Learning Outside of the Classroom: An Environmental Medicine and Public Health Training Program at the Texas-Mexico Border
Tuesday, November 3, 2015
: 3:15 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.
The South Texas Environmental Education and Research (STEER) Program has contributed to environmental medicine and border health training for over 18 years by training hundreds of public health and health profession students in a rich, rewarding, enlightening interprofessional educational experience at the Texas-Mexico Border. Residents, who live in sprawling unincorporated tracts called colonias along the Texas-Mexico border, commonly face inadequate access to potable water and wastewater services, electricity, and healthcare, placing them at increased risk of environmental exposures that adversely affect health. These border communities exhibit an increased prevalence of acute and chronic disease compared to national averages. With a unique blend of service, learning and research the STEER program works to serve the needs of border residents while enabling public health and health professions students to recognize and address environmental health concerns within their scope of practice. The program is located in Harlingen, Texas; a regional campus for the School of Medicine at the University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio. The STEER program is a 4-week elective that trains students and healthcare professionals through in vivo experiences, with direct exposure to the many environmental medicine and public health concerns of the Texas-Mexico border region. For this presentation we will detail the in vivo training for public health and health profession students. Describe at least two environmental health research projects for trainees. Explain current limitations for developing environmental medicine and border health elective in a school of medicine.
Other professions or practice related to public health
Public health or related education
Discuss the importance of teaching environmental medicine and border health to public health and health profession students. Describe an educational model that can help reduce health disparities on the U.S.- Mexico border
Keyword(s): Teaching, Health Disparities/Inequities
Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am faculty to the South Texas Environmental Education and Research program since 2006. In this capacity, I have mentored and trained many public health and health profession students in the fields of environmental medicine, border health and public health. I also serve as co-chair for the environmental education committee for Border 2020, falcon task force. My research interest include pesticides exposures, environmental health, border health and health disparities.
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.