Gurnick Academy of Medical Arts received word on Wednesday, March 24, they placed first or Gold for the 2021 CAPPS Excellence in Community Service Award. The award was first established in 2016 and seeks to recognize schools demonstrating exceptional commitment and service within their communities.
“Gurnick Academy of Medical Arts is a great example of what schools can do even during a pandemic!” said Robert Johnson, California Association of Post-Secondary Schools (CAPPS) executive director. “Gurnick Academy of Medical Arts’ multiple and continuous service to its community, including supporting COVID-related services to the affected public, demonstrates their desire to lift the communities they serve,” said Johnson. “Institutions like Gurnick Academy of Medical Arts make California a better place.”
For consideration, the school put forth more than twelve (12) pages highlighting their community service, outreach, and volunteerism achieved by students and staff within the past year. In the application were multiple Coronavirus relief efforts, including an instance where the San Mateo County Health Department made an urgent request of the school for help at a residential care facility for seniors affected by COVID-19. The call sought to mitigate a staffing shortage where medical personnel had walked out, and students filled the gap.
“This event led to the county recommending us to other medical facilities when looking for help and volunteers,” said Fred Faridian, Gurnick Academy of Medical Arts’ San Mateo campus director. “We have established a strong working relationship with the medical community.” 2020 provided students with many volunteer opportunities, including Coronavirus testing, distributing Pfizer-BioNTech inoculations, supplementing clinic workforces, and serving as auxiliary staff to tired responders staffing drive-thru clinics.
Other philanthropic endeavors included helping at flu clinics, supporting food and clothing drives, answering Christmas lists at homeless shelters, and supporting the Walk to End Alzheimer’s cause.
“I am extremely proud of what our campuses and students do to give back to their communities, especially in these challenging times,” said Burke Malin, Gurnick Academy of Medical Arts’ chief executive officer. “Knowing how much our students have stepped forward in this last year demonstrated to me that we made the right choices when admitting them into our allied health programs. I would be honored to have any of them take care of my family or me.”