Online Program

Understanding MPH Student Experience with Community Needs Assessment in HOPE SF Public Housing Communities

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Sarah Wongking, MPH, Department of Health Education & Health Equity Institute, San Francisco State University, San Francisco, CA
Jessica Tokunaga, MPH, Health Equity Institute, San Francisco State Universty, San Francisco, CA
Rebecca Chigas, MPH, Department of Health Education, San Francisco State University, San Francisco, CA
Health Equity for HOPE SF is a collaboration that partners four of San Francisco’s most distressed public housing communities with the Department of Public Health, San Francisco State University (SFSU), the Mayor's Office and local funders, to explore, develop and implement strategies to address health inequities in HOPE SF communities. A key aspect of the partnership is community needs assessments, completed by SFSU MPH graduate students. The goal of the assessments is to develop meaningful products for the community and City partners as well as serve as a practice-based learning opportunity for MPH students. Students and faculty conduct the assessment activities over a seven-month period as part of the Community Assessment and Professional Public Health practice courses in the SFSU MPH program. To date three community needs assessments have been completed. The community assessment course and the program’s partnership with the HOPE SF initiative is a unique experience that provides the opportunity for students to put into practice theoretical concepts and engage in professional practice in the field to develop a relevant product. Due to the structure and collaborative nature of this course, an evaluation was conducted to explore the impact of this large-scale partnership on MPH student’s experience and learning. Methods for the evaluation included: focus groups, surveys and a review of reflection assignments submitted throughout student’s time in the assessment course. The evaluation was completed in December 2014. It’s findings and implications can be used to inform MPH program curriculum development and partnerships between MPH programs and public housing communities.

Learning Areas:

Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Public health or related education

Learning Objectives:
Identify key success factors in building campus-community partnerships to conduct community health assessment that engage public housing residents and stakeholders to address critical community health issues. Describe benefits of collaboration among residents, community organizations and academic institutes to pursue strategies for improving health in public housing communities and enhance practice-based learning experiences for public health students.

Keyword(s): Community Health Assessment, Community-Based Partnership & Collaboration

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been involved with the Health Equity for HOPE SF collaboration for three years. I have been a student participant in conducting the community needs assessments in the assessment course and also an evaluator for HOPE SF programs. I have a deep understanding of this partnership and learning experience, as well as evaluation experience.
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.