Apr 4, 2017

Dr. David Pole Congratulates the 2017 COE Program Honorees

Our director, David Pole, PhD, MPH, has had the privilage of being a Faculty Mentor/Advisor for honorees of the Rodney M. Coe Distinction in Community Service Program. This community service program is designed to create a relationship between students and their community that improves both their professional character and the health development of their community. This past March, 26 members were honored for their four year commitment to this faculty-mentored program by serving the needs of others. Here is what Dr. Pole had to say to this years honorees...

Dear Class of 2017 Coe Program Honorees,

I have been involved in many of your projects and reviewed a number of your posters and reflected on our discussions as you prepared for tonight. You have done great work that has contributed to the community and demonstrated your professional development as physicians committed to being “men and women for and with others”.

The Rodney Coe Distinction in Community Service Program has provided me the opportunity to bring together my passion and develop my skills in addressing public health, social justice, longitudinal community partnerships, and integrating all these into medical school education and mentoring relationships with students.

I hope that I have been able to translate Dr. Coe’s passion for community-engaged collaborative practice into my work with each class of medical students. Working with medical students in this program is what inspired me to complete my doctorate in education and curriculum design and to become a better teacher. Each class of medical school students continues to challenge me to overcome my doubts, develop additional community collaborations, and learn how to be a better listener and learner, and I thank you for continuing that tradition.

A parting message: Never take lightly or for granted, the “distinction” with which you have completed medical school in service to the community. You have worked very hard to develop yourselves and earn this distinction.

Health inequities are defined as the unfair and avoidable differences in health between groups of people within and between countries that stem from social determinants of health and result in stark differences in health and health outcomes. If the underlying causes of disease and ill health are not addressed, the risk of perpetuating a cycle of inequity, disparity, and inequality will remain for generations to come (WHO 2016).

Partnerships are key to effectively addressing social determinants of health. Partnerships, like those you have engaged in to complete the Rodney Coe Distinction in Community Service program, entail close working relationships between representatives of the health and non-health professions, policy makers, educators, community organizations, and community members.

You are, although you may not yet fully see yourselves in this light, enlightened change agents that have engaged in transformative learning experiences, engaged with communities, practiced critical reflection, in addition to completing your medical school training. This proactive, engaged participation moves you significantly beyond the passive intake of facts. You have participated in Coe Program activities and your own professional formation that has resulted in stronger skills in critical thinking and decision making, collaboration and identification of both what is, and what you want health and health care to be.

Health equity is a shared responsibility and requires engagement of all sectors of society, health care, and government. Welcome to the team!

In a reflection article in the recent issue of the Annals of Family Medicine, Dr. William Ventres shares that; [my practice of] the “intentions of practice” - habits of the mind that nurture my resolve to attend to patients as complex human beings – help me navigate clinical encounters in ways that are simultaneously clinically efficacious and healing for my patients. When routinely recalled and adeptly implemented, they are what distinguish me as a competent and capable practitioner of person-centered care, when I am at my best, from when I am not.

Your “distinguished efforts” at community engaged service, critical reflection, and professional formation to place service at the center of your practice of medicine, are what make you “capable practitioners”. Please continue this journey and continue to demonstrate your distinction as interns, residents, and future practitioners.

It has been an honor and privilege to work with you over the last four years and I look forward to reports of your future challenges, growth, innovations, and successes.

David Pole, PhD, MPH


To learn more about the COE Program & reception ceremony, check out this SLU NewsLink Article. Below is the full list of COE Program 2017 projects:

  • >Alishka Abioye | Labor of Love: Vulnerable Women and Maternity Elective
  • >Daniel Au | Quality Improvement and Patient Safety Curriculum Development
  • >Natalie Baumann and Rupal Joshi | Introduction to Mental Health: A Curriculum for Teens
  • >Alex Bodkin, Joanne D'Souza and Victoria Simmons | Well Girl Leads to Well Woman
  • >Katherine Burgener and Justine McGauley | Domestic Violence Education for Pre-Health Students
  • >Alexander Chen | Scholastic Mind: Educating the Educators
  • >Kharole Compere | Educating Patients About Emergency Department and Urgent Care Use
  • >Margaux DeChambre | Culturally Sensitive Mental Health Screening Tools for the Latino Population
  • >Chelsea Del Rosso and Devon Goossen | Intergenerational Programs: Improving Mental Health and Encouraging Uplifting Relationships
  • >Robert Fisher | Expanding Youth Anti-Tobacco Education to Local After-School Programs
  • >Matthew Garrity | Medical Student Well-Being: Improving the 4th Year
  • >Robert J. Hieger | Academic Peer Support
  • >Mallory Hubbard-Whitley | Urban Influentials
  • >Rikki Koehler | Stick the Landing! ACL Injury Awareness in Middle School Female Soccer Players
  • >Meaghan Neary | NICU Notebook: A Tool for Parent Support in the ICU
  • >Linda Peng | Providing Eyeglasses to the MHI Patient Population
  • >Morgan Schiller | Development of a Free Vaccine Progrgam at Casa de Salud
  • >Parth Shah | Medical Students Teaching at Juvenile Detention
  • >Michael Tarkey | Swimming and Water Safety with St. Louis Refugees
  • >Christin Tu | In-Hospital Violence Prevention
  • >Jacquae M. Walked and Mallory Hubbard-Whitley | Truth Talks: Speaker Bureau Series


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