Release Date: 3/15/2022
Velina Chavarro, a 3rd year medical student with the UQ-Ochsner Clinical School was awarded funding from the Dana Foundation for a Brain Awareness Week event. The activity is intended to promote mental health and neuroscience education to children of all ages in the community.
Velina was inspired by the speech made by Ron Amedee, MD, Dean of Medical Education and Head of Ochsner Clinical School at the 2022 White Coat Ceremony, where he highlighted the importance for our future doctors to connect with—and bring health awareness to—our community.
Velina said the idea for the Brain Awareness Week event was based on how our cultural and spiritual world is made to appear incompatible with modern science and medicine. She felt this would be an opportunity to build a bridge between our local religious community and medical professionals (students) during very challenging times. The goal is to help bring focus to integrating our cultural and spiritual beliefs with the science of behavior, emotion, and resilience.
“This event aims to dissipate the stigma around mental health disease by bringing awareness of the brain processes that play in the background and bring a sense of agency to our youngest members,” she added.
Brain Awareness Family Day: “How Our Brain Makes Sense of Challenges” is free to the community and will be held on April 30, 9AM-12PM at The Wellspring Church in Hammond, LA. To learn more about The Dana Foundation’s Brain Awareness Week, visit: