At South University, giving back to our local communities is a part of who we are, and each location exemplifies that in its own way. At South University, Virginia Beach, one of the many means through which our students, faculty and alumni contribute to the community is by volunteering with the Moving Health program, a part of the 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization Promethean Group.
The Promethean Group is a volunteer- and student-run mobile primary medical care clinic for underserved individuals. They provide comprehensive healthcare for the homeless, underprivileged and uninsured populations. Additionally, they partner with local schools and city departments to conduct school and sports physicals for underprivileged youth at no cost.
Our Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) with a specialization in Family Nurse Practitioner Program Director at Virginia Beach, Dr. Ameanthea Blanco-Knezovich, DNP, FNP-C, founded the group in 2017 along with her coworker, Dr. Jessica Parrott, DNP, C-PNP, our Virginia Beach Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) Program Director. Dr. Blanco-Knezovich continues to lead the group as its Executive Director, with Dr. Parrott as the group’s Clinical Director.
For South University students, The Promethean Group provides an excellent opportunity to gain clinical experience and support in-need adults and families from across the region. “One of our goals is to help students build the skill set to work with vulnerable populations, including people who don’t have insurance or reliable access to healthcare,” explains Dr. Blanco-Knezovich. “It also opens their eyes to the number of people in need. We not only serve the homeless community but also middle class people who may be working multiple jobs but still don’t have healthcare benefits.”
With a focus on family practice primary care, The Promethean Group brings together people from multiple specialties and professions to serve those with all levels of health and wellbeing. Across South University, many students and faculty team up to support this mission. For example, our BSN and MSN students collaborate on patient care. Our Healthcare Administration students and faculty check people in as they arrive, and people in the Business programs have contributed ideas to improve the flow and efficiency of the clinic. Associate of Applied Science in Occupational Therapy Assistant and Associate of Applied Science in Physical Therapist Assistant students and faculty are also available on site to support patients.
“Everyone is drawing from their own field of study to make this successful. We have undergraduate and graduate students working together, who are inspiring and learning from each other. Many of them act as mentors,” says Dr. Blanco-Knezovich. “We also have a high retention rate of alumni who continue to stay involved and come to our events. In addition to supporting our mission, the alumni are networking and getting to know our current students, which is beneficial for everyone.”
Most recently, The Promethean Group volunteers planted food at a local community garden to promote better eating and a holistic approach to health. The event was also a chance to meet with community members while they were healthy rather than sick. “I love what we do. I know Dr. Parrot does too, and we are fortunate that we get to work with other staff here at South University who also love what they do,” says Dr. Blanco-Knezovich. “We all step in to do what we can do to help the community.”