Abstract

During the week of January 7-14, 2010, Molly Calico and Jordan Norris participated in the Impact Belize program through the College of Health and Human Services. This program took place in Gales Point, a rural, underserved community in Belize. Impact students provided medical, dental and public health services to the community in an interdisciplinary service-learning format. As Master of Public Health students, Molly and Jordan directed health education initiatives and served on the Leadership Team for the program. Having participated in January of 2009 as well, Molly and Jordan were well prepared to conduct public health research and to assume leadership roles within the program. By immersing themselves in the Belizean culture, they saw first-hand the relevance and application of health behavior theory and were able to recognize the importance of tailoring interventions to fit the needs of a particular community. Because Molly and Jordan had previously participated in the program, they were able to build upon the relationships they had made in the community, allowing them to successfully accomplish their research objectives. As leaders in the program, Molly and Jordan participated in meetings with the WKU faculty, the Ministry of Health and community representatives. They were able to develop a deeper, more meaningful understanding of public health and its relationship to politics, economics, and international affairs. Their experiences in Belize have enriched their education and have helped to shape their personal and career goals.

Disciplines

Civic and Community Engagement | Community Health and Preventive Medicine | Environmental Public Health | Health Services Administration | Health Services Research | International Public Health | Place and Environment | Public Health | Public Health Education and Promotion | Service Learning | Women's Studies