Online Program

Teaching community health: An interdisciplinary approach to creating and implementing a longitudinal secondary school curriculum

Monday, November 4, 2013

Venis Wilder, MD, Center for Family and Community Medicine, Farrell Family Health Center, New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University, New York, NY
Mona Dalal, MD, Center for Family and Community Medicine, Farrell Family Health Center, Columbia University, New York, NY
The Manhattan neighborhood of Washington Heights has one of the highest rates of health disparities in New York City (NYC). One solution to the current poor health status of the community lies in the development of effective community health leaders. A partnership between local physicians, community organization leaders, and school administration has led to the development of a community health curriculum for grades 6-12 at Community Health Academy of the Heights (CHAH), a public secondary school in Washington Heights, NYC. The curriculum, to be fully implemented in the 2013-2014 academic year, is designed for 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 grade appropriate and 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. Pre- and post-intervention surveys and focus groups will be used to measure the students' awareness of factors affecting health, their sense of empowerment, and their understanding of health promotion and disease prevention. Our goal is that students at CHAH will understand their community's strengths and challenges, and feel more equipped and responsible for making healthy personal 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

Learning Objectives:
Discuss the process of developing a community health curriculum for secondary school formulated with the involvement of several neighborhood stakeholders. Explain the benefits and challenges of curriculum development. Define community health. Discuss the evaluation process of measuring short term and long term outcomes of health behavior in teens.

Keyword(s): Adolescent Health, Community Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Involved in project for last 1 year. work as volunteer during time as a resident
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.