M.D. Program

Community-based Service Learning

Community Based Service Learning Program (CBSL) is an educational program, comprised of a network of student-initiated community-based service learning projects, offering direct service-learning opportunities for medical and graduate students As part of the Office of Medical Education, CBSL provides early career exposure via experiential education, trainings, workshops, and seminars to develop leadership and community engagement skills It is a collaboration of Einstein students, faculty, and Bronx communities. We support all students who want to make a difference in the community by serving as a clearinghouse for information and opportunities, providing guidance, and offering program planning and leadership skills training. Our mission is to provide our students with opportunities in which to engage with the Bronx community and have an impact on health and social justice issues. Students learn, share, and nurture the skills needed for their roles as future physicians, scientists, and compassionate professionals needed to work in our ever expanding communities in the Bronx.

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Heather Archer-Dyer, MPH
Program Director

Alicia Martinez, EdD
Program Manager


Janet Dwamena
Administrative Assistant


CBSL Projects

AIRE (Advocacy for Immigrants’ Rights and Equity) promotes the social justice mission of Albert Einstein College of Medicine by serving immigrant populations. We collaborate with Terra Firma, a medical-legal clinic in the Bronx that integrates medical, mental health and legal services for immigrant children.

BODY (Bronx Obesity Diabetes and You) is an exercise and nutrition activities program with elementary school children at P.S. 89; a community garden at the Montefiore-Einstein Hospital; and engaging Bronx community leaders through grassroots outreach to effect educational efforts that can help change attitudes and improve health.

ECHO After School Program focuses on health education for elementary school children at P.S. 294 in the South Bronx. The program is dedicated to working with children in grades 3 to 5 in order to explore various topics such as nutrition, physical activity and human anatomy.

Einstein Buddies is dedicated to serving the special needs population in the local community. Through various educational and physical activities, the students hope to help improve their populations’ ability to perform everyday functions of daily living. Additionally, they host lecture series with guest speakers in order to increase awareness and dispel misconceptions regarding people with special needs and the challenges they face.

EFAM (Einstein Future Advocates in Medicine) works to empower and mentor students from diverse and low resources communities in the Bronx and the greater NYC area to pursue careers in the health field. Participants work collaboratively with the Bronx Community Health Leaders and promote awareness of the importance of diversity inclusion in the healthcare workforce and its impact on health equity.

EiSci (The Einstein Science High School Mentoring Program) focuses on mentoring and exposing Bronx high school students to careers in science and medicine. Einstein medical and graduate students meet with high school students in a bi‐monthly after-school program. Consistent mentoring groups are established to foster connections between students in the program and Einstein students.

FJAM (Food Justice and Medicine) is a CBSL group aimed at addressing food insecurity in the Bronx. Injustice and systemic barriers in our food system impact our patients’ long term health. FJAM will promote food sovereignty in our community by educating the student body on the importance of healthy food access for disease prevention, volunteering in the community to address patients’ food needs, and seeking policy interventions that aim to improve healthy food access.

HEART (HIV Education and Rapid Testing) provides weekly HIV testing at Lehman College in partnership with the Adolescent AIDS Program at Montefiore. HEART also offers sex education at neighboring middle and high schools throughout the Bronx. More recently, HEART has joined with Project Brief at Jacobi Medical Center, where members conduct rapid HIV testing to patients in the Emergency Department. HEART members receive training from AAP and Jacobi on HIV testing, peer education, sexual history taking and sexual health counseling.

H4H (Hoops for Health) works with students at the local PAL (Police Athletic League) and with Doctors for a Healthier Bronx to expose the young people of the Bronx community to science and medicine or STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics). Students encourage professional development and inspire lifelong learning in this population through athletic engagement. Additionally, the students emphasize the importance of staying physically active and healthy.

HOPE (Homeless Outreach Program at Einstein) seeks to provide educational and health resources to the homeless and high-risk populations of the Bronx. By volunteering at the Living Room, a homeless safe haven in the Hunts Point section of the Bronx, and a syringe-exchange site run by New York Harm Education Educators (NYHRE), members seek to provide resources that are often too inaccessible in these communities. HOPE also involves the entire Einstein community in our outreach efforts to bring attention to the significant social and medical issues that these communities face.

PACT (Patient Advocate ConnecTion) connects medical students with chronically ill patients from the Bronx. Over an 18-month period, students have the opportunity to develop relationships with these patients and serve as their advocates, while also gaining insight into the experiences of patients coping with chronic illness and their interactions with the healthcare system.

SPHERE (Space in Prisons for Health Education for Re-Entry) provides health education at the Edgecombe Correctional Facility in Washington Heights. Einstein students in SPHERE collaborate with the Social Medicine residents at Montefiore to design and lead health workshops directly relevant to the inmate population, including HIV prevention, hepatitis C awareness, nutrition and how to navigate the healthcare system in New York. Ultimately, we aim to be positive health advocates that empower incarcerated populations with knowledge and resources to successfully reintegrate into the healthcare system upon release.

START (Students, Teachers and Researchers Teach) is a volunteer program that brings our love of science to the elementary school classrooms of PS89. We do hands-on science modules with first and second graders and work with their teachers to design modules that work with the NYSC Scope and Science curriculum. Participants will come with us to PS89 (a 5-minute drive from Einstein) and participate in hour-long modules every other week. You will receive all materials and information for the modules in advance, and we are always looking for new, creative ideas. Our goal is to make science fun and easy to understand for all students.

TEACH (Together Educating All Children in Hospital) provides experiential education for pediatric inpatients and their siblings, with a multifaceted goal in mind: bonding time, play time and learning time. TEACH aims to transform hospital playrooms into areas of recreation, friendship and discovery in learning.

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