IU School of Medicine Northwest-Gary faculty Michael McGee, MD, chief of emergency medicine at Methodist, and Reuben Rutland, MD, chief of trauma surgery at Methodist, aren’t just working to treat injuries, but to prevent them in their hometown community of Gary, Indiana. In addition to their roles at Methodist, McGee and Rutland also serve their community as clinical volunteer faculty at IU teaching 3rd and 4th year medical students on clerkship.
As a result of seeing patients with penetrating blunt trauma injuries daily, McGee and Rutland decided to start a nonprofit organization called Project Outreach and Prevention (POP) on Youth Violence in 2014 with a vision to promote youth health awareness and violence prevention.
Pop is focused on decreasing violence in schools and between youth by working directly with school districts through “Fight Free, Bully Free Challenges” and holding pep rallies that promote unity and nonviolence. POP gives students the tools to stop and rise above the violence and inspires them to become leaders of change.
POP’s outreach doesn’t end there. POP’s Health Professions Enrichment Program (HPEP) and Freshman Physicians program engages graduating high school minority students interested in pursuing careers in the health professions. By partnering with local academic and community institutions such as The Methodist Hospitals, IU Northwest, Purdue University Calumet, and local physician and dentist offices, students are exposed to the health professions. Furthermore, HPEP trains students on how to perform CPR and teaches them basic lifesaving skills. By the end of the program students receive Heart Saver Certifications by the POP foundation.
To fuel its mission, POP hosts an annual 5K Run to both raise funds and promote their cause to the broader Indiana community. The 5K will take place on September 12, 2020 at Marquette Park in Gary, Indiana. All are welcome to attend. More details about the race will be posted on POP’s Facebook page, P.O.P on Youth Violence.