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Healthy people challenge: Exposing high school students to health-related careers
Tuesday, November 18, 2014
Healthy People Challenge is an introduction to public health for high school students that engages them in developing proposals in response to case scenarios. Students spend three hours working with near peer mentors from local colleges reading a case, identifying health issues and designing a project using a hypothetical $50,000 budget. They write a letter to a prospective funder and present their proposal orally. Cases are based on real situations in this community and have highlighted issues with aging, mental health, diabetes, cancer, homelessness, access to care, and environmental justice. Student projects have included installing new water lines, providing caregiver respite/adult daycare, a diabetes education theater for middle schools, a one-stop health center for homeless teens, and awareness events such as concerts, health fairs, and races. Student survey results (n=74) indicate that 96% would recommend the activity, 85% were more aware of the roles of different health professionals in keeping people healthy, and 77% were more aware of the specific public health issue addressed in the case. Pre/Post self-assessments showed increased confidence in their ability to read and understand health information, ask questions, write a persuasive letter, calculate a budget, plan a project and do something that helps their community (n=58, p<. 001). This model provides an easily replicable approach to engaging students in public health problem solving, expanding their view of health-related careers beyond the physician-dentist-nurse triad, and increasing awareness of contemporary health issues.
Clinical medicine applied in public health
Environmental health sciences
Ethics, professional and legal requirements
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Other professions or practice related to public health
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Define Environmental Justice
Identify the relationship that exists between the environment and illness
Identify health issues
Analyze and assess GIS maps that include landfills in the state of Tennessee
Keyword(s): Adolescents, Environmental Justice
Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been trained as a public health professional at Meharry Medical College, located in the same community in which our program seeks to make an impact on public school students. I have been instrumental in the creation and implementation of this activity. My experience as a health educator for adolescents gives me the ability to understand the types of programs and services that are needed to make an impression on their career choices.
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.