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Collegiate Health Service Corps. “Connecting Students to Careers, and Communities to Better Health”. CONNECTICUT AHEC’S MISSION.

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Collegiate Health Service Corps

“Connecting Students to Careers,

and Communities to Better Health”


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CONNECTICUT AHEC’S MISSION

“The mission of the Area Health Education Center’s program is to enhance access to quality health care, particularly primary and preventative care, by improving the supply and distribution of health care professionals through community and educational partnerships.”


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WHAT IS CHSC?

The Collegiate Health Service Corps is a three tiered training program for undergraduate college students and provides placements in health based service learning projects.

Benefits of CHSC…

Undecided students likely to enter health fields.

Students build resumes with leadership and community service projects.

Students more likely to continue work with marginalized populations.


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CHSC MISSION

To prepare undergraduate students for service learning experience that provides health education and screenings to underserved populations.

To specifically target freshmen, undecided students, and those interested in health care fields in order to expose them to various health careers.


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CHSC Objectives

To build a bridge between medically underserved populations and students.

To have students provide outreach, education, health screenings and needs assessments.

To build relationships with essential community partners for collaborative efforts.



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Essential Program Components

Curriculum Modules…

Eliminating Health Disparities

Professionalism and Ethics

Health Promotion and Health Education

Core Training… 4 hour highly interactive workshop, 25 hours of Service Learning, 2 hours of Reflection

Intermediate Training… First Aid Certification, 25 hours of Service Learning, 2 hours of Reflection

Advanced Training… CPR Certification, 25 hours of Service Learning, 2 hours of Reflection


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Cultural Competency

“Cultural competency is a set of attitudes, skills, behaviors and policies that enable organizations and staff to work effectively in cross-cultural situations.”

“It reflects the ability to acquire and use knowledge of health-related beliefs, attitudes and communication patterns of clients and their families ….to improve services, strengthen programs, increase community participation and close gaps in health status.”

(Lavisso-Mourney & Mackenzie, 1996, p.919)


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Unique Role of Health Education Outreach Leaders…

“Outreach can be defined as an intentional process of building relationships in a community in order to facilitate access to information, education, services and support for addressing health concerns.”


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BARRIERS TO GOOD HEALTH

Cultural Factors:

Language

Cultural Norms

Informal Healthcare

Minimal Health Literacy

Cultural factors may diminish likelihood to accept information provided

Lack of understanding of wellness


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BARRIERS TO GOOD HEALTH

Literacy

Limited literacy in native language

Limited literacy for English speakers

Lack of health literacy

Living Conditions & Poverty

Legal status and distrust leads to “Fear of the System”

Initial experience with health care system may have been uncomfortable and displeasing.

Desire for healthcare is counteracted by belief in inaccessibility to healthcare system.


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BREAKING THE BARRIERS

Providing Material and Information that is Culturally Relevant

Integrating culture into the health message and materials (i.e. nutrition and food options)

Assuring medical services will not threaten their legal status

Promoting “good health” is not just the absence of illness

Promoting the concept of primary care

Utilizing Interpreters


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University of Connecticut School of MedicineMIGRANT FARM WORKER CLINICS

Six WCSU students participated in the clinics delivering health education completing 60 hours of combined service learning.

Yinnette Espinal became a lead coordinator and interpreter.

Students conducted screenings of blood pressure, blood glucose levels and pulse at the vitals station.


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Facts about the Summer Clinics

  • Connecticut is host to nearly 20,000 Migrant Farm Workers each year.

  • The migrant farm worker population represents some of the most economically disadvantaged people in the U.S. Three quarters of farm workers earn less that $10,000/year, and three out of five families have income below poverty level.

  • In 2008, free services were provided to over 500 migrant farm workers at 31 separate clinics. Of those clients, 242 were provided with counseling on hypertension, pre-diabetes and diabetes.



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Health Education Topics

  • Osteoporosis & Arthritis

  • Cardiovascular Disease & Hypertension

  • Diabetes

  • Nutrition & Exercise

  • Cancer Prevention

  • Dental Care

  • Vision & Hearing

  • Emergency Preparedness

  • Tuberculosis & H1N1

  • STDs

  • Musculoskeletal Problems & Back Care

  • Lyme Disease & West Nile Virus

  • Pterygium & UVA/B Eye and Skin exposure


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DENTAL EDUCATION AT PRIDES CORNER FARM

“The more involved I became with AHEC, the more I leaned about the issues of Latino health care. My interest has grown so much that I now will minor in Latino Studies and Master in Public Health.”


