Service Learning Programs

7 Elements

Project Description

About the National Organization

7 Elements is a service learning organization that currently operates in four different countries: the Dominican Republic, Belize, Peru and Haiti. The group provides experiential learning through hands-on sustainable development projects and curriculums designed for each program that focus on international development, service learning, and human security issues around the world. The organization focuses on  the seven elements of human security: economic, food, health, environmental, personal, community, and political.

  • Contact: 7 Elements at IU School of Medicine
  • Co-Chairs: Kami Walters, Nate Rollison, Vitalis Osuji, Shae Jansen, Holly VanDeman, Aaron Gilani, Sai Nelanuthala
  • Faculty Advisor: Antwione Haywood
Adolescent Substance Abuse Prevention

Project Description

About the Organization

  • Adolescent Substance Abuse Prevention has the primary objective of making a positive impact on the knowledge and attitudes of adolescents in the Indianapolis Public Schools towards tobacco, alcohol and other drugs.
  • Relationships between organ physiology, a functioning body, and good health are emphasized.
  • Opportunities for adolescents to devise and practice strategies to reject drugs and deal with situations of peer pressures are given.
  • In addition, ASAP provides an important service learning experience for all medical students.
  • It encourages them to develop skills for communicating effectively that will be important to their future practice of medicine.
  • ASAP also encourages and empowers medical students to serve as role models for youth in the community.
  • The first sessions begin in the fall. Sessions run throughout the year, and students can choose how many sessions they would like to attend. Each session lasts about an hour and a half.
Get Involved

Do you enjoy teaching, spending time with kids, or serving our Indianapolis community? Need a break from studying or want to bank some community service hours? Want a jump start on pathology or even a quick refresher?

ASAP (Adolescent Substance Abuse Prevention) could be the right volunteer opportunity for you!

The Basics

  1. We use plastinated pathology organs to teach 5th-12th grade students how substance abuse negatively affects their bodies.
  2. Events are held at local schools and Boys & Girls Clubs and last 1-2 hours.
  3. No outside studying or preparation is required!Attend as many or as few events as you want- even if it’s just one!
  4. Students of any class year are welcome to participate.
  5. We do our best to schedule events away from exams!
  • Contact:
  • Co-Chairs: Joey Wendt, Luke Momper
  • Faculty Advisor: Brian Decker, MD
Alternative Spring Break/ENLACE

Project Description

Medical, dental and graduate-level allied health and health professions student volunteers participate in this spring break service learning experience sponsored by the IU Department of Family Medicine’s ENLACE Project. Students are engaged in short-term global health infrastructure development, community health initiatives and clinical shadowing opportunities organized by Companion Community Development Alternatives (CoCoDA), a non-profit organization working in El Salvador for over 25 years and in partnership with the IU ENLACE Project since 2012. This spring break service learning experience is the most recent expansion of the ENLACE Global Health Project in El Salvador, which currently includes the 4-week Summer Language and Cultural Immersion and the 4-week Global Health Elective in the municipality of Suchitoto, El Salvador.

Sponsoring academic units at Indiana University

Indiana University School of Medicine Department of Family Medicine

Co-sponsoring U.S. institutions or organizations

Companion Community Development Alternatives (CoCoDA). A key component in the ENLACE Project expansion is the collaborative partnership with CoCoDA, the on-the-ground management organization responsible for delivering well-rounded and in-depth educational delegations. CoCoDA sets up key meetings, makes housing arrangements, conducts an in-depth orientation, provides interpretation/translation at all meetings, facilitates reflections spaces and accompanies the group everywhere they go in country.

Big Brothers Big Sisters

Project Description

Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) is a longitudinal one-on-one mentoring program. The Indiana University School of Medicine BBBS group seeks to promote student involvement and will get together with groups of mentoring pairs throughout the year.

Get Involved

Any medical student who can commit to at least one year of being in the Indianapolis area. You can sign up anytime throughout the year. Contact below to get started.

Mentoring occurs on your own time according to your schedule. When you are paired, you will organize a meeting with the parents of your little brother / sister.

BBBS is at least a one-year commitment with a requirement to meet at least twice per month with your little brother or sister. The IU School of Medicine BBBS group will seek to organize a couple events per year to get pairs together.

