Student spotlight: Ariana Cucci, OMS IV, and Kristina Green, OMS IV
Medical school provides a unique opportunity to grow your passion in life and support your community at the same time. Two Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine students have taken this approach to medical school and created a community outreach organization that combines their excitement for holistic health with their personal pursuit of wellness.
Female Partnered Health is a student-run community outreach organization in Cleveland founded by students Kristina Green, OMS IV, and Ariana Cucci, OMS IV. Female Partnered Health focuses on mother-daughter partnerships and stemmed from Green's relationship with her own mother. The mother-daughter duo has always taken an active role in one another's health and well-being. Green and her mom were workout partners until she moved away to start medical school. Yet they continue to share healthy recipes and monthly workout plans with one another.
Green found several studies on leveraging a mother-daughter partnership and its highly effective way of increasing positive health outcomes in both the mothers and daughters. With these studies and shared common interests, the two worked together to shape their passions into Female Partnered Health. Cucci found yoga to be beneficial in reducing her stress and promoting her physical, mental and emotional health. Combined with her own influential relationship with her mother, fervor for women’s health, and the two’s shared devotion for a holistic approach to health and wellness, Female Partnered Health took shape.
Being founders of Female Partnered Health has given Green and Cucci an opportunity to meet women in the Cleveland community and witness first-hand the impact they are having in their lives. The idea behind the mother-daughter partnership is to remove barriers such as time constraints and uncertainty of how to improve your own health, increase motivation and have shared accountability.
Prioritizing and caring for one's own health are much easier when you have a supportive partner, Green said. Both Cucci and Green are devoted to guide and encourage women to give support to one another. Their hope is that by facilitating health-related events it will serve as an opportunity for mothers and daughters to spend time with one another, form a closer bond and ultimately foster more empowered, healthier females.
Female Partnered Health has hosted yoga and meditation gatherings, as well as art workshops, and plan to host more programs and events in the future including book clubs, art classes and female centered health education activities. These events are free to the community through the hard work and dedication of the founders. To minimize costs, Green and Cucci are certified to teach yoga, utilize their personal skill sets for art classes and work with public community spaces for free. Any current costs for events come out of their pockets, but they are limited. In the fall they plan to apply for grants and other funding for the expansion of the program.
For students who want to do more outside the classroom during med school, Green and Cucci say to stay curious and capitalize on your interests; think about what makes you who you are outside of medicine and be creative in finding a way to give back to others that is genuine to you and your passions.