Community engagement 101: An online curriculum for future health professionals
To promote healthy communities, health care professionals need to engage diverse communities in developing solutions to public health problems and addressing disparities. Community engagement, the collaboration between institutions of higher education and their larger communities for exchange of knowledge and resources, can be one strategy to achieve a more equitable health landscape. However, there are few curricula being offered to an interprofessional audience of health professions students to enhance their skills for effective community engagement. At the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), an interdisciplinary team including faculty and students from the schools of dentistry, medicine, nursing, and pharmacy, along with university staff and community partners is developing an online, interactive, media-rich curricula that teaches principles and competencies of community engagement. The main objective is to provide an accessible resource for all UCSF learners and community partners to gain basic knowledge and awareness. Focus groups were conducted with key community members and UCSF learners to select the five module topics: Introduction to Community Engagement, Community Assessment, Introduction to SF's Diverse Communities, Health Communication/Literacy and Partnering with UCSF (for community partners). The advantages of online modules include convenient access to curriculum, especially given limited time for interprofessional training; interactive learning; savings in terms of faculty time; and a revisable platform. Health professions universities can incorporate this model curriculum into the education of every student. Academic preparation will build the capacity of future health professionals to apply community engagement principles in partnership efforts to address community needs and eliminate health disparities.
Other professions or practice related to public health
Provision of health care to the public
Public health or related education
Describe the basic competencies and principles of effective community engagement for health promotion. Discuss the essential skills and knowledge that health professions students should have prior to participating in community partnerships.
Keyword(s): Community-Based Partnership, Curricula
Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a member of the UCSF interprofessional committee that designed the curriculum on community engagement for health professionals presented here. I am the Project Assistant for an academic-community partnership between UCSF and school-based health centers in Oakland, CA. Finally, I am a Masters in Public Health student at San Francisco State University, concentrating in community health education.
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.