Human Science Alumna Serves Urban Underserved Populations

SEPTEMBER 11, 2014 – Staceyann Smith (NHS’09) applied to the School of Nursing & Health Studies with the goal of pursuing medicine.

Currently, Smith is a part of the Urban Service Track (UST) at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine.

As an Urban Health Scholar, Smith works alongside other health professions students who are devoted to serving Connecticut’s urban underserved populations.

‘Solid Foundation’

“My early exposure to biomedical sciences, along with the academic rigor of my coursework at Georgetown, was a solid foundation for medical school,” says Smith.

During her junior year of college, Smith co-founded the Georgetown University Minority Association of Pre-Health Students (GUMAPS), where she connected Georgetown medical students with MAPS members to create a mentorship program.

She also became an EMT and volunteered with the Georgetown Emergency Response Medical Service (GERMS).

“However, it was my volunteer work at the Georgetown University Hospital that gave me insight into pediatrics and medicine,” says Smith.

Serving Urban Populations

Smith says that her commitment to serving urban populations stems from her upbringing and clinical experiences.

“My parents are immigrants, and growing up in Queens, N.Y., with people from different backgrounds, exposed me to the disparities so often seen in underserved communities,” Smith explains. “Now as a medical student, my inspiration comes from my patients and individuals committed to helping the disadvantaged.”

Community Work

“Much of my work in the community involves mentoring and organizing learning sessions for high school and college students,” says Smith.

Recently, she helped design and organize a clinical case and skills session for college students interested in the medical field.

During her second year of medical school, Smith led a health fair during National Primary Care Week at a family health community center.

“We offered blood pressure screenings, information about oral health with a brief screening, and BMI and blood glucose measurements for those without access to preventive care,” says Smith.

Biggest Challenge

The alumna also attended the National Association of Community Health Centers Conference in Washington, D.C., this year, where she had the opportunity to speak with the state representatives on Capitol Hill about funding of the community health centers in the face of budget cuts.

For Smith, one of the biggest challenges for health professionals is the time commitment and lifelong sacrifices one is required to make for the good of their patients.

“Nevertheless, I am proud to say that I do what truly makes me happy and am excited for what the future holds,” she says.

By Masha Mikey (S’15)