UAID Community Project
The UAID Community Project is an effort made by each Chapter to achieve a meaningful, positive impact on health outcomes in their local community on a longitudinal time scale. These projects typically span one academic year and focus on a health inequity identified within the community. Through this project, Chapter members gain experience in utilizing mixed research methods, assessing health issues on the local level, and in planning, implementing and evaluating long-term projects. Chapter members also have an opportunity to practice public health principles.
8 Steps of the Community Project
Step 1: Training and Preparation
Step 2: Selecting the Community
Step 3: Forging Community Partnership
Step 4: Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA)
Step 5: Project Proposal Development
Step 6: Project Implementation and Data Collection
Step 7: Project Evaluation
Step 8: Reporting Findings
UAID Community Projects aim to address a wide range of local public health issues:
UAID Chapter at the University of Chicago:
In 2017, the University of Chicago UAID Chapter set out to address the public health issue of obesity in their local community. They began by surveying community members on their eating behaviors to get a better understanding of needs and areas for intervention. A local church, farmer’s market, and public library in Chicago all agreed to partner with the Chapter on this important endeavor. Through these partnerships, they were able to educate many community members on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and assisted 11 individuals with applying for SNAP. The Chapter’s follow-up with these individuals showed that those who had started receiving SNAP benefits reported positive changes in their eating behaviors, including more visits to the grocery store and less time spent visiting restaurants and fast-food establishments each month.
UAID Chapter at Yale University:
In partnership with the Consultation Center on campus, the Yale University UAID Chapter helped develop and implement a health fair in 2017 for 9th to 12th grade students at Riverside Education Academy. The health fair featured three workshops for students that covered topics such as mental health, substance abuse, sexual health, and nutrition. The Chapter was able to collaborate with the Yale Sexual Harassment and Assault Response & Education Center (SHARE) and Yale Community Health Educators to facilitate these educational workshops for students and collected survey data as part of their evaluation.
UAID Chapter at the University of Miami:
The University of Miami UAID Chapter has a long-standing community partnership with Upward Bound and continues to educate first-generation college students and students from low-income families on various public health topics such as environmental health, mental health, substance use, and sexual health. They conduct multiple educational sessions each semester and implement post-tests after each one in order to explore retention and usefulness of information, overall satisfaction with sessions, and changes in knowledge over time. For example, on a scale of 1 to 10 of how useful the information was, students reported an average of 8 for one session and 9 for another. The Chapter uses these results to refine and build upon their existing curriculum for future educational sessions.
UAID Chapter at the University of Michigan:
In 2018, the University of Michigan UAID Chapter partnered with the Ypsilanti Public School District to provide an interactive workshop for 2nd to 5th grade students. The workshop aimed to educate students on nutrition, healthy eating and overall well-being. The Chapter also served students fresh fruits, vegetables and smoothies. Overall, students were engaged and interested in learning more about the nutritional benefits of the food that they regularly eat. This project came out of the need to address childhood obesity in the Chapter’s local community.