Reducing Health Disparities through Community Engagement


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This session presents faculty, community partner, and nursing student perspectives about community engagement experiences designed to prepare nurses to contribute to reducing health disparities and develop a commitment to improving the health of diverse populations. Challenges, relationship development, and benefi ts for students and communities affected by health disparities will be discussed.
Marjorie Schaffer
Bethel University
Diane Bonniwell
Licensed School Nurse
Minneapolis Public
Julie De Haan
Assistant Professor
Bethel University
Gloria Thomas
Camphor Memorial
United Methodist
Jeannine Holqmquist
Senior Nursing Student
Bethel University

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Reducing Health Disparities through Community Engagement

  1. 1. 6/14/2014 1 June 13, 2014 Marjorie Schaffer – Professor, Bethel University, St. Paul, Minnesota Diane Bonniwell, Licensed School Nurse, Minneapolis Public Schools Julie De Haan, Assistant Professor, Bethel University Gloria Thomas, Pastor, Camphor Memorial United Methodist Church Jeannine Holmquist, Senior Nursing Student, Bethel University Bethel University  Small private liberal arts college  Suburban location with proximity to major metropolitan area  78 - 90 nursing students in each class  8% diversity – traditional undergraduates  Values include reconciliation and peacemaking Community Engagement Definition: Applying institutional resources to address and solve challenges facing communities through collaboration with these communities (CCPH) Curricular Goals: Prepare nurses who will:  Contribute to reducing health disparities  Develop cultural sensitivity and competence  Develop commitment to serving diverse and vulnerable populations Community Engagement Structure  Students remain in same site for 5 semesters  2 to 4 students per site  Agency and faculty liaison for each site  About 40 community sites  Community Engagement Coordinator  Churches 10 sites  Schools 5 sites  Early Childhood 6 sites Screening/Services  Head Start 9 sites  Supportive Housing for Adults with Disabilities 6 sites  CD and DV Services 4 sites  Cancer Support Services 1 site Community Sites Preparation  Focus groups with 11 organizations - churches, schools, non-profit agencies, long-term care facility  Racial Reconciliation Lunches with all nursing faculty  Lunch and Learn Sessions (Alumni grant)  2 on campus, 4 at Community Engagement sites  Community partners invited  Dialogue about Unnatural Causes DVD series (focus on health disparities)  Community Engagement Coordinator
  2. 2. 6/14/2014 2 Student Learning Experiences  Orientation  Assess population and environment  Identify health implications  Health promotion presentation  Chronic illness project  25-hour group projectdetermined by agency  Projectevaluation  Poster presentation Supports for Student Learning  Established student CE Student Council  CE Partnership Meetings  Community Engagement Coordinator  Grant Support  Bethel Alumni Association (2 grants)  Minnesota Campus Compact  Association of American Colleges and Universities Panel Discussion: Perspectives of Community Engagement Briefly share one story from your community engagement experience. In connection with the story: 1. What did you see as your main responsibility? 2. What do you see as community strengths? 3. What did you find to be challenging or frustrating about your experience? 4. What did you find to be rewarding or joyful about your experience? 5. What is the take-a-way for working with and in community organizations for building and sustaining partnerships? Evaluation of CE Curriculum Year 1  Surveys - students, faculty, and community partners  Focus groups with sophomores Year 2  Focus groups with juniors Year 3  Surveys – students, faculty, and community partners  Focus groups with senior students and community partners Participants Group Year 1 Sophomores Year 2 Juniors Year 3 Seniors Students Survey: Expectations for CE (n = 88) Focus groups (n = 8; n = 9) Two Focus Groups (n = 8; n = 6) Survey (n = 50) Focus Groups (n = 6; n = 6) Comm Partners Survey (n = 9) Survey (n = 8) Focus Groups (n = 6; n = 6) Faculty Survey (n = 9) Survey (n = 7) Student Perceptions - End of Program n = 50 % Helped to understand challenges faced by community members in accessing health care 62% Reflection about CE experiences somewhat or very helpful 62% Orientation was poor 54% Would not repeat a similar experience 66%
  3. 3. 6/14/2014 3 Student Perceptions of Growth in Knowledge Mean before CE Mean after CE p- value 1. The types of community resources available for the population with whom I worked 2.41 3.04 .0004* 2. How health care delivery systems (e.g. managed care) impact my work in the community 2.45 2.87 .0166* 3. The health care needs of the community in which I served 2.55 3.43 .0001* 4. The responsibilities of other professionals in a multidisciplinary team 2.78 3.22 .0128* 5. The barriers to receiving health care in the community that I served 2.53 3.41 .0001* Student Perceptions of Growth in Knowledge before CE n = 49 after CE n = 46 p- value 6. The impact of socioeconomicstatus on health and illness 3.12 3.67 .0016* 7. How my agency is perceived in the community 2.20 2.93 .0002* 8. How to work with clients/patients who havevarious levels of health care knowledge 2.78 3.33 .0015* 9. What the terms “community resources” and “community service” mean 2.88 3.28 .0195* Community Partners – Key Messages  Open communication is important.  An alignment of goals between community partner and academia is important.  Students need to learn to be comfortable with being uncomfortable.  Student learning is important to the community.  It is important to connect with diverse professional populations. Faculty Survey (year 3) Agreement  Faculty should be role models for community service  Have a responsibility to serve community Disagree/neutral responses  Helped to clarify focus for scholarship  Became more comfortable with working with people different from self  Resulted in a change in teaching style Revisions 1. Needed greater flexibility for CE sites 2. Created CE Oversight Faculty Committee with members having several sites 3. Framed CE experiences as “clinical” 4. Added more structure forguiding students  Scheduled orientation to senior project to encouragestudents to start early  Added weekly CE seminar to senior year fall semester to provide greatersupport for student activities  Enhanced student accountability through CE logs Discussion of Scenarios Small Group Discussion: An opportunity to share your thoughts and ideas For further information contact: Marjorie Schaffer