204573 Putting the Pieces Together: Lessons Learned in Establishing Service-Learning in an MPH Curriculum

Tuesday, November 10, 2009: 5:08 PM

Lisa Anderson, MPH , Department of Epidemiology & Community Health, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA
Jill Rowe, PhD, MPH , Department of African American Studies, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA
Amber Haley, BS , Department of Epidemiology and Community Health, Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine, Richmond, VA
Nannette Bailey, EdM , Center on Health Disparities, Virginia Commonwealth Univeristy, Richmond, VA
Michael Royster, MD, MPH , Office of Minority Health and Public Health Policy, Virginia Department of Health, Richmond, VA
The Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) Disparities Service-Learning Collaborative formed in 2007 as a result of partnership between the VCU Master of Public Health (MPH) Program and VCU Center on Health Disparities. The primary objective of the collaborative was to incorporate service-learning focusing on the reduction of health disparities into the MPH Program. A secondary objective was to raise awareness about service-learning and community-based learning and research on our Health Sciences Campus. This portion of the initiative is significant because the Health Sciences Campus has not traditionally embraced the service-learning pedagogy. This presentation will describe the evolution of our efforts to incorporate service-learning designed to reduce health disparities into our curriculum, starting in a didactic course and transferring to the MPH Program's required internship. During the semester-long internship, students work with a collaboration formed with the Virginia Department of Health's Office of Minority Health and Public Health Policy to develop a community-campus partnership with an underserved community adjacent to our campus. This presentation will describe the barriers encountered and overcome, successful strategies for identifying and working with community partners, methods for preparing students to enter the community, reflection techniques used, strategies for promoting service-learning on our health sciences campus, and approaches taken to sustain relationships with community partners.

Learning Objectives:
1. Name at least two characteristics necessary for forming a successful service-learning partnership with a community organization. 2. Describe 1-2 strategies useful in raising awareness about service-learning among faculty and students. 3. Discuss approaches for sustaining relationships with community partners involved in service-learning.

Keywords: Service Learning, Health Disparities

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the principal investigator of the Virginia Commonwealth University Health Disparities Service-Learning Collaborative project, funded by the Community Campus Partnerships for Health. I am the Director of Educational Programs, including the Master of Public Health Program, in the Department of Epidemiology & Community Health at VCU, and I have directed the required Public Health Internship course in the MPH curriculum for the past 3 years. I have worked for several years with VCU's Center on Health Disparities on some of its initiatives, and I have co-authored a book chapter on vulnerable populations (DB Wilson, LS Anderson. “Addressing Primary Prevention in Vulnerable Populations.” In Roux, G, Halstead, J (Eds.), Issues and Trends in Nursing: Essential Knowledge for Today and Tomorrow. Jones and Bartlett Publishers, 2009.). I moderated an APHA session in 2007 (Domestic and Dating Violence Oral Presentations Session, Injury control and Emergency Health Services Section) and was a co-author on one of the presentations in that section. I have co-presented poster presentations in the past at National Hearing Conservation Association meetings and was lead author and presenter of an oral session at the Tenth International Conference on Twin Studies, London, UK, July 4, 2001. I have authored or co-authored papers published in these refereed journals: Violence and Victims, Twin Research, and the American Industrial Hygiene Association Journal.
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.