224648 Evaluating the community impact of service learning and volunteer opportunities offered through The George Washington University Medical Center in Washington, DC

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Shivani Murthy, MPH , Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response, The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA
Julie Archer, MPH , School of Public Health and Health Services, The George Washington University, Washington, DC
The George Washington University Medical Center, which includes the School of Public Health and Health Services and the School of Medicine and Health Sciences, partners with a variety of community organizations in Washington, DC to offer service learning opportunities to students and, in turn, provide health services to the community. In the service learning literature, evaluations of such programs focus on the benefits to students but often do not consider the community's perspective on key issues related to community involvement and the success of the program, including: the quality of campus-community partnerships, the level of community input to project design and implementation and program sustainability. The goal of this study is to support the deepening of sustainable university-community partnerships that provide measurable community health benefits and teach students about their community obligations as future health professionals. With the support of the GW Medical Center, the study will be evaluating the responsiveness of the projects to health needs as articulated by community partners; the clarity and communication of partnership and project agreements; and the assessment of project outcomes. This study will be using in-depth interviews and focus groups with community partners, clients, and university faculty, staff and students to assess the community impact, partnership quality and sustainability of four public health service learning programs in the Washington, DC area.

Learning Areas:
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Public health or related education

Learning Objectives:
Identify the characteristics of successful, sustainable and equitable partnerships between communities and universities for the development and implementation of service learning health projects with measurable outcomes.

Keywords: Community Collaboration, Service Learning

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have graduated with an MPH from GWU’s School of Public Health and Health Services. I am committed to the development of equitable university-community partnerships and in the past have participated in two of the programs under evaluation.
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.