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YSPH’s Commitment to Community Shines at Annual Day of Service

May 15, 2024
by Eve Liptak

More than 100 students, faculty, and staff from the Yale School of Public Health (YSPH) spread out across Greater New Haven on May 10, volunteering their time and service to local community organizations as part of Yale’s annual Day of Service.

The YSPH Day of Service is held in partnership with The Yale Alumni Association’s (YAA) Annual Yale Day of Service, now in its 16th year! The theme of this year’s Day of Service was that great things can happen when people work together.

YSPH representatives visited nine sites during the event: CT Foodshare, Diaper Bank of CT, Gather New Haven, Hamden YMCA-Camp Laurel, Leeway Inc., Mary Wade Home, Massaro Community Farm, New Haven Botanical Garden of Healing Dedicated to Victims of Gun Violence, and the Ella B Scantlebury Senior Residence.

Addressing YSPH volunteers and site leaders, Dean Megan L. Ranney, MD, thanked the community partners for welcoming YSPH into their organizations as part of a shared mission for good. She also emphasized how she saw the Day of Service as emblematic of YSPH’s key pillars of connection and inclusion within our community.

“To me community is core to public health,” Ranney said. “Engagement and advocacy directly in our local community here in New Haven and in Connecticut is core to being good citizens at the Yale School of Public Health, not just on a national and global scale, but right where we live.”

The day’s activities spanned a broad range of environments and audiences. YSPH volunteers spent the morning working on farms and gardens, assisting with healthy food distribution, engaging with elderly residents, and packaging diapers and other personal care items for families in need.

It was also an impactful experience for volunteers, who were able to create new connections by spending the day outside of their traditional classroom or office. In one memorable moment, Dean Ranney and Jason Martinez, director of YSPH’s Community Impact Lab, joined together for a duet of Sonny and Cher’s hit song “I’ve Got You Babe” as part of a fun group activity at Leeway Residential Care Housing.

“The YSPH Day of Service brings together faculty, staff, and students to give back to the greater New Haven community each year,” Martinez said. “The day is a call to action where members of the YSPH community dedicate time to thank the local community organizations through service for all they provide to us and the city day in and day out.”

Submitted by Colin Poitras on May 15, 2024