  • Contact:
  • Co-Chairs: Alex Kiel, Neeta Patwari
  • Faculty Advisor: Donald Trainor
Boys and Girls Club of America

Project Description

The purpose of the Boys and Girls Club of America is “to enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens.” I-BIPP, or the IU School of Medicine Boys and Girls Club of Indianapolis Partnership Program, works with children and adolescents at the local Boys and Girls Clubs to provide positive role models and promote health education.

We plan on having 1-2 events per semester that focus on aspects preventative medicine and general wellness. In the past, we’ve planned health fairs with multiple SIGs, blood drives, Thanksgiving meals, helmet drives, and much more!

Commitment is minimal, but this is a great and easy way to help local kids and get involved with philanthropy! We need lots of participants, who will only have a 2-3 hour commitment 1-2 times per semester, adding up to around 10 hours total for the year. It’s also a fun way to buff your CV!

For more information, contact the group email or one of the co-chairs below!

  • Contact:
  • Co-chairs: Ashleigh Bush, Regina Lee, Cecilia Lai
  • Faculty Advisor: Patricia Treadwell
Community Leadership Mentoring Program

Project Description

  • Community Leadership Mentoring Program (CLMP) offers medical students an opportunity to develop community leadership skills and increase their understanding of non-profit board operations.
  • This is a medical school career commitment and while most students begin in the MS-I year, students may choose to begin in the MS-II year.
  • Training sessions and site visits will be done on weekdays outside of scheduled class time or on the weekends.
What does it involve?

First year, you will have an orientation meeting in November as well as a day-long training session bout what it means to be a medical member on a nonprofit board in January. From there, you will get to choose three nonprofits to visit in the spring.

Second year, you will get to choose your favorite nonprofit and sit in on three board meetings or committee meetings.

Third and fourth year you can be as involved as you like.

How can you apply?

Simply open the google form and answer two questions about your previous experiences and why you want to be involved. Each answer should be about one paragraph.

  • Contact:
  • Co-Chairs: Luke Bannon, Adam Warrick
  • Faculty Advisor: Missy Lah
Crispus Attucks Introduction to Science

Project Overview

The Crispus Attucks Student Interest Group (CASIG) provides weekly lessons, tutoring, and mentorship to middle and high school students at Crispus Attucks Medical Magnet School with the mission of getting kids interested in science and medicine.

After school lessons are prewritten and require little to no outside work for volunteers. Come teach the physical exam, pathologies of smoking and drinking, and the physiology of the human body!

Getting Involved

All medical students are welcome and encouraged to participate!

The time commitment can be once a week, every other week, or even a couple days a semester! Whatever works best for you! The kids really appreciate your time and friendship and look forward to working with you whenever you are available!

After school lessons: Tuesdays 3-5pm

Tutoring and mentoring: Mondays and Thursdays 3-5pm


Crispus Attucks Medical Magnet High School
1140 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. St. Indianapolis, IN, 46201

Disability Advocacy Service-Learning Project

Project Overview

The Disability Advocacy Service Learning group serves children and adults with chronic conditions and/or disabilities. Medical students collaborate with community agencies such as the Joseph Maley Foundation and Special Olympics among others to engage and advocate for community members through camps, activities, and volunteerism.

By participating, students will:

  1. Advocate for children and adults with chronic conditions and/or disabilities
  2. Volunteer with various organizations throughout the year
  3. Connect with community resources that patients may use
  4. Learn about caring for and talking to people with disabilities
  5. Enhance their understanding of the humanism and capabilities of people with disabilities
  • Contact:
  • Faculty Advisor: Mary Ciccarelli, MD
  • Current Co-Chairs: Allison Etling, Eric Galante
Fostering Awareness of the Community by Engaging Students (FACES)

