Online Program

Our future's brightest: Leveraging interdisciplinary graduate student teams to deliver innovative approaches to an urban health disparity

Monday, November 4, 2013 : 3:30 p.m. - 3:50 p.m.

Erik Carlton, DrPH, MS, Division of Health Systems Management and Policy, The University of Memphis, Memphis, TN
Marian Levy, DrPH, RD, FAND, Division of Social and Behavioral Sciences, University of Memphis School of Public Health, Memphis, TN
S. Edwards Dismuke, MD, MSPH, Division of Health Systems Management & Policy, The University of Memphis School of Public Health, Memphis, TN
Case competitions are an established method for enhancing the education of students in public health and health-related professions. However, many existing competitions do not broadly or intentionally integrate students from other professions such as law, engineering, and business. Further, these competitions often focus on sentinel events or on global health concerns. While important issues, such an approach can ignore public health concerns and health disparities occurring in close proximity to the institution(s) involved in the competition. Finally, such competitions may fall short in leveraging local expertise or involving local community groups working to address important health issues.

This paper presents lessons learned from a novel, interdisciplinary case competition that involved graduate and professional students from both health-related and non-health related disciplines across a major urban research university. Attitudes towards and learning outcomes related to interdisciplinary education, public health, and health disparities as reported by both students and faculty involved in the competition are presented. This paper also shares innovative solutions to one urban health disparity - child obesity - developed by students in the competition.

Implications for educators and community leaders include how to engage a broad array of graduate and professional students in address pressing issues in communities surrounding the academic institution, how to encourage effective participation and collaboration among interdisciplinary team members, and how to enhance and expand interdisciplinary education efforts through a thoughtful and targeted interdisciplinary case competition.

Learning Areas:

Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Other professions or practice related to public health
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Describe the potential for interdisciplinary case competitions involving graduate and professional students to produce innovative solutions to urban health disparities. Identify critical student development opportunities as a result of participation in an interdisciplinary case competition. Describe interdisciplinary approaches to address one urban health disparity (child obesity) developed by graduate and professional students.

Keyword(s): Problem Based Learning, Students

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: As an assistant professor, I led the development and implementation of an interdisciplinary case competition among graduate students to address child obesity as an urban health disparity. I secured internal funding, brought together faculty from across the university, leveraged participation from community groups, and developed materials associated with the competition.
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.