Online Program

Research service learning to enhance practical public health learning

Monday, November 4, 2013

Dana Thomas, MPH, Office of Public Health Practice, University of Michigan School of Public Health, Ann Arbor, MI
Phyllis Meadows, PhD, MSN, RN, Office of Public Health Practice, University of Michigan, School of Public Health, Ann Arbor, MI
The Public Health Action Support Team (PHAST) is an organization for graduate students at the University of Michigan School of Public Health. Based on recommendations from “Who Will Keep the Public Healthy” report (IOM, 2003), PHAST seeks to strengthen public health education, research and practice by providing hands-on activities for students. PHAST uses a community-based research approach to generate service learning opportunities at supervised sites with organizations in Mississippi and Texas to advance student learning for community engagement. Since 2006, PHAST has developed and refined one-week field experiences in Mississippi and Texas to provide on the ground public health experiences that are beneficial to partnering organizations and students. PHAST works with academic institutions, community-based organizations and local health departments that lack resources to implement research. The goal of the research is to improve programs that will promote health; while enhancing student learning by exploring processes for working with and in communities. The two regions expose students to public health in very different contexts. In Mississippi, students work with organizations in either rural or post-disaster areas. In Texas, students experience the complexities of public health on the US/Mexico border. Students exploring the two regions gain practical knowledge in the complexity of community engagement based on regional and cultural dynamics. This presentation will describe community-based research service learning experiences, student-learning outcomes, benefits to the organizations, and lessons learned for replication.

Learning Areas:

Public health or related education

Learning Objectives:
Describe how academic partners and students engage communities for health Describe the Public Health Action Support Team as a model that provides enhanced practical public health learning opportunities for students Explain the benefits of facilitating community-based research as a service learning approach

Keyword(s): Public Health Education, Community Collaboration

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been the lead developer and coordinator for student engagement and community collaboration.
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.