Project Description

  • Students receive safe opportunities to work with adults experiencing homelessness
  • Students & homeless adults create mutual learning experience
  • Students gain a better understanding of health-related needs of vulnerable populations
    • Homeless adults gain communication tools
    • Despite poor health outcomes and a significant need for primary healthcare services, adults experiencing homelessness often do not seek or receive the medical care they need.
    • Barriers prevent adults experiencing homelessness from utilizing primary healthcare/ receiving quality care,
      • Lack of financial resources
      • No insurance
      • Absence of transportation
      • Competing priorities
      • Provider distrust
    • Feelings of unwelcomeness
    • FACES developed in response to this issue and the demand for improved health service utilization
  • Contact:
  • Faculty Advisor: Bree Weaver
  • Co-Chairs: Adrian Huffard, Sandi Jones, Taylor Munsch, Luke Brennan
The Health Education and Empowerment Advocacy Resource Team (HEART) - West Lafayette

Project Description

HEART is a Service-Learning initiative dedicated to providing medical students at the IU School of Medicine-West Lafayette campus with diverse student-led opportunities rooted in community outreach, patient education and interaction, and general advocacy for health and wellness in the Greater Lafayette community. Their goal is to improve the health and well-being of disadvantaged and marginalized populations in the Greater Lafayette area by increasing healthcare access through clinic work and health fairs, promoting wellness through education about nutrition, exercise, and mental health, and also improving the socioeconomic factors that influence healthcare access and patient adherence.

Health Fair

Project Description


Westside Health Fair partnership with Eskenazi Health, and each year we have over 300 community members take part.

The Westside Health Fair is one of the largest service projects at the IU School of Medicine, involving dozens of medical students, who provide free health care screenings and education to residents on Indianapolis’ near west side. The Westside Health Fair takes place each October and is a fantastic opportunity for Student Interest Groups to provide health education and screenings germane to group’s interest.

Additional features of the fair include: free flu shots, raffle prizes, and a town hall meeting.

  • Contact:
  • Medical Student Chairs: Hannah Jennings, Alexander Close, Laura Wright, Tim Kotnik
Terre Haute

Terre Haute Community Health Fair is an event that invites leaders of the Terre Haute community to gather to educate area residents about their health and how they can improve it. The Terre Haute Community Health Fair began in 2005 and has been held as an annual event that is now organized by the 2nd year medical students at IU School of Medicine-Terre Haute.

The health fair targets area residents; however, there are no boundaries when it comes to attendees. In past years, we have helped the young and old, poor and wealthy, as well as the insured and uninsured. Many programs and services are offered at the health fair. In addition to the information about local organizations and services, we offer educational exhibits about personal health, fitness classes, massage therapy, and free health screenings. Past screenings have included vision, hearing, blood sugar, body mass index, and blood pressure. Popular educational exhibits consist of diabetes, nutrition, and osteoporosis as well as fun children’s activities to get children of the community excited about health and wellness.

Helping Habitat

Project Description

Worksites to help our local Habitat for Humanity chapter in its effort to fight substandard housing.

  1. 4-hour shifts—Instant Gratification! You can see your contribution to a family’s new home!
  2. Worksites are usually close to the medical center
  3. No Experience is needed.
  4. If you are interested in Surgery, it is a GREAT way to improve your dexterity and eye-hand coordination.
  5. Annual spring break and/or summer break trips.

Project Description

M4M at IU School of Medicine

Medals4Mettle at IU School of Medicine will partner with Riley Hospital for Children to involve students with Child Life Services. Students will apply online to be a Riley volunteer, and attend a volunteer orientation. Students will commit a maximum of 20 hours per semester to volunteering. Riley Hospital regularly has Special Events, where community groups have an opportunity to come interact with Riley children. It will be at these events that students will have the opportunity to gift medals to children.

Students will spend the academic year training to participate in an end-of-the-semester marathon or half-marathon. The student will run on behalf of all of the children of Riley. After the race, students will attend a Riley Hospital Special Event organized by Medals4Mettle to personally gift their medal to a child.

Community/Organizational Partnership

M4M at IU School of Medicine is lucky to have Dr. Steve Isenberg, the Founder and CEO of M4M, as a faculty advisor. We will work closely with Dr. Isenberg and Sally Powell, the Indianapolis M4M Chapter Coordinator, to ensure that M4M at IU School of Medicine has a close relationship with the parent organization. Melissa Sexton, the Riley Hospital Child Life Special Events coordinator, has offered to act as a liaison between M4M a tIU School of Medicine and Riley. Blake Boldon, the executive director of the Monumental Marathon, has pledged to advertise the efforts of an M4M at IU School of Medicine group, and to consider offering a discount for M4M students. Alissa Bishel and Sarah Parrish, the co-leaders of the IU School of Medicine Running Club, have offered to lend their support to any M4M activities. And of course, Riley Hospital already has a warm relationship with M4M.

