Adventures in Science (AIS) MAM
One of the first programs of its kind to be offered in Mississauga, Adventures in Science (AIS) Mississauga is a mentorship program that aims to assist local high school students develop and deliver engaging science outreach programs to elementary students in Mississauga. Through this longitudinal mentorship program (typically February-April) high school students receive a comprehensive course in leadership, project planning, and interpersonal skill development under the guidance of the medical students at the Mississauga Academy of Medicine (MAM). At the end of the program, the high school students deliver their end-product scientific outreach programs to elementary students from across the city. The longitudinal mentorship aspect for the high school students takes place at the MAM campus at the University of Toronto Mississauga (UTM).
Adventures in Science (AIS) STG
Adventures In Science (AIS) St. George is a unique mentorship program in which we explore science communication together in its many forms. Grade 11-12 high school students with an interest in science from around Toronto are grouped with two mentors, who are U of T medical and graduate students. Through virtual monthly sessions running from October to May (Wednesdays, 5:00 PM–7:00 PM), students will be exposed to a variety of guest speakers who employ scientific communication in their careers for the first half of the session. The second half of the sessions will be focused on preparing a Longitudinal Science Project, on a topic of the group’s choosing, to be shared with elementary students. This program was run successfully virtually last year, with nearly 200 high school students and 60 mentors participating! We hope you will join us for another fantastic year of science and mentorship!
Altitude Mentoring MAM
Altitude Healthcare Mentoring MAM is an initiative across Ontario aimed at empowering undergraduate students to pursue studies and careers in healthcare fields by partnering them with medical student mentors. The students selected to participate in this program are traditionally underrepresented in Canada’s healthcare workforce. The program includes one-on-one mentoring supported by monthly career development initiatives for the mentees. The events included an IHPSA panel, a "How to Survive Undergrad at U of T" presentation, a CV building workshop and mindfulness and time management sessions.
Altitude Mentoring STG
Altitude Healthcare Mentoring STG is an initiative across Ontario aimed at empowering undergraduate students to pursue studies and careers in healthcare fields by partnering them with medical student mentors. The students selected to participate in this program are traditionally underrepresented in Canada’s healthcare workforce. The program includes one-on-one mentoring supported by monthly career development initiatives for the mentees. The events included an IHPSA panel, a "How to Survive Undergrad at U of T" presentation, a CV building workshop and mindfulness and time management sessions.
The Blood Drive program runs at least three blood drives throughout the year in the Medical Sciences building, along with a “What’s Your Type?” (WYT) event during the week preceding each donation drive. They work in conjunction with Canadian Blood Services (CBS) to encourage students at the University of Toronto to donate. In the past, there have been approximately 90 donors at each drive (with a total number of spots available varying depending on CBS staffing and resources). For students who are unable to donate during blood drives, time slots for group donation can be arranged at the local clinic on College Street where they accommodate groups of ~12 donors.
Community Health Education for Refugees & Immigrants (CHERI)
CHERI is a medical student-led community clinic focused on providing preventative health education and screening to newcomers in Mississauga without health insurance. There is a growing population of immigrants and refugees in Mississauga, many of whom lack health insurance for various reasons including the 3-month waiting period before OHIP coverage is provided to landed immigrants, temporary foreign workers unable to afford private medical insurance, and refugee claimants. In addition to lacking health insurance, many of these individuals experience a plethora of obstacles preventing them from accessing care for many preventable health conditions. Our goal at the CHERI clinic is to promote health literacy in this population by providing preventative health education in topics including cardiovascular health, diabetes management, women’s health, and mental health. Private Facebook link: https://www.facebook.com/groups/866896680668017/
Growing Up Healthy MAM
Growing Up Healthy is a student-run educational and outreach program for children, which aims to promote healthy living through interactive workshops. We partner with Peel District School Board elementary schools to provide health education workshops for students in Grades 1-3. We tailor workshop activities to these specific age groups, encouraging a greater appreciation and understanding of nutrition, physical activity, sun safety, mental health and other health related concepts. Throughout the school year, we run 5 sessions per classroom led by teams of 2-4 volunteers.
Growing Up Healthy STG
Growing Up Healthy is a student-run educational and outreach program for children and youth, which aims to promote healthy living through interactive workshops through partnerships with various tutoring programs and elementary schools in Toronto. These workshops tailor activities to specific age groups, encouraging a greater appreciation and understanding of topics such as nutrition, physical activity, mental health and positive body image.
Healing Tonics is a singing group for Med students! We meet weekly and rehearse songs of all genres, from Disney to Broadway to classic jams! We have a few concerts throughout the year for patients in various hospitals to liven their spirits. Join us at any time, no auditions necessary.
