Health Professionals as Agents of Change (CHANGE AGENTS IN HEALTH) (AGENTS OF CHANGE IN HEALT)

Instructor Name: 
Alissa Leavitt
Course Description: 

Course Description:

Do you ever wonder what health care will look like in 5 -15 years from now? How do personal, social, political, economic, cultural, and environmental factors affect community and population-based health? What will your role be in effecting positive change? Although we will look to theory and research to help answer these and other questions related to the topic of change leadership in healthcare, we will also be asking “how do we apply this in real world settings?” I hope you find the course engaging and useful.  I look forward to learning with you!

Before the start of the spring term, each student will find their own community project/partnership. Each student must have a pre-arranged partnership BEFORE the first day of spring term.

Through class discussions, practices, reading, and self-observations, students will explore the meaning their work has for both themselves and for the community. Students will complete a written report and presentation regarding an issue within the field of health or healthcare. Students may work with a mentor in public health education or health policy, public affairs, social service, or other healthcare environment in which the student is qualified. 

Course Objectives:

  • Describe the cultural, social, behavioral and environmental factors and issues that influence the health of the community. (inquiry and critical thinking, diversity, ethical and social responsibility)
  • Describe and apply characteristics of an effective teamwork experience. (inquiry and critical thinking, communication, diversity, ethical and social responsibility)
  •  Demonstrate awareness of and sensitivity to diverse perspectives based on social and cultural characteristics when designing, implementing, evaluating, and disseminating public health programs and/or services. (inquiry and critical thinking, communication, variety of human experience, ethical and social responsibility)
  • Articulate how the social and physical environments shape health through an ecological model. (inquiry and critical thinking, communication, diversity, ethical and social responsibility)
  • Identify personal areas of passion and interest in promoting social justice and health equity and serving as a current and future change agent in health care. (inquiry and critical thinking, communication, diversity, ethical and social responsibility)
  • Advocate for personal, family, community and public health. (inquiry and critical thinking, communication, ethical and social responsibility)
Project Description: 

Individual Student Products

Students will take the initiative before the Capstone begins to arrange a project with their service site. Students will partner with local organizations to produce a set of products that serve one overarching goal and enhance the partner organization’s mission. This capstone is flexibly designed, giving students the opportunity to help shape and define their level of work. 

  • Students will work with their own community partner to negotiate service plans. 
  • Student will produce products or complete service that meet the community’s needs.
  • Students will have the opportunity to reflect on and present information about their on-going work with their individual partnerships in the community. 
  • Students will complete a final written report regarding an issue within the field of health or healthcare. The written report will be shared in class, on the course webpage and with the service site.  
  • Students will complete a final presentation reflecting on connections between course outcomes and community based learning. Representatives from the service sites would be invited to attend the presentation.

Group Products

Students will work both individually and in small groups to complete a smaller group project. This may include the following activities: conduct research; identify social isolation as a major social problem to be addressed; analyze relevant policies, programs, and services; and prepare a social change strategy.

Partner: Maybelle Center

Purpose: To examine the links between health and social inequality and social isolation.

Student Activities: To be determined (depends on partner needs and student interests).  

Final products: Develop a summary report and presentation.

As a class we will examine factors that influence social isolation and how loneliness operates at the individual level, the level of the community or local area and at the wider societal level. Individual and community level factors that impact on social isolation are nested in the wider social, economic, political and cultural context.