Meet Her Campus McGill’s latest Campus Celeb and one of the newest clubs on campus, the McGill Students for Geriatric Health Society (MSGH)! HC had the opportunity to sit down with Kate Morrison and Angela Dong, the Co-Directors and Co-Founders of MSGH, to hear about the positive impact their club is making in the McGill commuity.
Morrison and Dong were inspired to start the club because there were no existing clubs focusing on the senior demographic. Morrison commented, “As the Canadian population continues to age, institutions like McGill need to create leaders that are passionate and educated about the work that needs to be undertaken in the field of geriatric care.”
MSGH is dedicated to raising awareness about geriatric health and issues impacting the elderly. Working mainly through lecture series and conferences, they are hoping to open the topic of the aging population to McGill students. MSGH will also be partnering up with local organization in the Montreal community in order to organize weekly student volunteer trips.
On the topic of their goals for the semester, Dong explained they want to get McGill students talking about geriatric-related issues. “It could be as simple as just creating dialogue on campus to preparing McGill graduates with the resources and knowledge to effectively improve the health care outcomes of elderly populations, in turn creating a more effective healthcare system for everyone.”
This semester, MSGH has been focusing on organizing its internal structure. Morrison explains that “our biggest responsibility so far has been just getting the club started; tabling at the activity fair, interviews for our executive team, filling out application forms, etc.” The club is currently in the midst of planning their first lecture series for this March, entitled “Words of Wisdom Series.” They are also preparing to hold their first annual conference next fall. In addition, they are partnering up with several on-campus clubs to host an event on patient care and safety on March 12, 2015.
When asked what is one piece of critical information most people don’t know about geriatric health, Morrison explains “I think our generation needs to recognize that many elderly people are lonely and that in a society as advanced as Canada, this is not okay. Societies need to build communities that foster relationships across generational boundaries in order to learn from one another and alleviate loneliness in our elderly population.” Dong added, “there is a current need for more geriatricians and other professionals in this field and this is an area that MSGH hopes to promote.”
MSGH is a great opportunity for students who are interested in pursuing a profession in healthcare, particularly specializing in geriatric health. Dong is a third-year student majoring in Anatomy and Cell Biology. She remarks, “I’m most interested in the chronic illnesses and diseases that afflict the elderly.” Morrison is also in her third year majoring in Environment (Ecological Determinants of Health) with a minor in Social Studies of Medicine. She explains, “geriatric health is very relevant to my area of study as elderly populations are a particularly vulnerable population to environmental disease burdens… I also have interests in health policy that focuses on the social and ecological determinants of health affecting the elderly populations and other vulnerable populations.”
MSGH is open to students from all faculties and majors. Both Dong and Morrison agree that a diversity of students from all areas of study and personal experiences is pertinent for the establishment of a thriving club. Interested students can get involved in one of multiple sub-committees MSGH will be running or as a general member. MSGH is holding their first general meeting on March 16th, 2015 in SSMU room 302 from 6:30-8:30 where students can learn more about possible opportunities and how to get involved.
Images obtained from the McGill Students for Geriatric Health Facebook Page.