***The TOUCH Year for 2017-2018 Ends on March 31st at 11:59 pm and a new year started as of April 1st.
*** TOUCH Points do not “roll over” from the previous year.
The TOUCH program stands for Translating Osteopathic Understanding into Community Health, and is a creation of the COSGP, the Council of Osteopathic Student Government Presidents.
This is a national program that gives points to osteopathic medical students for volunteering and community service. Every hour a student volunteers, he or she earns one point. Students who have accumulated 50, 100, or more hours before March 31st of every year are given special recognition at an award ceremony. The student acquiring the most TOUCH points for the year will receive the platinum award. This recognition is included into the individual student’s Dean Letter. TOUCH points are NOT required for a Dean’s Letter.
Every event that students receive credit for must be approved by the Community Outreach Director, as it must follow certain criteria to be TOUCH eligible. To get an event approved, you must submit an Event Documentation form (found at the bottom of the page) at least two weeks prior to the event. If you do not, your event may not be approved in time. Remember, this must be done by club representatives if it’s a club sponsored event or by individuals who wish to volunteer on their own. You cannot advertise an event for TOUCH points prior to approval.
Here’s how it Works:
- In order to receive credit for TOUCH Points, every osteopathic student needs to submit their recorded hours to the TOUCH coordinator before March 31st. To start logging your TOUCH hours, go to the website cosgptouch.aacom.org and Signup for an account. Submit your hours after each event. Individuals participating in group events must individually submit their hours. PLEASE DO SO WITHIN 30 DAYS FOLLOWING THE EVENT (points submitted after that will NOT be accepted and counted towards your total points).
- Students are encouraged to keep an individual and continuous record of events and hours they have volunteered at. It is your responsibility to keep track of your total hours.
- For every club related activity, the president, vice president, or community service coordinator must fill out a TOUCH Event Documentation. Individual events also receive TOUCH points, however, it is that individuals responsibility to fill out the Event Documentation form.
What counts for TOUCH points??
- For the purposes of the TOUCH program, “community service” will be defined as an activity that works to improve the health and wellness of a community. This includes local, state, national, and international activities.
- 1 hour of volunteering = 1 TOUCH point
- Community service activities can be associated with both COM student organizations and external organizations.
- Must be a specific event with a solidified date and time.
- TOUCH credit will only be given for fundraising if it is associated with an actual activity/event and as long as the money raised is to benefit an external organization.
- Donating blood is eligible for 1/2 hour each time the student donates.
- Examples: Soup Kitchen with ACOFP, Health Fairs, Walks/Races such as Breast Cancer Awareness Walk, Summer Camps, etc.
- Transportation TOUCH points: 0.5 points for <30 min commute, 1 point for >30 min commute.
What counts for planning TOUCH points??
- Communicating with off-campus organizations
- Advertising for an event
- Setting up for an event
- Collecting materials for an event
- Half a point per hour of planning/setting up for an event
- Max. of 15 hours for a total of 7.5 planning TOUCH points per year
What does NOT count for TOUCH points??
- First 10 hours of required community service (with regards to religious/legal purposes)
- Leadership responsibilities in a COM student organization
- School-related volunteering (i.e. anything that is put on by our school for our school/students)
- Volunteering in research
- Shadowing a physician/healthcare professional (unless you are EMS trained and providing patient care)
- Conference attendance and advocacy days
- Tutoring classmates/peers
- Any volunteering that took place before matriculation into medical school or while on a leave of absence
- Individuals should not submit for TOUCH credit if any compensation was received, including any payment or reward for any portion of the service that directly benefits the individual, which includes events done through a scholarship (ex: Schweitzer Fellowship)
- Examples: Orientation, filing paper work for the upcoming health fair, White Coat Ceremony, DO Day on the Hill, that summer camp you did right before you started medical school.
Looking for Upcoming Volunteer Opportunities? Click here
If you have any questions, feel free to contact the Community Outreach Director at firstname.lastname@example.org and please put “TOUCH points” in the subject line.
TOUCH – Event Documentation Form – online – This form is for Board Members of Student Groups and Personal Volunteer Events to obtain approval for events