Become a CSSC Volunteer

You can sign up for volunteer opportunities by completing this online form (Columbia students only):

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Hear about CSSC from the Oversight Committee CSSC Informational Webinar

Volunteer Opportunities

Cancer Screening Project

The Cancer Screening project (previously the Colorectal Cancer Screening Project) was originally created to address the gap in colorectal cancer screening during the COVID-19 pandemic and then expanded to include HPV/cervical cancer screening and breast cancer screening. Because many patients were encouraged to decrease their contact with the healthcare system, many patients due for screening are now behind. This project seeks to create a way for student volunteers to contact patients and connect them with screening options without requiring a visit to the doctor's office, increasing patients to access care and decreasing the burden on doctors. 

Pediatric Psychosocial Outreach

The Pediatric Psychosocial Outreach Project was created in order to address social determinants of health, psychosocial stressors and mental health disorders within the pediatric population during the COVID-19 pandemic. Using a script, student volunteers make calls to families in order to screen for social determinants of health, psychosocial stressors and mental health issues. Volunteers are then able to connect patients with resources centered around social service needs, mental health needs, school needs, or COVID-related needs/medical questions. 

Friendly Calls to Seniors

The Friendly Calls to Seniors project acts to address the growing need for social interaction and support as well as wellness monitoring for older adults in the Northern Manhattan community. This outreach program allows students to provide emotional support and encouragement and alleviate loneliness in these seniors and in themselves through weekly conversations about any fun topics while also completing a wellness check-in to ensure seniors feel properly supported and safe with possible escalation to necessary clinicians. 

Pediatric Companionship Project

Previously an in-person project for hospitalized pediatric patients, this project responds to increasing needs for companionship among children and adolescents as visitation allowances were decreased during the pandemic. To account for the pandemic, the project became virtual through the use of iPads to allow students to spend time with pediatric patients virtually and engage them in different activities and play.  

ANCHOR/WALLE

The ANCHOR project was created prior to the pandemic to identify the health-related social needs of Northern Manhattan/South Bronx Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries. To continue to address identified needs through referrals to local community-based social service organizations, it was converted to a virtual platform where students interact with patients by telephone to connect families and patients with needed resources.  

NICU Navigators

The NICU Navigators project helps connect parents with their children in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit with resources during the COVID pandemic. Students work with an interdisciplinary team in the NICU to provide direct outreach to families to set them up with virtual visits and other helpful resources.  

By Students for Students

Creating a safe space for students to interact and have discussions both large and small about the current climate and our roles as health professions students to care for our patients, health systems and communities but also ourselves. 

Learning Together

Learning Together pairs Columbia University students from across our campuses with kids and adolescents in Washington Heights to offer academic and social support during the school year. This year we will also be piloting drop-in group tutoring sessions! All tutoring sessions will be held over Zoom. 

Food Insecurity

The Food Insecurity Project works with Word of Life International (WOL), which is a non-profit, community organization serving a population of low-income Black, Hispanic and undocumented Bronx residents. The broad scope of WOL programs include addressing food insecurity and community health, and impact thousands of individuals and families in the Bronx. This year, the Food Insecurity project is focusing on community gardening, urban gardening, grant writing, and a social media campaign.  

Figuring it Out Together

Students volunteer with the DEAR (Determining Eligibility and Accessing Resources) Project to help connect community members of local Community Based Organizations to connect with and enroll in the state- and city-sponsored programs that they are eligible for. Over the course of two meetings, community members will be paired with student volunteers to initially determine their eligibility and then apply for those programs

AIM

Students serve with the New York Presbyterian Ambulatory Care Network (ACN) identifying patients as yet unvaccinated for COVID-19, providing outreach, counseling, and answering questions they may have. Students interface with attending physicians to then meet patients in-person and accompany them to their vaccination appointment at the Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital Wintergarden Auditorium.

Gaps In Care

Students partner with Audobon Primary Care Services to identify patients of all ages that were unable to attain regularly scheduled, important vaccines during the pandemic. Outreach and appointment scheduling, as well as counseling and regular discussion with patients helps encourage patients to reconnect with their phyicians and attend important well-child visits and regularly scheduled annual physicals.

Medical Mentorship

The Medical Mentorship program partners students who are interested in pursuing a career in medicine with Columbia medical students. The medical students provide support and advise students as they navigate the medical school application process.  

