While a majority of Trinity's student body is training for a career back in the US and Canada, the school and students have embraced their part of the St. Vincent community. The Canadian Medical Student Association (CaMSA)'s latest event proved the roots are only growing deeper.
At the end of September, faculty and staff were on hand at the delivery of the results of the Canadian student group's latest donation drive. CaMSA’s president, Sonia Stasyszyn, oversaw the event, noting the clothing, linens and toiletries were earmarked for the mental health division, as well as medical hygiene supplies like shoe covers and gloves.
Dr. Conrad Nedd, assistant dean of clinical sciences reminded all that the initiative was student-led. “We encourage students here at Trinity to remember that as part of their professional duties, it’s important to be able to make contributions to their community. Practicing physicians have a responsibility to interact with their communities and find some way of giving back, of further supporting the overall health and well-being, whether by knowledge or by sharing their expertise or through material goods where possible.” He applauded CaMSA for living up to that ideal.
According to Mrs. Neeka Anderson-Isaacs, communications officer within the Ministry of Health, Wellness and the Environment, “Trinity School of Medicine continues to provide a great benefit to the Vincentian community.” Mrs. Anderson-Isaacs assured those gathered that, “This gesture shows how charity can go a long way, especially when it is part of the healing process.” She stressed that the patients at the mental health facility are constantly in need of love, support and care; and the donation showed that a group of people cared.
Mr. Andrew Williams, spokesman for Milton Cato Memorial Hospital, extended heartfelt gratitude to Trinity, through which the members of CaMSA were able to make the donation. “This donation is timely,” he said, “especially in an area where resources are scarce.” He assured donors that their gifts will be used in the areas where they are most needed.
Dr. Frances Jack-Edwards, associate dean of students, gave comments on behalf of Trinity's Dean Adkison. She congratulated the CaMSA students for coming with their donations and encouraged them to continue in their community outreach activities. “They’re reaching beyond the community of Trinity out to their Vincentian neighbors and finding projects that they could become a part of,” she reported, praising the close association formed with the mental health facility.
The Canadian Medical Students Association, as part of their mandate, has established a project of collection of items from students who leave the island to begin clinicals back in the United States in Baltimore, Maryland, as well as past students, and from relatives and friends within communities in Canada.
These are gathered, packed, and shipped to the school for distribution to organizations chosen by CaMSA. Members have expressed their passion for the function of their organization and the causes it serves. Fourth term student, Meagan Dineen, explained that while “CaMSA’s affords Canadian students to have a piece of home away from home”, it is seriously concerned with forging links with the community. “It is important to do this as students because it gives us a chance to become connected to the community and to give back to the country that has taken us in." She continued, "It also gives us the opportunity to do all of this while studying at the same time. We seize the opportunity to contribute to a place that has given us so much.” She felt sure that, “All students at the school leave a mark on the community as a student of Trinity. We all do individual things but we do it as representatives of the school.”
CaMSA will continue to deliver whatever it can to bolster public health and community goodwill in the larger St. Vincent community.