Photo gallery: Department of Pediatrics celebrates bicentennial by serving community

December 6, 2017  //  FOUND IN: Our Employees

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U-M has been buzzing with excitement all year! There have been numerous programs, exciting events and several special presentations to celebrate the university’s bicentennial year.

The Department of Pediatrics embraced this opportunity to show commitment to the university.  Under the direction of Valerie Opipari, M.D., professor and chair, faculty, staff and friends of pediatrics were challenged to give 200 hours of hands-on community service time collectively during October to honor the bicentennial.

Several faculty, nurses and staff members rearranged schedules and made extra efforts to carve out a little time to engage in activities that would help change the community. Working side-by-side at six different sites for three different agencies (Habitat for Humanity, Food Gatherers and the Ronald McDonald House), they performed services that made an incredible impact on those who benefited and those who donated their time.

Deb Gipson, M.D., M.S., professor of pediatric nephrology, teamed up with her research team to provide assistance at a Habitat for Humanity home site.

“From my perspective, I trust that we demonstrated our personal, team and hospital’s commitment to serve our community as we worked to make a home for a family in need,” said Gipson.

The outcome of the efforts involved putting the finishing touches on two homes in Ypsilanti through Habitat for Humanity and collecting, stocking and organizing household and holiday items at the Habitat ReStore Warehouse.

Several people also took some time to serve at a local Food Gatherers food bank, where they cleaned and packed food items. Others took time during the lunch hour to serve the homeless and less fortunate at the Delonis Community Soup Kitchen in downtown Ann Arbor. One evening, a group of dedicated managers got together and prepared and served the families of sick children a warm, home-cooked meal at the Ronald McDonald House.

Matt Stephens, chief department administrator, was one of the individuals preparing meals at the Ronald McDonald House. As he said, “Our team had a lot of fun planning and preparing the meal and it was especially rewarding to give back to the community with my colleagues.”

At the end of October, the participants had surpassed the 200 hours goal and clocked 312 hours.

This was an outstanding accomplishment that not only demonstrated commitment and service but provided an opportunity to actively embrace the university’s spirit of inclusiveness and excellence for public good.

Maydis Skeete, Sr. administrative manager and program coordinator for this project said “the efforts and support of our faculty and staff to this cause is commendable and speaks volumes to their commitment and loyalty to the Department of Pediatrics and University of Michigan.”