IMAGINE (Interprofessional Medical and Allied Groups for Improving Neighbourhood Environment) is an interprofessional, student-run community health initiative aimed at promoting and providing holistic health care to the core neighbourhoods of downtown Toronto. 1) To promote and provide health care services to marginalized populations in Toronto through our weekly Saturday clinic at Central Toronto Community Health Centre. 2) To offer students in Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Social Work, Occupational Therapy, and Physiotherapy an opportunity to work with preceptors in an interdisciplinary team on real-life cases in the community that serve marginalized populations 3) Conduct outreach with community agencies through our Health Promotion and Community Partnerships committees 4) Provide a platform for critical discussions on inner city health through our Advocacy committee in the form of outreach sessions, panels, and an annual conference on a timely inner city health issue
Immigrant and Refugee Equitable Access to Health Care (iREACH)
Immigrant & Refugee Equitable Access to Community Healthcare (IREACH) St. George is an organization devoted to assisting immigrants and refugees in navigating the Canadian Healthcare system. We allow students to volunteer at various refugee shelters across the GTA and walking groups for longitudinal experiences. Students will have the opportunity to deliver presentations on health living, help out with the logistical needs of shelters, and advocate for refugee health in collaboration with the Crossroads Clinic.
Kids2Hear is a primary preventative health initiative whereby medical students screen kindergarten children who are most in need for hearing deficits. The program is geared towards inner-city schools that lack funding for screening, catering to an increased risk student population. Furthermore, the program targets many non-English speaking immigrants who also occupy low-income/impoverished niches and for whom proper communication is essential for societal integration. Kids2Hear fosters interprofessional education via collaborative efforts between medical students, otolaryngologists, family physicians, audiologists, and school staff. Students are trained by Hospital for Sick Children (HSC) staff in otoscopy/audiological screening and learn how to educate students/teachers about the importance of hearing testing. Once children with possible needs are identified, Kids2Hear coordinates referral either to: a) HSC audiological/ENT clinic for children with audiological deficits; or b) local family physician for children who have only otoscopic abnormalities. Long-term goals include screening for multiple at-risk schools and publicizing the results to the community and government, highlighting the need for standardized screening. The program hopes to challenge medical students across Canada to adopt similar initiatives in their communities by providing assistance through accessible web based forums/learning modules promoting a sustainable model. Private Facebook link: https://www.facebook.com/groups/654035772258609/
Kids2See is a pediatric vision screening program that runs approximately six screening sessions per school year at Toronto District School Board Model Schools. We train medical student volunteers to screen these kindergarteners for amblyopia, a common and easily-treated vision condition that can lead to permanent vision loss if not diagnosed early. Each year Kids2See reaches approximately 200-250 children per year.
Kindler Arts Program aims to provide medical students with the opportunity to work with young adults (16-30 years old) with a range of physical and mental disabilities, allowing them to gain comfort and develop skills pertinent to working with individuals with special needs. The club also strives to provide and support quality recreational and respite programs for youth with disabilities and their families. The program takes place at Holland-Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital, between the months of January-March for eight Tuesday evenings with 2 hours of programming each evening. Without the support and planning from University of Toronto medical students, this program would not be possible as Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital does not provide services to children transitioning from pediatric care to adult care (>16 years of age).
Noteworthy Music Program
Through a thriving partnership between the Noteworthy Music Program (NMP) and the volunteer departments at Mount Sinai Hospital and Credit Valley Hospital, volunteer musicians provide musical performances to interested patients at each hospital site. Currently, in-person weekly visits are suspended as per guidelines from the hospital sites and the U of T Medical Society. However, NMP will continue to deliver music performances via its virtual platforms, also allowing for potential collaboration with more U of T MD Program-associated hospitals to provide musical engagement to interested patients. Noteworthy has 3 main goals: To improve the experience of bed-bound patients by playing music for them on a weekly basis. To provide student volunteers a chance to use their musical talents to brighten patients’ hospital visits. To foster relationships between volunteer musicians and patients and to encourage active engagement in the local community.
Saturday Program MAM
SPM Mississauga is a mentorship program that runs on weekly Saturday mornings for 10 Saturdays from January to April at the University of Toronto Mississauga campus, in the Terrence Donnelly Health Sciences Centre. High school mentees from Peel district schools are matched with mentors in subjects of math, English and science. Following the tutoring sessions, workshops are run that engage the students in interactive learning experiences, such as team-building exercises, debating, scavenger hunts and learning how to use medical equipment.
Saturday Program STG
The Saturday Program is a non-profit tutoring and mentorship initiative led by U of T students. Throughout 10 weeks, we bring together undergraduate, graduate, and professional students from multidisciplinary fields at U of T and pair them with high school students who are struggling academically. We provide one-on-one tutoring/mentoring, enriching workshops and career exploration sessions to cultivate students' skills in an area of interest. We aim to equip Toronto's youth with the right tools to succeed such as an understanding of how to study, learn, and think critically along with an improvement in grades.
