Led by faculty members Valerie E. Cadet, PhD, director of health equity curricular initiatives and an associate professor of microbiology
and immunology, and Edo-Abasi U. McGee, PharmD, BCPS, assistant professor in the Department of Pharmacy Practice, the group’s mission
is to increase COVID-19 vaccine uptake within the Black, Indigenous, People of Color
or BIPOC population through direct grassroots engagement. The event, part of the President’s
Community Wellness Initiative, was held at the Rhodes Jordan Park Community Center in Lawrenceville.
Through a competitive process, eight students were selected to participate in the
fellowship’s research team. They include Grace Anim (PharmD ‘22); Jessica Mulbah (PharmD
‘22); Krysten McNaught (PharmD ‘22); Marisela Plascencia (DO ‘24); LaSara Bell (DO
‘24); Jared Gordon (DO ‘24); Landon Mediavilla (DO ‘24); and Naima Bibi (MS/Biomed
The team has worked to educate local church attendees and the broader community through
health fairs. The group will participate in another health fair on September 11 at
Lenora Church Park in Snellville.
According to Dr. McGee, at the most recent health fair, students discussed the vaccine
with people who were “on the fence” about getting the vaccination and helped to answer
their questions. They shared an informational brochure that they had created to debunk
some of the common myths about the vaccine.
Health fair attendees were encouraged to complete a survey, which gauged their perceptions
about the COVID 19 vaccine. About 100 fair goers received the educational pamphlet
and 46 participants completed the survey.
Student Naima Bibi shared her thoughts on the event. She said, “It was encouraging
to see that people are much more likely to be immunized if they receive reliable data
“As health professionals, it is our job to convey correct information about diseases,
especially in the case of a pandemic, in order to boost participation in making our
society a healthier environment for all.
“Ultimately in order to save our community against future pandemics, the general public
and health professionals must collaborate.”
According to Dr. Cadet, “PCOM Georgia students did a great job educating the public
about the vaccine.
“We all know understanding is of utmost importance in increasing the public's faith
in the vaccine, and, without the vaccine, the world will not be able to combat the
pandemic and revert to ‘normal’ life.”
About the Community Wellness Initiative
With a strong commitment to student volunteer efforts and community wellness, PCOM
President and CEO Jay S. Feldstein, DO ‘81, established the Community Wellness Initiative (CWI) to enhance the culture of holistic health and well-being on PCOM’s campuses and in
the communities they serve. The CWI aims to promote cross-campus collaboration in
educational and health services programming and resources to support the physical,
mental, nutritional and environmental wellness of the College’s communities in Philadelphia
and in Suwanee and Moultrie, Georgia. Focus areas include direct patient care, health
and wellness education, and clinical and community-based research.
Established in 2005, PCOM Georgia is a private, not-for-profit, accredited institute of higher education dedicated
to the healthcare professions. The Suwanee, Georgia, campus is affiliated with Philadelphia
College of Osteopathic Medicine, a premier osteopathic medical school with a storied
history. PCOM Georgia offers doctoral degrees in osteopathic medicine, pharmacy, and
physical therapy and graduate degrees in biomedical sciences, medical laboratory science,
and physician assistant studies. Emphasizing "a whole person approach to care," PCOM
Georgia focuses on educational excellence, interprofessional education and service
to the wider community. For more information, visit pcom.edu/georgia or call 678-225-7500. The campus is also home to the Georgia Osteopathic Care Center,
an osteopathic manipulative medicine clinic, which is open to the public by appointment.
For more information, visit pcomgeorgiahealth.org.
For more information, contact: Barbara Myers Senior Public Relations Manager Email: BarbaraMy@pcom.edu Office: 678-225-7532 | Cell: