More than 500 visitors flocked to Northeast Ohio Medical University on Wednesday, Oct. 5, for the University’s annual Health Professions Affinity Community (HPAC) Kickoff event. The gathering is held each fall to give students from throughout Ohio a chance to connect, learn and begin to work on their community HPAC projects, which will touch the lives of approximately 10,000 Ohio residents throughout the course of the academic year.
Students from 43 different schools attended, representing 17 counties throughout the state.
“Kickoff brings so much enthusiasm out of the students, and especially makes an impression on those who are new or unfamiliar with HPAC,” said Valerie Beutel, who manages the 40 AmeriCorps members who work with the HPAC groups throughout the academic year. “You can see the difference in their attitudes from the time they walk in and the time they leave.
“Something clicks that tells them they are part of something much bigger than themselves and that they are empowered to make a major positive change for the health of their communities.”