241441 Student, Faculty, Staff Collaboration: Utilizing Partnership to Evaluate and Inform a Department of Global Health's Approach to Power, Privilege, and Difference

Monday, October 31, 2011

Ibrahim A. Ali, MSW, MPH , Department of Global Health, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
Jennifer Berthiaume, MSW, MPH , Department of Global Health, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
Michelle Desmond, MSW, MPH , School of Public Health Department of Global Health, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
Chloe Waters, MSW, MPH , Department of Global Health, University of Washington School of Public Health, Seattle, WA
Krishna Richardson, MPH , Department of Global Health, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
Jennifer Lucero-Earle, Assistant Director , Global Health Resource Center, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
Stephen Gloyd, MD, MPH , Health Alliance International, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
Background: In 2007, a department of global health (DGH) was created with values of (1) social justice and equity, (2) enabling students to make a difference in global health, and (3) utilizing strengths of discovery, service, and the power of partnerships. A crosscutting theme of these values is cultural competence. Four concurrent MSW/MPH students applied a social justice paradigm to inform organizing to address issues around cultural competence and partnered with concerned staff and faculty to address the gap between the stated values and the actual curriculum and pedagogy in classrooms and the field.

Methods: In March 2010, a tool was developed and implemented among MPH students in the DGH to reveal perceptions of the program's approach to cultural competency, diversity, power and privilege. The survey yielded a 40% response rate.

Results: The findings were distilled into recommendations. The first step was forming a student-led committee for social justice and equity in collaboration with the department to achieve the recommendations. The committee of students, faculty, and staff from the DGH and affiliated centers further aims to hold the DGH accountable and support intentional changes as it grows.

Conclusion: The process of student organizing and partnering with staff and faculty highlights ways a department can create a more equitable learning environment and train the next generation of public health professionals to engage in authentic social justice at every step. Improving the cultural competency of a department increases its academic performance, yields more competitive graduates, and attracts more diverse students and faculty.

Learning Areas:
Administration, management, leadership
Diversity and culture
Public health or related education
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe steps for student organizing to create collaboration. 2. Assess a departmentís approach to cultural competency in curriculum and pedagogy. 3.Demonstrate how a social justice paradigm is used to inform competencies in a global health MPH program.

Keywords: Collaboration, Cultural Competency

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am an MSW/MPH student who was part of the group that initiated this project in the Department of Global Health, University of Washington.
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.