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Renaissance School of Medicine at Stony Brook University COVID-19 Service Learning Course

Last Updated: May 7, 2020


This service learning elective is designed to promote student learning while providing meaningful assistance to patients, families and the broader community impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Students will assist faculty and staff as they create new strategies of practice and rapidly develop research protocols to combat the evolving COVID-19 crisis. This course was designed utilizing the COVID-19 Student Service Corp (CSSC) template developed by Columbia University Irving Medical Center. As outlined by the CSSC, the overall goal of this course is to understand and support the needs of the local community and healthcare system(s) by utilizing the diverse skillsets of volunteer healthcare professional trainees and their faculty mentors/supervisors.

Through this course, students will have the opportunity to engage remotely in service learning projects/activities that address the urgent healthcare systems needs while also adhering to social distancing recommendations. This experience will enrich student learning by developing their leadership skills, facilitating professional identity formation, and promoting interprofessional communication and collaboration. A secondary goal of the service learning elective is to provide educational credits to health professional students who are unable to complete clinical rotations due to the pause in clinical education that has resulted from the COVID-19 pandemic. We aim to outline a practical implementation guide for implementing a COVID service learning elective. Specific course objectives include: 

  • Identify self-learning needs and interests in the domain of service learning 
  • Relate and align self-learning needs to respond to identified community needs 
  • Review content specific materials to better understand context of service and develop needed knowledge and skills 
  • Apply newly acquired knowledge and skills to respond and accomplish community-identified service learning activity 
  • Use interprofessional team skills during service learning project 
  • Summarize and reflect on how participation in the activity relates to the medical school curriculum, role as a citizen and medical professional 

Service Learning Projects /Activities: 

  • Geriatric Patient Outreach and Support 
  • Student Peer Mentoring - PPE Task Force 
  • COVID-19 Faculty Research Support - Provider Childcare Task Force 
  • Telemedicine COVID Follow-up 
  • Telemedicine Patient Assist 
  • Curricular Project/Activity Coordinators 
  • Physician Wellness and Nutrition support 


Lisa Strano-Paul, Renaissance School of Medicine At Stony Brook University (lisa.strano-paul@stonybrookmedicine.edu)