265028 Developing health leaders: A Community Health Curriculum for a Secondary School in New York City (NYC)

Monday, October 29, 2012

Venis Wilder, MD , Center for Family and Community Medicine, Farrell Family Health Center, New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University, New York, NY
Shikha Gupta , Community League of the Heights, New York
Mona Dalal, MD , Center for Family and Community Medicine, Farrell Family Health Center, Columbia University, New York, NY
Lourdes J. Hernández-Cordero, DrPH , Department of Sociomedical Sciences, Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, New York, NY
The improvement of the current health status of the Washington Heights community in NYC is possible with the development of community health leaders – who are from the community, health literate, and trained in the principles of public health. Local physicians, public health leaders, and educators are working together to create a community health curriculum for grades 6-9 at Community Health Academy of the Heights (CHAH), a public secondary school in Washington Heights. The curriculum, due to begin in academic year 2012-2013, is designed for the approximately 400 youth to develop a critical understanding of the factors impacting their community's wellness and their ability to change the status quo. The curriculum is grounded in the study of the ecological framework of public health, epidemiology, investigation of the built environment, policy and advocacy, health careers, and the analysis of social determinants of health. Students will be given pre and post tests to determine if the curriculum significantly changes their: awareness of factors affecting health, health literacy, sense of empowerment, personal decision making, and understanding of health promotion and disease prevention. We anticipate the students will develop a better understanding of their community's strengths and challenges, and feel more equipped and responsible for making personal health decisions as well as impacting the wellbeing of their community. If effective, this curriculum can serve as a reproducible model for producing health leaders in vulnerable communities across the nation.

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

Learning Objectives:
Describe a new method of teaching public health to adolescents. Articulate the process of developing a interdisciplinary curriculum between the school, community organizations, and health professionals.

Keywords: Adolescent Health, Community Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: As a resident physician in Washington Heights, I have been actively involved with the surrounding community for the last 2 years as well as a member of the community based organization and an advisory board member of the involved secondary school.
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.