Online Program

School-University partnerships in West Philadelphia: Planning and implementation of an evidence-based health curriculum

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Matthew Kearney, MPH, Perelman School of Medicine, the Center for Public Health Initiatives, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA
Daria Murosko, MD(c), MPH(c), Perelman School of Medicine, the Center for Public Health Initiatives, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA
Joshua Sperling, MD(c), Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA
Michael Spadola, MD(c), Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA
Heather Klusaritz, PhD, MSW, Department of Family Medicine and Community Health, School of Social Policy & Practice, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA
Urban public schools, tasked with balancing education standards and limited resources, are often forced to cut or curtail non-mandatory health education. Community-academic partnerships, which use a collaborative approach to address the social determinants of health in a community, have previously been shown to generate innovative solutions in the areas of public health and education. The University of Pennsylvania has recently forged two such partnerships with Philadelphia School District K-8 schools to address identified curricular gaps.  We describe a model for creating a collaborative, evidence-based health curriculum that engages University-affiliated students and trainees as health educators, while also aligning with common core and CDC standards. This model engaged medical students, nursing students, masters of public health students, and family medicine physician residents to provide classroom-based instruction to middle school students. Health professional trainees were mentored by faculty from the schools of medicine, social work, education and public health. Two distinct curricula programs are described and compared on adherence to the model, including identification of academic partners, relationship formation and program implementation. Barriers to program development and implementation, lessons learned and future directions were identified through a process evaluation and qualitative assessment of stakeholders’ engagement with the program.  Program effectiveness for enhancing health education was measured through pre- and post-test health knowledge assessments and student and faculty feedback garnered through individual interviews.

Learning Areas:

Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Program planning
Public health or related education

Learning Objectives:
Explain the unique advantages and challenges of implementing school-University partnerships for health education in urban West Philadelphia. Compare specific methodological choices considered when constructing these programs, including student and faculty involvement, curriculum design process, health content and delivery strategy. Identify a "tool kit" of qualitative and quantitative methods to assess the effectiveness of the health education program.

Keyword(s): Partnerships, School-Based Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Because I am being mentored by someone with extensive community leadership experience, I have been the lead student liaison between the Center for Public Health Initiatives and the school district sites involved in this program. Additionally, I have 5 years of science and health teaching experience at the middle and high school levels.
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.