American Red Cross (ARC) visited American University of Health Sciences (AUHS) to discuss collaboration and brainstormed ideas on how AUHS students can become more involved with ARC. Three Red Cross representatives met with AUHS Co-founder Pastor Gregory Johnson and his associates in the university’s Second Floor Conference room on Thursday February 16, 2017.
Pastor Johnson prayed for his guests, discussed AUHS’ mission statement, core values and university culture and extended a hand of friendship to the ARC.
“We would love to have American Red Cross to be here as part of our community,” Pastor Johnson said, “One of the strongest things we have as a university is our community engagement.”
AUHS has several community outreach events each year including Acts of Love, Giving Thanks and Health Fair, where the university and its nursing students provides free groceries and health care services to low income families, the homeless and other needy individuals.
“The most important thing for me right now is what we do to exemplify those things that please God which means helping people, serving people, touching people’s lives, and encouraging them,” Pastor Johnson said.
AUHS not only encourages its students to strive for academic excellence, but to be patient, kind and compassionate nurses. AUHS students learn how to genuinely care for others by volunteering at the university’s community outreach events thus experiencing first-hand the social, economic and medical issues low income families and homeless individuals face each day.
Pastor Johnson showed the ARC representatives pictures and videos of the university’s charitable events. He then asked his guests what they thought about having AUHS students volunteer for the Red Cross.
ARC Project Specialist Yara Badrakhan suggested that AUHS students could volunteer at the Red Cross’ Home Fire campaign where they would go door-to-door in different neighborhoods and ask people if they wanted a fire alarm installed in their homes.
“(Pastor Johnson) talked about wanting your students to actually see the community, be a part of it. The Home Fire campaign is that kind of event,” Badrakhan said, “We see so many heartfelt and successful stories of us installing an alarm one day and a week later, a fire occurs and the family is saved because of our alarms. This would be a great way for your students to get involved and be part of the community.”
Badrakhan also stated that the Red Cross would be willing to participate in AUHS’ Health Fair, Acts of Love and other events that will allow them to set up a booth and educate AUHS’ students and event participants about the many services the Red Cross provides such as Service to the Armed Forces (SAF), health and safety courses such as CPR training, and much more.
ARC Board Member Jeff Sakaguchi emphasized how the services provided by the Red Cross are “great community service tools” that will help people cope, prepare for and at least be aware of disasters whether it is a fire, an earthquake, an injury, etc. Just like AUHS, ARC keeps the most vulnerable members of our society in mind, especially during these disasters.
“Just being able to know what to do and how to respond in the event that there is a major disaster, like an earthquake, it is something that we really strive to have our most vulnerable communities be aware of,” Sakaguchi said, “It will take time to have a well-coordinated response and people need to have that preparedness built in otherwise they truly are at risk.”
ARC has another campaign called Prepare So-Cal and part of this operation is to identify “vulnerable communities.” There are several factors of a vulnerable community including demographics, economic level, language, education, the structuring of that particular community, and so on. In LA county alone the Red Cross had identified 15 vulnerable communities including Bell Gardens and Compton.
The Red Cross is an organization that not only focuses on the health and safety of people in Southern California but seeks to help individuals from all over the world. ARC Faith Based Program Manager Osas Otasowie discussed how she and ARC’s International Services plan to host an event to promote their Restoring Family Links service.
“The focus of this meeting is to discuss one of our services where we restore family links who had been separated because of war, disaster, or whatever it is,” Otasowie said, “If there’s anybody LA-based that needs to find a loved one anywhere in the world, we provide those services absolutely free.”
ARC plans to have the Restoring Family Links meeting in March or early April of this year but the location had not yet been decided. When Pastor Johnson mentioned that Long Beach was the most diverse city in America, Otasowie said the ARC might consider to have this meeting at AUHS.
“We would love to do that and if that’s something you’re open to,” Otasowie said, “We are looking for the right location, a way we can pull people from diverse cultures and just talk about (Restoring Family Links) and spread the awareness. ”
AUHS is a private, for-profit, minority owned, minority serving, Christian-based university whose mission is to educate and equip students with life careers and to produce quality health care professionals for the community, the nation and the world. It is a university where appreciation of life and one’s spiritual reason for existence can be nurtured.
AUHS offers a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN), a Bachelor of Science in Pharmaceutical Sciences (BSPS) and a Master of Science in Clinical Research (MSCR). To request more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (562) 988-2278. For the latest news, pictures and videos of American University of Health Sciences’ events, like us on Facebook @auhs.edu and follow us on Twitter @AUHS_Campus and Instagram @auhsedu.