237846 Latino nutrition and chronic disease prevention: Multidisciplinary program to enhance teaching, research and experiential learning opportunities for underrepresented students

Tuesday, November 1, 2011: 1:08 PM

Melawhy Garcia-Vega, MPH , NCLR/CSULB Center for Latino Community Health, California State University Long Beach, Long Beach, CA
Britt Rios-Ellis, PhD, MS , NCLR/CSULB Center for Latino Community Health, California State University Long Beach, Long Beach, CA
Mayra Rascon, MPH , NCLR/CSULB Center for Latino Community Health, Evaluation, and Leadership Training, California State University Long Beach, Long Beach, CA
Selena T. Nguyen-Rodriguez, PhD, MPH , NCLR/CSULB Center for Latino Community Health, California State University Long Beach, Long Beach, CA
Programs to create student experiential learning opportunities in public health within institutions of higher learning are necessary both to promote student research and improve the health status of Latinos. Poor nutrition and other determinants associated with overweight and obesity unique to Latinos are frequently overlooked within college courses. This can lead to unprepared health professionals and lack of prevention with this population. Through experiential learning, students can began to address this problem implementing health education interventions promoting healthy Latino communities.

The Latino Nutrition and Chronic Disease Prevention Program is an innovative program focused on Latino students to promote higher education, careers in public health, and student research. Fourteen Student Community Health Educators participated in a two-year experiential internship and received training in community based participatory research methods, motivational interviewing, case management, and other health topics. Students were trained to conduct health education with 180 pregnant Latina Women Infants and Children (WIC) recipients to increase their knowledge regarding prenatal care, breastfeeding, infant nutrition, and the importance of physical activity. Further, students collaborated on the development of a course entitled “Latino Nutrition and Chronic Disease Prevention” and were given opportunities for professional development including abstract submission, presentations, and attending conferences.

This program has important public health implications as it strives to promote healthy communities by addressing inequities inherent in the rates of Latino childhood overweight/obesity through health education, while providing students with an opportunity to learn from, and provide for, their respective communities. Preliminary findings and implementation strategies will be shared.

Learning Areas:
Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Diversity and culture
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs

Learning Objectives:
Discuss effective strategies in implementing student experiential learning programs and community based research that benefits both undergraduate students and community members while intervening to prevent childhood overweight and obesity. List 5 key training areas needed by undergraduate health students to improve their participation in community-based participatory research

Keywords: Maternal and Child Health, Community Health Programs

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the Program Manager for the project being presented. I have over five years of experience working in public health and implementing community based prevention programs.
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.