Reach Out and Read

Reach Out and Read, a national hospital-based pre-literacy program that links reading aloud with giving books to children aged six months to five years during their primary health care visits was established in 1989 at Boston City Hospital. Pivotal to the success of Reach Out and Read is the involvement of volunteers who read to children in the waiting rooms. Volunteers receive instruction and training in early childhood development, the elements of literacy, and strategies for interactive reading aloud. As they read aloud, volunteers simultaneously encourage children to identify pictures and add their own experiences. They provide children with an opportunity to re-tell a story by expressing their thoughts through art. 

Non-Columbia students (in NYC and beyond) who want to support the nonprofit sector and get engaged remotely or through volunteering, please visit: COVID-19 Relief and Response

Retired Projects

COVID-19 Community Hotline

Provides staffing support of clinical health professionals for a community informational line about COVID-19.

OB Public Health Outreach

Reaches out to pregnant patients from the Medicaid clinic network to provide public health guidance on staying safe, logistic details on clinic and policy changes, and most importantly offer an empathetic listening ear to provide reassurance.

OB Postpartum Outreach

Medical and NP students call day 3 postpartum patients to screen for common OB and pediatric concerns.

Workforce Health and Safety

Provides staffing support for the hospital service tasked with receiving calls and following potential cases of COVID-19 among staff and providers.

Creative Communications

Works to amplify the voices of all student volunteer efforts--be it internal mental health and wellness initiatives or community-facing projects directly supporting our frontline.

PPE Task Force

Organizes procurement, donation, and manufacturing of personal protective equipment from interested parties in the community.

SummerTogether

SummerTogether is the summer learning progression of Learning Together, the virtual school year-based tutoring and mentorship program for children. Summer Together provides an online education program of classes for students based on their age group and interests to join for learning and fun throughout the summer.

AIM CHROME/DOME Telemedicine Project

The AIM Calls for High-Risk Outreach and Medical Evaluation, or CHROME program, is a telemedicine program designed to reach high-risk primary care patients unable to be seen in person due to the pandemic. Volunteers conduct a brief medical assessment, evaluate the patient's need for medical follow-up, and assess social/specialty referral and medication refill needs. 

 

Discharge Outreach and Medical Evaluation (DOME) provides a similar set of services, plus navigation to primary care for patients who do not currently have a PMD, for patients recently discharged with a COVID diagnosis. 

COVID-19 Research

Works with principal investigators who are engaged in time-sensitive COVID-19-related projects.

Telemedicine

  • Telemedicine Patient Assist works with outpatient clinics to rapidly onboard patients onto institutional telehealth platforms, allowing for more efficient clinic flow and reduction in in-person encounters.
  • COVID Follow-Up engages in remote monitoring of COVID-positive patients after discharge. This project uses students with clinical training and licensed supervision. 

Tech Operations Support

Provides internal support through technology to CSSC administration and project leaders.

Hero Meals

Supports local restaurants and business by fundraising to employ a lean staff to provide nutritious, comforting fare to hospital staff working the front lines.

Food Insecurity

The project is supporting food-based organizations through fundraising/volunteer support. 

Digital Equity Quality Improvement

The Digital Equity Quality Improvement Project is working to gather information about barriers to technology access faced by the patients we serve in our community. The information will then be used to better understand the barriers patients face to using telehealth platforms and other virtual services during the pandemic, and how they may contribute to health disparities. Once the information is gathered by volunteers through patient outreached, the clinic network will use it to identify and address the needs of our patients. 

Medical Education

Works to enhance the virtual curriculum to ensure high-quality ongoing curricular experiences for preclinical medical students.

Adolescent Hub Youth Educational/Career Support

Working with the Uptown Adolescent Hub for the provision of one-on-one mentorship and advising for young people to get help with career preparation, school work, or other educational development.

Mask Check

Providing space for making masks as well as publicizing and soliciting donations as a centralized group to receive large donations of cloth masks for distribution to vulnerable populations, most recently groups that are protesting in NYC for racial justice and an end to police brutality.

Together Apart

Created a blog for open reflection on life amidst the COVID-19 pandemic and as a member of COVID response, for CUIMC staff and faculty as well as CUIMC students.

Child Abuse Prevention

Due to the increased risk of child abuse during the pandemic, we are working on different methods to reduce and prevent abuse including a social media campaign and other more direct interventions. 

RENEW

Resilience Engagement Empathy Wellbeing is working to send out weekly department-specific emails centered around wellness resources in a clear and concise format to health care providers at NYP.

Mexican Coalition Website Design

Assisting a local community organization with their incredible work in leading efforts to empower and serve the Mexican American community of Northern Manhattan through the creation of a website for their organization to communicate with the public about their work.

ASK Alice