According to recent Census data and assessment from the Centers for Disease Control, Baltimore City is one of the nation’s leaders in HIV incidence rate and estimated adults living with the virus. Dr. Lorece Edwards, an associate professor in the SCHP and principal investigator for the Get S.M.A.R.T. (Students Mobilized and Retooled to Transform) initiative, says the project will use a multi-tiered outreach strategy to meet young people where they are with critical information they need to make healthier choices.
“We hope to build an environment that produces results. We’re looking at this from a systems perspective to help young people negotiate best practices and make better decisions around alcohol and marijuana use. The unique niche that we bring is our efforts through the Morgan Community Mile, by which we will not only bring Morgan to the community, but the community to Morgan.”
Dr. Edwards says that the project will be a multi-disciplinary initiative involving the SCHP and a variety of academic and student affairs units, including the University’s Counseling and Health Centers and departments from the university’s College of Liberal Arts and the School of Social Work.
Officials say the project will give students constant access to data, programs and peer education training opportunities through web application development, curriculum integration, and volunteerism. An official launch for the program is planned for December 2013.