Each year, the association gives the award to a non-public health professional group that has made a significant contribution to public health initiatives.
The Upper Cumberland Regional Health Office nominated EIME, which is directed by Stephen Canfield, professor of mechanical engineering at TTU.
“The innovative contributions of the engineering group have made a miraculous difference in the lives of special needs children in the Upper Cumberland,” said Debbie Johnson, Upper Cumberland Regional Health director. “We felt they were most deserving of this award.”
For more than a decade, EIME has partnered with Children’s Special Services to provide innovative, engineered products, free of charge, to children with special needs. More than 300 TTU engineering students have completed projects through the program, which typically serves at least three families each semester. CSS recommends the families and individuals who need assistance.
“The work of this group is improving the quality of life for Tennessee children and their families, and they are a shining example to others in our state,” said Shelnessa Cole, Upper Cumberland nursing director.
Past EIME projects have included the design, modification or construction of a playground, walkers and wheelchairs, adaptive seating, tricycles and bicycles, beds and toys.
“The EIME project forces students to be active learners. They have to bridge the gap between textbook theory and real-world challenges,” said Canfield. “In the process, they become practicing engineers before ever leaving the classroom, and they see the positive impacts they can make through their engineering careers.”
CUTLINE: Robert Goff of the Tennessee Public Health Association presents the PAL Group Award to TTU’s Stephen Canfield, Joseph McVeigh and Jordan Cleek. McVeigh is a mechanical engineering major from Johnson City. Cleek is a civil engineering major from McMinnville.