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BACK SAFETY EDUCATION AT PLANT GROUP FARM

“After volunteering at the farms for two semesters, I’ve come to realize that it’s important to learn Spanish, now I plan to minor in it.”


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NUTRITION EDUCATION AT PLANT GROUP FARM

“It helped me learn how to take a broad topic and pinpoint the more important parts to give people a greater understanding.”


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BLOOD PRESSURE SCREENINGS AT PLANT GROUP FARM

“It really opened me up to the issues that concern the world now and has made me want to volunteer and help out the community.”



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NUTRITION EDUCATION AT COVENANT SOUP KITCHEN

“Professionally, this program helped me grow as a person in a more positive way, and besides it looking great on a resume, the program allowed me to focus on networking, to implement the use of Spanish language, and making new friends.”


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DIABETES AND BMI EDUCATION AT COVENANT SOUP KITCHEN

“The soup kitchen was an eye opening experience and solidified my desire to become a doctor.”


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HEALTH LITERACY NUTRITION EDUCATION

“I feel as though I gained a lot from this experience, both in my ability to communicate with people that I didn’t know, as well as learning the importance of health education as a preventative tool.”


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AFTER SCHOOL PROGRAMGLOW-GERM ACTIVITY

“I have changed from someone with little experience working with this population to someone with a passion for the access to healthcare and information for the underserved.”


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HEALTH LITERACY CHILD DEVELOPMENT EDUCATION

“This has been one of the best experiences of my life, and I would not change it for anything.”


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CHSC at West Conn

  • Currently there are 23 core trained service-learners

  • An Official CHSC Club has been established. Brandon Litwin is the current President.

  • Many of the students are from the Danbury area.

  • Six regular volunteer sites established in the greater Danbury area

  • Three Service Projects completed in 2008-2009


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Service Learning Sites

  • YMCA Children’s Center

  • Bethel Health Care (senior care)

  • The Homesteads of Newtown (senior care)

  • Hispanic Center of Danbury

  • Primetime House (psychiatric group home)

  • Federal Correctional Institute of Danbury


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2008-2009 Service Projects

  • Youth Empowerment Conference April ’09: Youth Reacting to AIDS Project

    Sponsor: Interfaith AIDS Ministry

  • Medical Reserve Corps Training

    disaster relief & emergency triage

  • March 2009: Women’s Health Month


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WCSU Majors Represented

  • Biology, Biochemistry & Chemistry

  • Pre Health Professions: Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, Nursing and Physician Assistant, Medicine & Dental Medicine

  • Community Health, Elementary Education, Business Management, Psychology, History and Communications


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Achievements of 2008-2009

  • 635 combined total service learning hours

  • Summer Participation in Migrant Farm Worker Clinics of the UConn School of Medicine summed 60 service learning hours.

  • An Official CHSC Club was established.

  • Work-study money is available for students who qualify.


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CHSC service learning had an impact on…

90% of students believed their original perspective of population served had changed.

100% of students believed CHSC increased their ability to make a difference in the lives of those served.

100 % of students believed CHSC had an influence on their understanding of how poverty impacts health.

100% of students would recommend CHSC to a Friend.

70% of students are interested in taking a leadership position in the CHSC Student Group.


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Goals for 2009-2010

  • Increase West Conn Student Participation

  • Expand Service Learning Sites and Projects

  • Increase the total number of service learning hours and the number of Intermediate and Advanced Trained Students

  • Participation in the Poster Presentations at the November College Corps Symposium at the UCONN School of Medicine

  • Succeed at Supporting West Conn Students in application to Health Professions Graduate Programs

  • Investigate Web-based training and the introduction of social networks to enhance the quality of participation and acceleration through the program


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CONTACT INFORMATION

Northwestern Connecticut AHEC

Amy Riviere, Regional Coordinator

530 Middlebury Rd Suite 212 B

Middlebury CT, 06762

P: 203-758-1110

F: 203-758-1193

E: [email protected]

www.nwctahec.org


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