“The Verde Park project is an excellent example of the partnership between the university and the city of Phoenix. It’s a great teaching opportunity for our students to learn about community health.” — Stuart D. Flynn, MD, former dean of the UA College of Medicine – Phoenix.

Wildcat Night at HSEBLast year, the College and the Phoenix Parks and Recreation’s FitPHX program got together to figure out ways to bridge the gap between the Campus and Verde Park, which is located only a few blocks away. The result? Wildcat Night @ Verde Park, a monthly program that enables UA College of Medicine – Phoenix students to give back to the community by sharing health and wellness lessons with local youth.

Each month, medical students visit the park to teach topics like how the heart works, the importance of good nutrition, chest compression-only CPR and the dangers of smoking. Altogether, 229 kids from preschool age up to high school and about a dozen medical students participated in the first six sessions, and that number only continues to grow.

Wildcat Night Dissecting Cow HeartsThrough these hands-on activities, the medical students are introducing the next generation to their love for science and medicine, while also fostering the local youths' interest in potential future pursuits. It's a partnership that Phoenix Vice Mayor Daniel Valenzuela, who grew up in the Garfield neighborhood, immediately saw the value in, "Our goals with Wildcat Night @ Verde Park are to open the kids' eyes to the potential of a medical career,” Valenzuela said. “We’re introducing them to young, bright students who are eager and excited to bring their knowledge to the community. Who knows, there may be a future doctor in this group!”

For more information, contact Allison Otu, 602-827-2452.