Week 4 Experiences – Detroit Community-Engaged Research Program

Week 4 Experiences

With our Health Fair right around the corner I am somewhat beginning to feel the pressure. I am really hoping for an outstanding turnout. At this point we have basically confirmed all of our vendors, but there are still so many small details remaining. For example, table rentals, decorations, a layout, promoting the event and etc. I can’t believe the fair is only two weeks away. 

This week I was able to attend a meeting about Community Health Workers (CHW) downtown. Initially, I didn’t really know what a CHW did, but basically a CHW serves as a link between health professionals and a  targeted population in the community. It is a CHW’s job to educate communities about health care via outreach, advocacy, educational seminars and etc. Although CHWs can work in various geographical areas they typically work in more underprivileged communities. The responsibilities of a CHW seem infinite, but it is very comforting to know such services are available. Considering how involved CHWs are in hospitals we really focused on ways to integrate CHWs into the health field. We were also discussing appropriate questions to incorporate in a survey for the community. No certification or credentials are necessary to be a CHW, but there is training to complete and we really wanted to know if community members would feel more secure and have more respect for CHWs if the position required greater certification. I learned a lot and really enjoyed the meeting. 

I am in the midst of trying to begin Project number 2, which is creating an advisory committee and a survey for the entire community. I think establishing a committee is going to be a bit challenging because one or two things may happen: 1) a lot of the community is going to be interested and we’re only accepting of 4-5 people, so we’ll have to be very specific in criteria or 2) The committee won’t be as appealing as we hope and no one will be interested. I’m sure there’s some happy medium, but we will see what happens.

More soon!

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