Faculty, staff and students collaborate with a variety of community organizations providing health services and promoting health information in various venues: Health centers, schools, churches, health fairs, and even homes. Below are some of the different community programs that we have:
The Abrazos program is now in its sixth year. Last year the program was able to expand when the Charleston County School District became a partner and was able to fund the majority of the program with Title I funds. Abrazos provides Spanish-speaking mothers and their 3-year-old children an interactive family literacy program. As the children are developing their school readiness skills (gross and fine motor skills, speech and language, and cognitive and social abilities), their mothers are focusing on learning English as a Second Language and participating in a weekly health promotion class. The program meets four days a week at Midland Park Primary School in North Charleston and serves approximately 32 Spanish-speaking women and their children.
Like most mothers, immigrant Latina mothers share the desire to have healthy families. However, in their new communities here in SC, they oftentimes lack the information and power to make healthy and informed decisions for themselves and their families. Perinatal Awareness for Successful Outcomes (PASOs) provides a bridge between the Latino community and the health care system in order to maximize the health of Latino women and children, and provide them with access to needed resources.
The mission of PASOs is to empower Latino families to optimize maternal and child health within their social and cultural context through education, outreach, partnerships, and advocacy. This community based program works to achieve this mission through:
- Prenatal education with groups of Latinas that focus on participants' strength and work to build trusting relationships
- Training of community-based peer educators to sustain healthy practices and increase access to care
- The formation of partnerships between the Latino communities of SC, academia, the non-profit sector, and the public health care system
The Teen Health Leadership Program
Funded by the National Library of Medicine, the Teen Health Leadership Program is a collaboration between the College of Nursing at MUSC and St. John's High School. As the only public high school on Johns Island, St. John's High serves a diverse population of students. The Teen Health Leadership Program seeks to empower these high school students, providing resources and support for them to assist and serve their community. The project provides health information literacy training as well as leadership development skills, enabling the students to design and implement outreach projects to improve the awareness and use of quality health information in their community. Through a series of experiential opportunities and mentorships, the Teen Health Leadership Program also seeks to encourage young people of diverse backgrounds to become health professionals.