AMSA's Local Chapter Project Directory

Project title Empty White Coat Rally & Broken Bread Meal
Project type(s) Other
Date completed 12/2007
Chapter Keck SOM of University of Southern California
Project Coordinator Jeffrey Lee
Summary of project The Empty White Coat Rally was held on December 5, 2007 in commemoration of Global AIDS Day. The purpose of this event was to raise awareness for the healthcare worker shortage in Africa, which is critically hindering the ability of many nations to deal with the large disease burdens due to the AIDS epidemic. We floated empty white coats on helium-filled balloons on the Health Sciences Campus and raised signs showing our support for Senator Durbin’s bill, the African Health Capacity Investment Act of 2007, S.805. Along with this display, we set up tables, call sheets, a video recording station, and 2 laptops on the upper quad where students can contact their senators using AMSA call sheets, and online resources.

The Empty White Coat Rally was co-hosted with a Broken Bread Meal, where students ate a meal that World Vision serves to impoverished AIDS populations in sub-Saharan Africa. The simple meal included a tasteless, yet nutritious, gruel-like substance and story cards of victims of poverty who currently survive on the gruel-like substance every day. Students ate the meal on the quad next to the Empty White Coat rally. The two events are not mutually exclusive; participants of one event were encouraged to participate in the other one as well.

Representatives of the Africa Dream Project were also invited to set up a booth in the quad. They shared about their work with developing neighborhoods in rural Kenya and about how medical students can get involved. At their booth, they also sold crafts and jewelry that are made by the women they work with in rural Kenya.

This event was promoted to the USC Schools of Medicine, Pharmacy, Physical Therapy, and Occupational Therapy. We believe that it is essential for healthcare professionals to work as a team in tackling the endemic problems of global health.

Content area HIV/AIDS
Number of participants 75
Participant hours involved 100 hour(s)
Coordinator roles
Coordinator hours hour(s)
Total project cost $210
Project funding Local chapter funds,AMSA grant
Funding breakdown of sources and/or donations:
Project advertising Flyers, mass emails, & class announcements. All three advertising methods helped draw a crowd. More information should have been included in the advertising to tell people exactly what to expect on the day of the event.
Success rating
(1 = unsuccesful, 5 = very successful)
Lessons/suggestions - Select a day when first and second year medical students have class in the morning AND afternoon.

- Serving sizes for the Broken Bread Meal will be about half the size of what World Vision says we should serve.

- At least 15 balloons are needed t