181831 Building a College-Community Partnership: Lessons in Best Practices

Wednesday, October 29, 2008: 10:50 AM

Linda H. Zoeller, PhD, FNP, BC , WMU Bronson School of Nursing, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, MI
The purpose of this session is to articulate how nursing / health care educational programs of colleges and universities can build and strengthen their bonds with the local community. Issues to be addressed include: How does a college build that capacity? What are the benefits to the College, the students, and the community? How does one build into the experience the gathering of useful data for the purpose of building evidence to improve the health care needs of a community? How does one build upon the evidence that the service learning component of such a partnership contributes to student knowledge and attitudes toward community needs?

The session will be based around an exemplar of a community- college partnership that was implemented. The Department of Nursing partnered with the local chapter of Black Expo and the local Minority Health Coalition to sponsor a health fair. In the following year, a this affilliation continued as a result of a positive first year experience and shared goals. The third year demonstrated the deepening bond created and new potential initiatives devloped.

As one of the aims of a local Juneteenth celebration, a "health fair” component of their celebration was developed to bring awareness to health issues that are important to the minority youth and to the adult population. From the collaboration that has taken place over the past three years, the College has developed an ongoing relationship with leaders of the minority groups in the Michiana area – one of our original goals. Together, we undertook activities that also promoted the minority health of the community. Health data has been shared with the community leaders and students have developed an evidence-based project to address documented health needs. Students have acquired skills and experience in health data collection, planning and implementation of a community based health event and translated data into a useful evidence-based practice project as part of the research course. The community has developed a sense of trust in the college and ultimately will benefit from services and health education provided in measurable outcomes.

Learning Objectives:
1. Review and critique an example of a college-community partnership. 2. Describe how the partnership can generate useful health data. 3. Determine how the process facilitates student learning.

Keywords: Nursing Education, Community-Based Health Care

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am responsible for the establishment of the partnership and conducted the original work.
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.