Scadding Court Mentorship Program
The Scadding Court Mentorship Program (SCMP) pairs up inner-city children (aged 6-12) with volunteer mentors who are students and alumni from U of T’s Faculty of Medicine. Alumni and students are keen to make a noticeable difference in our local community by supporting the mission of this program to promote positive relationships with children in a high-risk neighborhood. To accomplish these goals, volunteers and children team up to engage in a variety of physical, educational, and professional endeavors that bring out lots of laughter and fun. Some examples of activities enjoyed by volunteers and students from previous years include: hands-on science programs at the Ontario Science Centre, and culture-promoting field trips to sites in the city like the Gardiner Museum. The SCMP runs annually from November to April and consists of approximately 20 two-hour mentorship sessions at the Scadding Court Community Centre 707 Dundas Street West, Toronto, Ontario (Bathurst & Dundas). The growth of this program has gathered tremendous attention from children and families within the community, allowing it to be recognized as a pinnacle initiative with the community center. Due to its popularity, children actively enroll in the program to gain access to mentors and experiences that would not be available due to their current financial or family situations. The structure of the program is as follows: two mentors are assigned to a mentee based on common interests (i.e., in arts, sports, science, etc.). Mentors and mentees meet weekly on Saturday for two hours and participate in the scheduled activity (activity schedule is provided at the start of the program). During sessions, both mentors and mentees are provided a lunch. Generally, the entire group (mentors and mentees) will be given an introduction and instructions for the day at the start of the session by either the co-directors or the visiting guests for special events, such as the visit from Toronto Wildlife Centre. The necessary supplies are then made available to the group and each mentor and their respective mentee works together on the activity. On days when a field trip is scheduled, session start and end times change, with the duration of the session increasing to account for travel times and also to allow the kids and mentors enough time to explore and to fully immerse themselves in the experience. This year SCMP included several new activities for both new and returning mentors and mentees in the program. Some of the more memorable new events were the field trip to Ripley’s Aquarium and a visit from the Toronto Wildlife Centre.
Seniors Outreach promotes community engagement between healthcare professional students and isolated seniors in the community. Our club aims to improve the quality of life of seniors while providing students opportunities to improve their teamwork skills and foster interprofessional learning. Healthcare professional students will also be eligible for 2 IPE credits for participating! Working with our community partner, we match 3 students from diverse professional programs with a senior in the community with shared interests or who could benefit from your particular set of skills. Our club offers programs that promote social connection through phone/video calls and other virtual activities such as online bingo, art classes, and more! This year, we will also address practical issues associated with isolation and community integration such as getting groceries, technology help, pharmacy pick up and more! Join us at Seniors Outreach to work with your peers and create meaningful connections with isolated seniors in our community.
Smiling Over Sickness
The Smiling Over Sickness (SOS) team does monthly visits – usually on a Saturday or a Sunday afternoon (from 2:00pm to 4:30pm) – to Marnie’s Lounge, a play area in the Hospital for Sick Children that gives paediatric patients and their families a chance to relax and engage in leisurely activities. Our group specifically will always provide an activity to do during our visits to Marnie’s Lounge, such as crafts (examples from this year include: creating lanterns from mason jars, painting flower pots and planting seeds), baking (examples include cupcake decorating), and special activities (such as “Science Day”).
Student-Senior Isolation Prevention Partnership (SSIPP)
The Student Senior Isolation Prevention Partnership (SSIPP) started as a collaboration between University of Toronto medical students and the Family Health Team at the UHN’s Toronto Western Hospital. We partnered medical and undergraduate students to visit an elderly person within the Toronto community. During COVID-19, SSIPP quickly adapted to a virtual model, with health professional students providing phone calls to older adults, all while expanding nationally across 10 Canadian university campuses. Our program enables students to be a part of fostering a society that promotes the well-being of older adults, while helping older adults feel valued and included.
Sun and Skin Awareness
Sun and Skin Awareness provides medical students with an opportunity to go to Toronto District School Board schools in the spring to deliver interactive PowerPoint presentations about sun protection and skin cancer. The program runs in the spring and occurs several times every week.
Swimming With A Mission (SWAM)
Swimming With a Mission Toronto is a not-for-profit student initiative founded as a registered chapter of Swimability Canada in 2011. The program’s mission is to provide affordable and accessible one-on-one swimming instruction to children with special needs. There are 2 seasons each year, with 8 sessions each held at Beverley School Pool. University of Toronto engineering students have also been actively engaged in a project with the program to help improve the program, and with an expanding volunteer base now encompassing undergraduate students, nursing students, and PT/OT students, SWAM continues to move towards expanding its reach and strengthening its impact in the community.
The WoodGreen Mentorship Program brings University of Toronto students into the community throughout the academic year to act as mentors for children and youth coming from disadvantaged backgrounds. The program offers students interested in working with children of all ages an opportunity to develop a bond with a child, make a difference in a child’s life, and get to know their community better, and involves interactive workshops and activities aimed at getting children to learn about healthy living, explore the world around them while going on field trips, and develop their creativity and social skills. This year as part of the program, Woodgreen hosted interactive workshops and trips aimed at getting children to learn about healthy living, explore the world around them (e.g. through visits to the ROM or OSC), and develop their creativity as well as their social skills. Healthy lunches were also provided during every session.