Little Bit of Help (LBoH) is a volunteer program at the University of Alberta that provides undergraduate students with a unique exposure to clinical research. Students volunteer their time to assist in the completion of research studies providing a low-cost framework for study investigators.
LBoH arose from a specific need to complete minimally or non-funded pilot projects and medical research studies. Undergraduate students are the largest group of learners on campus, however, there was no formal program for them to learn about and participate in medical research. Exposure to research early on in life is one of the biggest predictors of lifelong participation in research and allows the student to realize how important research is in the development of our society. LBoH is the only program at the UofA that provides undergraduate students with training and exposure to clinical research. Additionally, it offers free-of-cost services to researchers, enabling them to initiate and move forward with their non-funded projects.
"The LBoH program has been a great opportunity for me to get an insider's view of clinical research and of what it's really like to work within the hospital setting. At every one of my shifts in the emergency department, I am inspired by how families who are going through such stressful times in their children's lives are willing to take the time to hear about the research we're doing at the U of A..."
-Sarah Aziz - Student Volunteer since February 2013
LBoH programs at other institutions resulted in improved faculty productivity and student outcomes. The annual faculty publication rate increased 10 fold over the ﬁrst four years of the LBoH program at Stony Brook. Additionally, students at UPenn who participated in their LBoH program were 60% more likely to get into medical school, despite a lower GPA, compared to all other students.
In the two years that LBoH has been on the U of A campus, we have seen the volunteer population grow from under a dozen to over 60 active volunteers. The majority of our volunteers aspire to become healthcare professionals and many have gone on to professional programs after volunteering with LBoH. Also, the number of studies supported by LBoH has grown from two to over ten. We endeavor to be a part of many more student and faculty successes!
We have already raised our $10 000 goal, which has been matched by the Women and Children's Health Research Institute (www.wchri.org).
We are continuing to raise funds above our goal! Further donations will help fund the Little Bit of Help Scholarship Fund for outstanding LBoH student volunteers.
How LBoH Works
The volunteer coordinator is the sole employee of LBoH and is therefore, exclusively responsible for recruiting, interviewing, hiring, scheduling, providing initial training, and managing all volunteers in the program. Other tasks such as marketing, fundraising, and administration are also handled by the volunteer coordinator. Finally, she acts as the connection between volunteers and researchers, providing ongoing support for both sides. All these services are offered free of charge to researchers, saving them not only hours of work, but also breaking the monetary barrier often present in research.
LBoH is a unique volunteer program in that it provides students with more hands-on and in-depth health care experience. Many of the involved studies allow students to gain clinical experience by providing them with an environment to directly interact with participants, patients and health-professionals. The following is a summary of just some of the research studies using LBoH volunteers and the skills & experiences gained by the students.
WHEEZ-E: This study looked at the effects of azithromycin on preschool children presenting with wheeze, based on recovery time, length of time without symptoms, and the need for asthma relieving medication. Volunteers gained experience using the medical database to scan for inclusion/exclusion criteria, recruiting participants by explaining the study to parents, working with doctors and nurses, and conducting questionnaires as part of the enrollment process.
CHILD / SLEEP-E: The CHILD study looks at the longitudinal health of children over the first 5 years of their life based on the environment they develop in. SLEEP-E is a sub-study of CHILD, looking at the relationship between early childhood sleep and neurodevelopment. Volunteers of this study gain experience collecting medical histories, reading and analyzing sleep studies, and understanding neurodevelopmental tests such as BAYLEY and NEPSY.
Safety Surveillance: In this study, we are interested in which practices and policies contribute to the safest procedural sedation for children. This is the ultimate clinical experience for volunteers; they are able to observe minor medical procedures while recording vitals, patient temperament, and physician input.
Language of Satisfaction: The purpose of this study is to determine the words children use to describe satisfaction. Volunteers gain valuable hands-on experience as the face of this study. They are tasked with conducting interviews with children and recording the language they use to answer questions about their hospital experience.
PIAAF-Pharmacy: This study aims to determine the prevalence of atrial fibrillation in the geriatric community in an effort to reduce the number of strokes, disability, and dementia caused by a lack of therapy. Volunteers are tasked with recruiting participants, administering a diabetes questionnaire, recording blood pressure and ECG measurements, and gathering medical history. This opportunity leaves students with ample experience in patient interaction.
"As the research coordinator of many studies, I do not have the time to schedule and manage the volunteers who make the studies possible. Working with LBoH has been so beneficial, allowing me to focus on managing the studies while the volunteer coordinator gives me all the support I need with the volunteers."
-Nadia Dow - Research Coordinator in Pediatric Emergency Medicine
How Can YOU Help
Donate: Any amount is appreciated. Your support will ensure that more undergraduate students and health-care researchers can benefit from this volunteer program. All donations will receive a tax receipt from the University of Alberta.
Spread the word: If you would like to support LBoH in a non-monetary fashion, please Tweet, Facebook, and blog about our campaign. We are a new group, so getting our name out will be paramount to our fundraising success!
For more information on the program and the participating studies, please visit www.lboh-ualberta.com
For more information about the Women and Children's Health Research Institute, please visit www.wchri.org.
