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Maternal and Child Health in a Rural Setting

Social Determinants of Health MCH 2014May 18-24, 2014

Northern Arizona

Graduate students from the College of Public Health along with instructors, Dr. Nicky Teufel-Shone and Dr. Sheena Brown, took part in a week long service-learning course, Maternal and Child Health in the Rural Southwest. Students visited the San Carlos Apache Nation, the Hopi Tribe, and the Navajo Nation, all in Arizona. Students learned about each community’s culture, health-related challenges, and strengths.

The purpose of this course is to extend learning beyond the classroom by having students work with lay health educators or in school settings to experience the interaction between public health service providers, children and families in rural, tribal settings.  These experiences challenge students to be flexible and creative, building their confidence and skills as future public health professionals.

Experiences included:

  • Helping at the Hopi Tribal Diabetes Prevention Program Fun Run
  • Completing home visits with Community Health Workers in Navajo Nation
  • Participating in sheep butchering and water collecting with a Navajo family
  • Assisting with activities at a We Are Family event with a Navajo school
  • Teaching about healthy foods to students at Fort Wingate Boarding School

Other activities included:

  • Hiking Canyon de Chelly
  • Visiting the flea market in Gallup, New Mexico

Throughout the course students broke into small groups to discuss their experiences and reflect on the interaction between health systems, culture, and the environment. At the end of the course, students create final presentations and discuss lessons learned through their experiences.

The students are grateful to all the community partners who welcomed them into their communities and made this course possible!

MCH Rural Service Learning Group Photo 2014
Scenery MCH Rural Service Learning 2014

The University of Arizona