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Bigger Picture Smarter Join Service The Evolution


Must We

“We have by far the most expensive health system in the world. We spend 50 percent more per person than the average developed country -- spending more on health care than housing or food... ... Less than half of our population gets appropriate care at the right time... ... [Morevover], we have certainly received a poor return on all of our spending. In the industrialized world, we have the highest rate of medically preventable deaths and almost 100,000 people die every year from medical errors and poor quality. That’s the equivalent of two jumbo jets falling out of the sky every day. Meanwhile, the health status of our citizens declines, with chronic disease accounting for 75 percent of our health care costs and 96 percent of Medicare costs...


...we must make important investments in prevention and wellness...Preventing disease and controlling its effects over time need to be the foundation of our health care system.” - Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of The United States Department of Health and Human Services

ISCOPES can systematically address the bigger picture health issues through smarter service accomplished by those who are courageously commited to evolving outside the box


ISCOPES is an evolving health focused service-learning initiative that places GW students and employees from various fields of study as well as community practitioners and neighbors from around the DC Metro Area in interprofessional learning communities to address bigger picture health issues through smarter service. For 8 hours/month September through April, students serve on project teams within these learning communities and tackle these health issues with multi-dimensional service projects. Each learning community and its service project focuses on one of the following health domains: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

Guardian Engagement - getting adults involved with kids’ health Healthy Teen Scholars - adolescent health and health careers Adult Health Literacy - digital health information, drug labels, and medical system literacy People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities - complex health issues Transitioning Veterans - wellness in civilian life Senior Wellness - living exceptionally ages 55+

Culturally competent service, inclusivity of diverse thought, and doing something about real health issues are the ingredients of ISCOPES. This is the world of health‌evolved.

From September through April, you will serve people of the DC Metro Area through three key steps:

1. Participate: Focus on the health issues you care about in one of our six Learning Communities. Teach others about what you have learned elsewhere and learn from others in the process.

2. Serve: Apply what you and colleagues have discussed in your Learning Community in the form of a team service project. Build relationships with community partner sites and serve people who are most vulnerable to negative health outcomes.

3. Adapt: Analyze your project team’s ability to affect change with your service project. Use your creativity, classroom knowledge, and previous experience to adapt your project within your learning community to better affect the health outcomes of our neighbors in the DC Metro Area.

Providing uniquely talented individuals with the chance to engage in increasingly smarter service as a member of a diverse team is the core of ISCOPES. Together, you will address those health issues that cannot be overcome alone.

Find Out More:

What You Give

ISCOPES Year At A Glance People with good hearts, great minds, and important skills are always busy, but we build time, space, and flexibility into the ISCOPES schedule so that you can be involved despite your to-do list. Take a look at how the year flows so learning communities can come together and committed people can serve those who need it most.

Large Group Event with Learning Community Time

(Coaches/Advisors/Key Stakeholders welcome at all, but Coaches required for Large Group Event dates with a ; Student participation required at all)

Learning Community/ Project Team Time

(At least one Coach or Advisor at each; Student participation required at all)

ISCOPES 9/2012 – 4/2013 Schedule

“I would say our greatest success was the discussion we had about “them” and “us”. Throughout the meeting these terms were used often, until one of the group members pointed out that ‘we’ are ‘them.’” – Transitioning Vets Blog Post

“No member of our team, as an individual, “We discovered that ‘health’ is about more could have completed our goal, but because than just treating the we were able to combine our experience, disease or condition you knowledge, and creativity, the finished project see immediately in front was truly greater than the sum of its parts.” of you. Health is about the -- Guardian Engagement Project Team whole person, as “This was very influenced by their motivating community, lifestyle, “[My teammate] is going to be a great and it taught professional wherever he ends up.” activities, ideals, and me that young beliefs.” “[My teammate’s] dedication was inspiring.” people do not give up on you -- ISCOPES Student “Interprofessional teamwork is hard work but pays dividends.” -- ISCOPES Coach

The ISCOPES Experience

“It’s great to feel that we may start these kids off to a healthy routine that could help them lead long and healthy lives.” -- ISCOPES Student

and that they believe in you and will fight with you to the end.” -- ISCOPES Coach

Why Your Service Counts: DC Data Data below are presented for each of ISCOPES’ Six Learning Communities

Guardian Engagement

Healthy Teen Scholars

Adult Health Literacy

IDD Community

Transitioning Vets

Senior Wellness

76,753 students were enrolled in DC Public Schools and Charter Schools in FY12, all of whom have to get a Universal Health Certificate filled out every year by their guardian and health provider.

“Older children who consistently participate in after-school activities are more likely to attend college, vote, and volunteer later in life.”

