College of Medicine launches Kienle Center project on volunteerism in health care

August 26, 2004

The Kienle Center for the Humanities in the Penn States College of Medicine is initiating a project to foster medical volunteerism, particularly among medical students and resident physicians. Many of the health-care providers on campus participate in volunteer projects that deliver health care to underserved patients in the local communities; in underserved areas in the United States; and in developing countries throughout the world. These activities often are unheralded -- and some participants may wish them to remain so -- but many offer potential opportunities to expose our medical students and resident physicians to this very humanistic activity.

The first phase of the project involves surveying the physicians, nurses and other providers to learn who is or has been involved in such projects. The goal is to find out something about what these efforts involved, where they took place, and whether any of these projects might offer appropriate opportunities for introducing younger colleagues to medical volunteerism.

Past and present medical volunteers are asked to respond to the survey, whether or not the work they have done or are doing seems applicable to medical students and residents. Those who have not participated in such work in the past but who think they would like to do so in the future are asked to respond as well. This project will bring together like-minded individuals who are interested in medical volunteerism in a way that will promote common interests.

To obtain a survey or for additional questions and comments, e-mail Edwards P. Schwentker at

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated March 19, 2009