Would you like more information on the IU School of Medicine Medals4Mettle Service Learning group?

  • Contact:
  • Co-Chairs: Kayla Delaney, Morgan Sandelski
  • Faculty Advisor: Steve Isenberg, MD

Medical Spanish

Bloomington Project Description

“Realizing the vision of healthy people in healthy communities is possible only if the community, in its full cultural, social, and economic diversity, is an authentic partner in changing the conditions for health.”

Taking this statement from the Institute of Medicine to heart, several medical students at the IU Bloomington campus gathered classmates proficient in Spanish and held multiple meetings with local Volunteers in Medicine Clinic administrators to establish a cooperative effort for outreach to the Spanish population of Bloomington. These students acquired certification as medical Spanish interpreters and assist as “on call” interpreters for VIM clinic visits.

  • Contact:
  • Co-Chairs: Sariely Sandoval, Katherine Anderson
  • Faculty: Advisor: Javier Savilla, MD, Ruben Hernandez
Bloomington Service Learning Page

Indianapolis Project Description

Medical Spanish is a group interested in improving IU medical students’ Spanish-speaking skills and their relationships with and interests in the Spanish-speaking community. These interests are accomplished by activities the group schedules throughout the year:

  • Spanish conversation lunches are planned throughout the school year to provide opportunities to practice Spanish-speaking skills with fellow medical students. Participants are usually given vocabulary and/or phrases to act as a guide for facilitating Spanish discussion. Lunches are generally targeted to those with a previous background in Spanish, but no Spanish-speaking skills are required to attend.
  • Guest speaker lunches are also planned throughout the school year to hear native Spanish-speakers as well as those involved in working with the Spanish-speaking community speak on a variety of topics.
  • Beginner and intermediate medical Spanish courses are generally offered in June and July for a minimal fee to medical students. In the past these courses have lasted for four weeks with two, two-hour evening sessions per week. Classes are taught by Spanish interpreters from local hospitals. The courses cover the basics of Spanish with an emphasis on medical Spanish, as well as the culturally appropriate approach to the Spanish-speaking patient.
  • Other activities the group has planned in the past include a dinner and salsa dancing night and co-sponsorship of activities during Global Health Week.
  • Contact:
  • Co-Chairs: Tyler Knight, Huntington Hardisty
  • Faculty Advisor: Javier Savilla, MD

Northwest Project Description

The medical Spanish group at Northwest is called H.E.A.L., Hispanic Education Awareness and Leadership. We are a student driven group with the goal of improving health outcomes for the Latino population through improving provider language skills, cultural competency training, and service.

We meet regularly to work on our medical Spanish. Our meetings typically consist of introduction to new vocabulary and conversational practice in small groups. In addition, we provide students the opportunity to shadow a physician in a clinic that serves a Spanish speaking population. We are currently developing more opportunities for students to serve the community.

  • Contact:
  • Co-Chairs: Alessandra Ferrera, Rachelle Ford
  • Faculty Advisor: Margie Rivera-Tomasi
MS1 Class Service Project

Project Description

New student participants are involved in a variety of projects in underserved neighborhoods in and around Indianapolis. Students will get to meet and learn more about a patient population, which they will service in their third and fourth years throughout the state. This voluntary Indianapolis project is held the day before the IU School of Medicine Orientation to allow as many new students to participate as possible.

Rock for Riley

Project Overview

Logo with the words 'Rock for Riley'

Rock for Riley is a student-run philanthropy group that consists of many of the IU medical professional schools in Indianapolis. Several Indiana University medical students founded rock for Riley in 2004 and organized our first show featuring Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe at the Vogue Theatre. The first show raised nearly $25,000 for Riley Hospital in Indianapolis. Since then, we have had bands such as Wilco, My Morning Jacket, Margot and the Nuclear So and So’s, and The Avett brothers play at our shows and have raised over $800,000 for the hospital. During the winter of 2014, the medical school joined with the many other medical professionals of IU to form a large, cohesive group with one goal: to raise more funds than we have ever raised before, increasing awareness for Riley Hospital NICU specifically. We are extremely excited to work together as professionals outside of our respective schools to bring you this year’s show!