61% of adults in the District of Columbia read at or below a 6th grade reading level. 40% of District residents have completed grades 9 - 12 (or their GED) as their highest level of education. T. Ritsema, JHU

1,328 people in DC are living with intellectual and developmental disabilities (FY09). 40% of adults with disabilities report fair or poor health compared to 10% of adults without disabilities.

PTSD occurs in about 30% of Vietnam Veterans. 11,600 Vietnam Veterans live in the District of Columbia.

Nearly 12% of District residents are 65+ years of age. Of this population, 58.1% are either overweight or obese.

738 veterans in DC in 2012 were counted as homeless.

Through ISCOPES, you’ll hone skills and knowledge crucial for evolving into a stellar health-focused professional. You’ll also gain: 1. Connections with neighbors throughout the District – crucial for future rotations and practicums 2. New relationships formed with new colleagues – meet friends from different disciplines 3. Orientation to Washington, D.C. – for those less familiar with DC, a chance to explore 4. Deeper awareness, understanding, and value of yourself, others, health, and healthcare 5. The desire to learn more – you’ll leave asking more questions than when you first arrived 6. Access to content experts, faculty, and practitioners – many within your Learning Community 7. Out-of-classroom experiences – go beyond the lecture halls and books 8. Practice as a part of a health care team 9. Skills in health promotion/education 10. The chance to hone your time management skills and to learn to lead a balanced life 11. FUN! – make the most of your time at GW

All students who successfully complete a year of service with ISCOPES will receive: 1. A special designation on their academic transcript 2. Verified content to add to your resume – plus references and letters of recommendations 3. A Chance at a Team MVP (most valuable participant) Award 4. Students selected for a leadership role on the ISCOPES advisory board will receive a special notation on their transcript

Find Out More:

What You Gain

An Essay and A Call Institutional Passive Indifference: A Call to Mobilize [Edited for space] “We take many things for granted. As young, educated, privileged students of a private university we are sometimes sheltered from the harsh realities of the communities around us. Through work with [ISCOPES], I became aware of the various health disparities in and around the Anacostia community of Washington, DC.

Medical adherence and patient/physician communication are also dependent on the level of health literacy of the patient. The capacity to obtain, process, critique and apply basic health information and services is compromised when an individual has low literacy. Unfortunately, an array of social and behavioral determinants impacts the ability to maximize a person’s health utility or capacity.

There is a need to create and organize a system where there is a fair distribution of access to health. Look around you; DC is a great place to grow academically but it is riddled with racial and socio-economic stigmas that have consequently marginalized many of the people that we work with.

Through social justice initiatives and advocacy work, we can potentially alter discourse and promote education and One of the disparities we fight is the responsibility to help combat some of the issue of varying levels of health literacy. [A Through street outreach and personalized weekly training courses, we societal and political problems that training] presented by Professor Tamara are trying to fight this disparity on the pervade our local, state, and federal S. Ritsema discussed the importance of grassroots level. Collectively, we try to government currently. In order to make being cognizant of health literacy in the a systematic and vital contribution to work that we do through ISCOPES. It was educate community members on the health disparities associated with their health reform at least in the DC area, astonishing to learn that the nation’s cohort and help them advocate for somehow we need to ground reform back capital has a mean reading level of a 9 better health care for not only themselves to a moral issue. year old. There is a fundamental and institutional problem we need to address but for their communities. Furthermore, when 40% of DC residents have no more we want to ideally help individuals make Perhaps we will move one step closer in than a high school degree. In my opinion, lifestyle changes to improve their the new year…” it doesn’t necessarily have to do with the personal health so that the high prevalence of chronic, communicable, --Asha Cesar, Public Health Graduate physical ability or capacity level of these and mental illnesses can be addressed. Student, 2011 - 2012 ISCOPES Participant individuals as much as it has to do with As a coalition of young professionals system/institutional issues. bound together by a common interest, Health literacy dictates whether or not a we need to galvanize and excrete person will access or seek medical care. morality back into the health arena.

Apply Now Go to today. Sign up to serve with the people you care about and work on those health issues most important to you. Learning Communities are filled on a first come, first serve basis! Apply by

September 5th, 2012 at 11:59pm! Applicants must: 1. Be enrolled as a GW student 2. Be interested in personal and communal healthy living 3. Commit at least 8 hours of service per month (an average of 2 hours/ week; not including commute time) from September through April 4. Agree to a background or security check, fingerprinting, and/or TB test, as applicable (TBD depending on community partner site requirements) Previous experiences with service, health education and promotion, and leadership are desirable, but not required.

Connect With Us

ISCOPES 2300 I Street, NW #708 Washington, DC. 20037 Website: Email:


Evolve with ISCOPES in 2012 - 2013!