Incoming residents receive their T-shirts along with their instructions on the way to their volunteer sites during the inaugural GME Morning of Service.  

Residents Help Community With GME Morning of Service

Published July 31, 2022

story by bill bruton

Incoming residents at the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences had the opportunity to make improvements to the community and get to know their classmates during the first GME Morning of Service.

Planning to Make it an Annual Event

“It’s a good way to get involved, and understand what opportunities are available for residents and students and also become more integrated in the program, in addition to meeting your colleagues. It’s a nice way to ease into the residency life. ”
Nariman Javaheri, DO
Internal medicine resident

The event, which is similar to what incoming first-year medical students at the Jacobs School have been participating in for almost a decade, was a resounding success. Plans are to make it an annual event.

Ninety residents from throughout the U.S. and other countries did everything from landscaping to composing greeting cards.

“As members of the Buffalo medical community, it is important that they become acquainted with resources and organizations who serve the community, along with the medical institutions and organizations in which residents will work and learn,” said Susan M. Orrange, PhD, assistant dean for educational and resident services in the Office of Graduate Medical Education. “Residents appreciate the early opportunity to make a difference and meet other new residents while sharing a meaningful experience, and feel the positive impact of community volunteering around the medical campus during their first week.”

Kevin Guest House Help

Internal medicine resident Usman S. Najam, DO, helped spruce up Kevin Guest House with landscaping duties.

Opened in 1972 as the first independent health care hospital house in America, Kevin Guest House has served as the model for more than 600 houses across the U.S., including the very first Ronald McDonald House.

“It’s an awesome thing to do, to show that the residents that are here aren’t just here for the training, but also to be a part of the community and help out in almost every way we can, not just medically but also community-service wise,” said Najam, a resident of the Rochester suburb of Pittsford. “It helps integrate us into the community, and it helps people to get to know us better, and for us to know them better.”

Nariman Javaheri.

Nariman Javaheri, DO, does some landscaping at Kevin Guest House.

Nariman Javaheri, DO, an internal medicine resident from Toronto, did some landscaping at Kevin Guest House as well.

“I think it’s a really good idea, especially for people who are not from the area, like myself,” Javaheri said. “It’s a good way to get involved, and understand what opportunities are available for residents and students and also become more integrated in the program, in addition to meeting your colleagues. It’s a nice way to ease into the residency life.”

Helping Out ‘City of Good Neighbors’

Djulie Zanatta.

Family medicine resident Djulie Zanatta, MD, helped out with cleaning at the Allentown Association site.

Djulie Zanatta, MD, a family medicine resident, who helped with cleaning at the Allentown Association site, enjoyed pitching in on the project.

“I think it’s an amazing opportunity. It gives us the opportunity to be closer to the community, and also prepare us to provide better care in the future,” said Zanatta, who grew up in Brazil but has now lived in Buffalo for the past five years. “I’ve come to love the city. It is truly the City of Good Neighbors.”

Angela Hacksel, MD, a urology resident, also did cleaning and beautifying at the Allentown Association site.

She appreciates that the Jacobs School is in sync with the community, which is what she experienced in medical school at East Tennessee State University.

“My medical school was very focused on being integrated with the community and ensuring that the physicians are connected with the place that they practice. This is certainly a good opportunity for that,” Hacksel said. “It’s important for us to be able to get out into the community and be able to connect with folks so we can reach out and be able to put a face with a name and a voice.”

90 Residents, 10 Faculty and Staff Take Part

In addition to the 90 residents who participated, 10 faculty and staff also took part.

“I applaud GME for organizing this event, which gave residents the opportunity to connect and engage with their community,” said Allison Brashear, MD, MBA, UB’s vice president for health sciences and dean of the Jacobs School. “This will be a welcome addition to the Jacobs School calendar for years to come.”

Sites and projects included:

  • Allentown Association — moving, cleaning, sorting, filing and gardening
  • Every Bottom Covered Inc. — sorting, packing, and labeling packages containing diapers and feminine and personal care products
  • Friends of Night People — neighborhood and building cleanup
  • Fruit Belt Coalition — cleaning the area, cutting grass, raking, mulching, planting shrubs and flowers, etc.
  • Gateway-Longview — planting flowers, weeding, cleaning playground equipment
  • Kevin Guest House — hedge trimming, touch-up spray painting furniture and other items outside, cleaning woodwork, gardening
  • Service to go projects for United Way agencies — personal essentials kits (for Matt Urban Hope Center); The Sandwich Project (for Friends of the Night People); T-shirt bags (for FeedMore WNY); birthday-in-a-bag kits and handmade greeting cards (for Salvation Army)

The Office of Graduate Medical Education, University at Buffalo and hospital partners sponsored the event.