This year we would like to invite you to participate in raising money for Riley, by joining us for our fourth annual 5k run hosted on March 31st starting at Fairbanks Hall on the canal. When you register for the run, your registration fee will be sent directly to the Riley fund as a donation going toward the newly founded maternal-fetal department.

  • Contact:
  • Co-Chairs: Darcy White, Shivani Parikshak
  • Faculty Advisor: Todd Nebesio, MD
Spring House Calls

Project Overview

Spring House Calls (SHC) is the largest and oldest service-learning project of the Indiana University School of Medicine Office of Medical Service-Learning . Now in its 21st year, SHC is a service project dedicated to providing home and lawn maintenance for elderly and disabled, minority homeowners in 2 inner-city neighborhoods to the east and west of the IU campus. On April 2, 2016, the SHC group will plant flowers, cut grass, remove weeds, wash windows, and perform maintenance on the homes.

SHC is coordinated, managed, and operated by medical students with guidance and support from the Office of Medical Service-Learning (OMSL).

Team Leader – approximate time commitment 6 hours

Your job is to lead a team of volunteers. A pre-event house visit is encouraged, but this should be brief; if a visit is not possible, a confirmation phone call will suffice. Also, a meeting or two will take place before the actual day of service to confirm volunteers and home visits, as well as provide demographic information on the neighbors we will be serving and working with. There may or may not be a wrap-up meeting. All told, this will amount to approximately 2 hours of time outside of the 4 hour SHC event. Leaders are welcome to recruit from outside the medical school to fill their teams with family, friend, etc.

Day-of Volunteer – approximate time commitment: 4 hours

Your job is simple. You show up the day of the event to the Christamore House, learn which team you’ve been assigned to, meet with your team, load up your supplies, then head to your house.

Typical schedule on the day of the event:

      • 8:30 AM – Check in at the Christamore House
      • 9:00-12:30 PM – Yard maintenance and landscaping at assigned home
      • 12:30-1:30 PM – Post-event lunch at the Christamore House (for volunteers and homeowners)

Remember, teams do not need to be composed of just IU School of Medicine students; other IUPUI and IU graduate students, friends, family, and anyone else are allowed and encouraged to participate! Also, teams are a great way for SIGs to get involved with service-learning at IU School of Medicine.

  • Email with questions.
  • Co-Chairs: Kevin Kuo, Honglin Xiao, Emily Hentz, David Schmitz, Arielle Russell, Alberto Torres
  • Faculty Advisor: Greg Gramelspacher
Student Outreach Clinic

Project Overview

The Student Outreach Clinic is a student initiative to deliver medical care to the underserved. There are now three Student Outreach Clinics throughout IU School of Medicine.

(Click the locations below to be directly to the individual campus sites)

Indianapolis — IU Student Outreach Clinic
  • 2020 Chair – Matt Hollowell
  • 2020 Vice Chair – Paige Schultheis
South Bend — Navari Student Outreach Clinic
Terre Haute — Mollie R. Wheat Memorial Clinic
Students for the Prevention of Kidney Disease

Project Overview

Through volunteer work, SPKD has the opportunity to work with Nephrology mentors early in our medical careers.

Through partnership with the National Kidney Foundation, this outreach program provides resources and screening information on Kidney dysfunction.

SPKD’s aim is to serve the underserved areas of Indianapolis, Muncie, Terre Haute, South Bend, Bloomington, Evansville, Fort Wayne, West Lafayette, and Gary. Our goal is to spread awareness and prevent serious health issues that are frequently caused or exacerbated by a lack of health literacy or access to primary care.

The need for a program like SPKD in the community is largely due to the social and community contexts of healthcare. Students who become active in programs like are one step closer to becoming physicians who treat a whole patient rather than just a disease.

  • Contact:
  • Co-Chairs: Sarah Lipp, Adrian Ozorco, Albert Liu, Alex Hayden
  • Faculty Advisor: Richard Hellman, MD &
    Melissa Anderson, MD