Collegiate Health Service Corps. “Connecting Students to Careers, and Communities to Better Health”. CONNECTICUT AHEC’S MISSION.
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“Connecting Students to Careers,
and Communities to Better Health”
“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.”
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.
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.
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.
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
“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)
“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.”
Minimal Health Literacy
Cultural factors may diminish likelihood to accept information provided
Lack of understanding of wellness
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.
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
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.
“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.”
“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.”
“It helped me learn how to take a broad topic and pinpoint the more important parts to give people a greater understanding.”
“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.”
“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.”
“The soup kitchen was an eye opening experience and solidified my desire to become a doctor.”
“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.”
“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.”
“This has been one of the best experiences of my life, and I would not change it for anything.”
Sponsor: Interfaith AIDS Ministry
disaster relief & emergency triage
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.
Northwestern Connecticut AHEC
Amy Riviere, Regional Coordinator
530 Middlebury Rd Suite 212 B
Middlebury CT, 06762