icon
Helping Hands for Forgotten Feet (Foot Clinic)PDF Icon
Rahma Compassionate Health Care ClinicPDF Icon

Community-based Research Projects

Community-based research (CBR) begins with a research topic of importance to the community with the aim of combining knowledge with action to achieve social change (Community-Based Research and Higher Education, Strand et al., 2004, p.3). Students are encouraged to work with community partners to develop research projects under guidance of an Upstate faculty member to learn more about the design and implementation of effective and accurate research that is both rigorous and useful to specific community organizations or public interest constituencies. Findings can be reported through publications and conference presentations.

Students participating in this category of programs will be able to accomplish the following:

  • Develop an understanding of the fundamentals of community-based research design
  • Adhere to the laws, regulations, and policies and procedures for ethical conduct of public health research and practice.
  • Pursue diverse means for disseminating research findings; and
  • Develop a plan to translate the findings from research into practice or social action.
  • Foster respect for diversity and inclusion of all individuals

Safety Net Research Project

Companionship Programs

The purpose of Companionship programs is to improve the care, health and wellbeing of patients and reduce loneliness. Volunteers will provide one-on-one time with patients while also providing respite to the caregivers of those patients.   Research indicates that friendship contributes to a person’s wellbeing: through the provision of companionship in daily life, support during stressful transitions, as well as sustainment of identity under changing circumstances.

Students participating in this category of programs will be able to accomplish the following:

  • Develop an understanding of the psycho-social issues that accompany chronic illness and treatment
  • Develop an understanding of the complexities that exist with various health conditions in getting the patients to a healthier state of physical and mental health
  • Increase social awareness and responsibility to advocate for patients and families
  • Provide supportive services to help patients cope with their health condition(s)
  • Foster respect for diversity and inclusion of all individuals

Geri C.A.R.E (Companionship And Relief Experience)
Peds ReliefPDF Icon
University Dialysis Clinic
Peds PalsPDF Icon

Health & Wellness Programs

The World Health Organization (WHO) defines Health as “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” The National Wellness Institute defines wellness as an active process of becoming aware of and making choices toward a more successful existence.
Students participating in this category of programs will be able to accomplish the following:

  • Assess health behaviors and the environment (social or structural) related to promoting healthy lifestyles
  • Apply principles of program planning, including design, implementation, budgeting and evaluation to develop programs that promote social and emotional wellbeing
  • Develop confidence and proficiency in communications skills (written and oral) to inform, educate, and empower patients and their families about health issues and resources.
  • Foster respect for diversity and inclusion of all individuals by appropriately attending to cultural competency.

Extended Hands for Adolescent Mothers
Rescue Mission Women HEAL (Health Education and Learning)PDF Icon
RISE Women's Empowerment
Upstate Folk Art PartnershipPDF Icon

Mentoring Programs

Children who succeed despite overwhelming personal, economic and social obstacles do so often because of a caring adult in their lives. Mentoring outcomes include greater participation in school, improved attendance, higher graduation and college admission rates, and better overall performance. (New York State Mentoring Program, 2016)
Students participating in this category of programs will be able to accomplish the following:

•    Build and support positive relationships with youth based on mutual trust, respect, and accountability
•    Develop an understanding of the psycho-social issues that accompany children living in underserved communities
•    Increase social awareness and responsibility to advocate for patients and families

The CanTeen of Central New York
C.H.A.M.P (Children's Health After-school Mentorship Program)PDF Icon
M.E.D.S. (Medical Education for Diverse Students)PDF Icon
Reading BuddiesPDF Icon
Syracuse Community ConnectionsPDF Icon

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