Written By: Mambo Emmanuel, PATIENTS Program Summer Intern, and Jonathan Myung, Fourth-Year Student Pharmacist
Attending National Night Out at Mondawmin Mall in Baltimore was an amazing experience. It was truly fulfilling to participate alongside our colleagues in the School of Pharmacy’s PATIENTS Program and learn how we could make a difference in addressing the needs of patients living in the local community. We felt the community pride from a number of attendees who came to meet and learn from one another. Community members as well as representatives from a number of organizations across Baltimore, including the Baltimore City Police Department, the State‘s Attorney’s Office, the Mayor’s Office, and community delegates also participated. Even Leana S. Wen, MD, MSc, FAAEM, the health commissioner for Baltimore City, stopped by the PATIENTS booth to greet us. The experience not only helped to bring the community together and break down some of the tensions that currently exist between law enforcement and community members, but also provided a number of other beneficial services to the community.
What is National Night Out?
National Night Out is an annual community-building campaign that promotes police-community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie, helping to improve neighborhood safety as well as residents’ livelihood. A number of precincts in Baltimore participated, but the goal was the same for all: to show criminals that our neighborhoods will not be bullied. Since its inception in 1984, National Night Out has grown from 2.7 million participating Americans in 400 communities in 23 states to more than 37 million participants from 15,000 communities across the United States, Canada, and military bases around the world. To learn more about this remarkable event, please visit https://natw.org/about.
Why did the PATIENTS Program Participate?
Members from the PATIENTS Program participated in National Night Out to continue our commitment to continuously engage members of the community in patient-centered outcomes research (PCOR). The PATIENTS Program strives to develop and maintain partnerships with patients in communities and health professionals to foster more meaningful interactions and provide valuable input on how research should be conducted in order to maximize the value to patients and their caregivers. We want patients, providers, and researchers to learn from each other and share their unique knowledge with the goal of optimizing PCOR through meaningful discussions on ways to improve health in our communities.
Why was Participating Meaningful to Us?
Participating in National Night Out with the PATIENTS Program emphasized the importance of going out into our communities to interact, celebrate, and build relationships. Meeting and interacting with residents in our local neighborhoods is the only way that we can truly start to address issues that affect people who are not always appropriately represented in research. Through exposure to many more of these interactions, we can start to become more culturally competent, which can also benefit our future endeavors. This is truly what continues to motivate students and interns like us to volunteer with the PATIENTS Program.