With the generous support of our donors, we have been able to reach our goal and then some! Reaching $ 11 745 means that LBoH can continue to provide 'a little bit of help' for both students and researchers.
Of the money raised, $10 000 (plus the matched funds from the Women and Children's Health Research Institute - www.wchri.org) will fund a program coordinator who will run LBoH for another year.
The remaining $1 745 will be used to fund a new LBoH initiative - the Little Bit of Help student volunteer scholarship fund, which will be awarded to outstanding LBoH student volunteers each year!
If you know students or researchers who could benefit from this program, please direct them to lboh-ualberta.com
Thank-you to everyone who made this campaign successful!
You can stay updated on LBoH here: lboh-ualberta.com
What we have accomplished is the start of the future for LBoH...we have been able to take on a new endeavor in the scholarship fund and are very excited to grow even more in the next year.
On our last day, we want to continue to get the LBoH name out by sharing our campaign page on social media!
With only two days left in the campaign, we are still hoping to get the word out about our program.
In the next year, researchers can look forward to the help of enthusiastic volunteer research assistants and the support of the LBoH coordinator. Students can look forward to more research opportunities and even a chance at a scholarship!
If you know of anyone who can benefit from LBoH, please direct them to our website lboh-ualberta.com.
Raising these funds means that students can look forward to scholarship rewards in 2015. We are so pleased to be able to support undergraduate education and research more and more each year!
The 'LBoH Grease' campaign will continue to run until November 18, during which time all further funds will be put towards the LBoH scholarship fund.
Then, we had to decide what we were going to do with a whole other two weeks of campaigning! The decision was not hard...we are going to use excess funds to reward our volunteers with a scholarship!
Each year (depending on funding), an outstanding LBoH volunteer will be chosen to receive the Little Bit of Help Undergraduate Scholarship.
Our volunteers definitely deserve this recognition so please continue to help us spread the word!
We are hoping to raise an extra $1000 to put towards the scholarship fund.
We can't wait to get started on our next step forward! This USEED campaign has helped a tremendous amount, not only by raising funds, but also by raising awareness about our amazing program! We will be growing a ton in the next year by taking on more students and more research studies. If you know of anyone who could potentially benefit from our program, be sure to direct them to our website lboh-ualberta.com.
We still have two weeks left in our campaign. The money raised during this time will go towards a new LBoH initiative: the LBoH scholarship! Each year, investigators, staff, and fellow volunteers will all be part of choosing an outstanding LBoH student to receive a scholarship!
Thank-you to everyone who has already supported the 'LBoH Grease' campaign, we could not have done it without you!
There have been two articles published on the success of the undergraduate student volunteer program at Toronto's sick kids hospital.
Great for Students: 88% of student volunteers who applied to professional programs (Med, grad school, allied health) or to paid research positions with a reference letter from the volunteer program were accepted.
Great for Researchers: Student’s screened over 11 000 patients for research studies over 2 year and consented over 3000 patients. The student volunteers were found to recruit and consent just as effectively as paid research coordinators.
This is what LBoH can achieve with your help!
Happy Halloween from LBoH!
Little Bit of Help is the only program of its' kind on the U of A campus and is a great resource for students and faculty alike. We are excited to improve the program each year, but we need the support of our surrounding community to keep this amazing program moving forward.
Everyone who works with LBoH knows how great the program is, but we are amazed at the incredible support we have received from the surrounding community!
The LBoH currently supports over 50 student volunteer research assistants in 9 research studies at the U of A. We are 50% closer to maintaining this support for another year!
Another year of funding means that the LBoH can further expand their reach at the U of A by recruiting more students and more research studies. We endeavor to become a campus-wide name and a go-to stop for students looking for research experience! The more the program expands, the more we can tailor each student's experience to their academic interests.
Thank-you to everyone who is supporting education and research at the U of A!
For more information on LBoH, vist www.lboh-ualberta.com
What is LBoH?
Little Bit of Help is a research assistant program that supports University of Alberta undergraduate student volunteers in research assistant roles at the U of A hospital. These students gain valuable clinical experience that has allowed many of our alumni to reach their goal of entering professional programs. The research studies in which the students volunteer are often low or non-funded projects that would not be possible without the help of volunteers.
What are we raising money for?
LBoH Grease! is looking to raise $10 000 to support the volunteer coordinator role. The VC is a U of A BCom student who looks after everything from marketing and fundraising to recruiting and training the volunteers.
Every donation, up to $10 000 is matched by the Women and Children's Health Research Institute (www.wchri.org)
Anthony Williams PC
Helder & Nela Afonso
A. Dean Befus
Maxine Van Wyk
Patrick von Hauff
Luxus Management Co. c/o Stephen Petasky
35 supporters have chosen not to be listed for "LBoH Grease!".
Make an Impact
Every ‘Little Bit’ helps! Your donation will help us market our mission around campus!
This is where it all starts to take shape! You are funding the training of one volunteer!
You are helping our program grow! Your donation funds a day of recruiting students and research studies!
You are helping us build our volunteer team! You are funding one volunteer for a full school term!
The longer they volunteer, the more a student learns! You are funding a volunteer for two full school terms!
You’re getting us closer to our goal! Your donation will fund the training of 20 volunteers!
The ultimate accomplishment! You have funded three volunteers for a full calendar year with your donation!