Calvin in the Neighborhood
Calvin Nursing students conducted Community Based participatory research in 2002 with focus groups, community leaders and in door-to-door surveys. The first neighborhood assessed was the Burton Heights neighborhood. Neighborhood strengths as well as areas of growth were identified. Finally, residents identified solutions to their health concerns by identifying how they thought Calvin Nursing students could partner with them to promote health in their areas of concern.
- 33% of participants stated that they have had to choose between paying for items like food/rent or buying medical care
- 52% agree that lack of health insurance prevents them from receiving the health care that they need
- 58% are Spanish (with a higher percent in the schools)
- 61% visited the ER in the last year (2001)
- The top 4 health issues addressed were smoking, asthma, diabetes, and hypertension
- Family, education and faith are important in day to day life
Students have opportunities to work in a variety of community settings. They work in clinics, at a food pantry, in the schools, with home care and public health nurses, and in client homes.
One hallmark of the program involves working with trained Community Health Workers. Nursing students team with Community Health Workers to bring health education and information about health services to people rather than waiting on people to approach health care providers. They bring education and information to parent groups in schools and churches, to public spaces like laundromats, beauty shops or grocery stores, and they go door to door. They provide care in culturally sensitive and linguistically compatible ways.
The variety of experiences combined with the diversity of individuals and the complex community needs provides students with valuable learning, challenges their Christian ethics and serves one of Christ's vulnerable populations.