The service activities that members provide during their term of service vary depending on the partner host site where they serve. Some of the services members provide include teaching health education workshops on topics such as diabetes, nutrition, sexual health, and smoking cessation; enrolling patients in health insurance and pharmacy medication assistance programs; promoting and coordinating health screening and testing; and recruiting volunteers. Link to Position Descriptions
PRE-SERVICE ORIENTATION (PSO)
Pre-service orientation is held during the first week of the program year. It prepares members for their AmeriCorps year of service by providing basic knowledge about AmeriCorps, National Health Corps (NHC), and National Health Corps (NHC Pittsburgh). On the first day of PSO, members must also provide NHC Pittsburgh staff with all required documentation that will permit them to serve as an AmeriCorps member.
During PSO, members are provided with training in skills such as effective communication, teambuilding, civic leadership, cultural diversity and sensitivity, and other core competencies.
PSO is the time when members begin to develop the friendships that will last throughout the year and beyond.
Members must serve on one or more member committees during their term of service, and will select the member committee that they wish to serve with during PSO. While serving on a committee, members develop leadership skills, enhance professional skills, and expand networking skills. The four committees are: Training/Professional Development Committee, Service Project Committee, Communications Committee, and Social/Peer Support Committee.
Members receive training on a regular basis throughout the year through PHC and their host sites. Members come together monthly for training that provides them with opportunities for personal and professional development both to ensure successful completion of a year with AmeriCorps and preparation for future goals. Members are also encouraged to present a health-related topic of their choice and are encouraged to suggest topics/presenters for training throughout their term of service.
NHC Pittsburgh Member Core Competencies covered during PSO are intertwined with trainings and service projects throughout the service year. Examples of previous trainings include; effective communications, CPR/First Aid, conflict resolution, civic engagement, cultural diversity and sensitivity, HIV/AIDS, motivational interviewing, financial literacy, team building, and emergency/disaster preparedness.
Depending on the members’ interest and focus, the training committee will organize trainings on other topics such as health care options, environmental health issues, homelessness and health disparities.
LOCAL SERVICE PROJECTS
Throughout the year, members participate in service projects independent of their sites in order to increase their exposure to community health needs and services, and to promote National Service. It is also an opportunity to collaborate with other local AmeriCorps members, community sites, and volunteers to highlight the impact of service and ensure a commitment to a lifetime of service.
Members meet to share experiences and reflect on their service, plan service projects, complete committee assignments, and continue building an esprit de corps. Attendance at meetings is mandatory for all members. There is usually time at each training session to share challenges and successes with the entire group. Through these discussions, members share their knowledge and strengths as they become more of a resource to each other and the sites where they serve.
All members have administrative duties related to their service including keeping an accurate record of hours served, services provided, workshops performed, and volunteers recruited for AmeriCorps documentation. Sites also require the recording of data to ensure appropriate service is provided.
While some members serve at sites where volunteer recruitment is the primary activity, all members are expected to recruit volunteers while in service. Recruiting volunteers is an element of all AmeriCorps programs and therefore a responsibility of all NHC Pittsburgh members. Recruiting volunteer develops a cadre of volunteers that helps programs and communities sustain services after the program ends.
The member retreat is a time of teambuilding, service year planning, reviewing, relaxation, reflection, and recharge.
RECOGNITION CEREMONY/END OF YEAR TRAINING SEMINAR
The Member and Partner Recognition Ceremony/End of Year Training Seminar caps off the program year and generally consists or a luncheon, with appreciation speeches, member, partner and staff reflection, awarding of certificates, and the celebration of a successful year of service. A guest speaker provides members, partners and staff with a presentation about the impact member service has on the community, the impact the community has had on them, and the importance of their service for the future of public health and the country.