UNE medical student wins prestigious national award from American Geriatrics Society

In addition to her award, Sonia Marcello was among five UNE COM students from the Class of 2020 who gave presentations
In addition to her award, Sonia Marcello was among five UNE COM students from the Class of 2020 who gave presentations at the American Geriatrics Society annual meeting

May 30, 2018

University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine student Sonia Marcello (COM, ’20), was honored at this year’s American Geriatrics Society meeting for her extensive work across geriatrics education, research and local community service.

Marcello received the Edward Henderson Student Award, which is presented to an exceptional student pursuing a career in geriatrics. In her first year as a medical student, Marcello directed community outreach efforts for UNE’s AGS Student Chapter, coordinating fundraisers for the Hospice of Southern Maine and organizing a coat drive for older adults. As part of UNE’s Learning by Living program, Marcello completed a two-week immersive experience living the life of an older resident complete with a diagnosis and standard procedures of care with older adults in a nursing home. 

Marcello is one of only a few students at UNE who completed both the Learning by Living program and the 48 Hour Hospice Home Immersion. This program focuses on providing patient and post-mortem care as well as family support. A Certified Nursing Assistant at age 19, Marcello came to medical school with a wealth of experience caring for older adults, but she considers the immersion projects life-changing in a way that will impact her interactions with older adults and caregivers moving forward. “My career goal has always been to work with older adults and their care partners, but only now do I understand that neither age nor stage of life or health dictate who people are,” she said.

UNE was well represented at this year’s AGS annual meeting. Five UNE COM students from the Class of 2020, along with Marilyn R. Gugliucci, Ph.D., professor in the Division of Geriatrics, gave presentations. 

Robyn Reese and Kristin Frisby presented their respective research conducted at two labs at Harvard Medical School that were funded by the American Federation For Aging Research (AFAR)  Medical Student Training in Aging Research (MSTAR) Fellowships.

Reese was invited to present her work, titled, “C-TraC Boston: Cost-Saving Transitional Care Program for High-Risk Veterans with CHF or COPD,” in the AGS Presidential Poster Session. Frisby presented her AFAR MSTAR Fellowship poster, “Healthy Dietary Patterns and Risk of Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm in the Physicians’ Health Study,” as well as her research conducted in an acute care hospice home, “Care Beyond Expectations: Medical Student 48 Hour Immersion Learning in a Hospice Home.”

James Koch presented his research, “Patient-Centered Outcomes in the Complete Health Improvement Program-CHIP,” which was conducted at the University of Rochester and funded by the UNE COM Peter Morgane Student Research Fellowship.

Sonia Marcello and William Brown also presented a poster from their immersion research at Gosnell Memorial Hospice House titled, “Patient-Centered Care: Medical Students Engagement Through Immersion Learning,”

Gugliucci’s presentation included aggregate data on the 48 Hour Hospice Home Immersion research titled, “48-Hour Hospice Home Immersion Project: Innovative Medical Education Research.”

To learn more about the University of New England’s College of Osteopathic Medicine, visit www.une.edu/com

To apply, visit www.une.edu/admissions

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