177288 Student Needs Assessment: Investigating Barriers to Accessing Health Services Among Urban Youth

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Rebecca Wildman-Tobriner, MPH (c) , Department of Health Education, San Francisco State University, San Francisco, CA
Jeff Grantham, MPH (c) , Department of Health Education, San Francisco State University, San Bruno, CA
Pedro Contreras, MPH (c) , Department of Health Education, San Francisco State University, San Francisco, CA
Jennifer Awa, MPH (c) , Department of Public Health, San francisco State University, San Francisco, CA
Four San Francisco State University Masters of Public Health students conducted a yearlong needs assessment for Hawkins Clinic, a community based youth clinic in San Francisco. Students worked in conjunction with a community adjunct faculty, the clinic director, to develop the framework for the health assessment.

The assessment investigated the barriers inhibiting 12-17 year olds from accessing health services at the Hawkins Clinic in Visitacion Valley, a multi-ethnic, low-income neighborhood in San Francisco. The purpose was to give graduate students direct experience conducting an assessment as well as to decrease barriers to health services among the target population.

The students conducted eight focus groups among youth in Visitacion Valley as well as seven key informant interviews among adult youth health workers in the community. The findings demonstrated that complex barriers inhibit access to the clinic, including violence, stigma associated with STDs, lack of knowledge of the clinic, and low self-esteem.

The students analyzed these findings from the community and synthesized recommendations that involved networking with community based organizations, media outreach, and physical site development. Students built on these recommendations in order to strategize a peer-education program plan with the objective of decreasing barriers to services and increasing access to the clinic.

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe the process of utilizing a needs assessment to design an appropriate interventional program for a specific target population. 2. Articulate how student work can involve bridging the gap and networking with communities. 3. Identify barriers to accessing health services among youth in Visitacion Valley, San Francisco.

Keywords: Adolescent Health, Students

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am an MPH (c) student
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.