Community-health-hub-supported-by-Tulane-practicum-intern

Community health hub supported by Tulane practicum intern

By interning with an innovative collaboration at the ReFresh Project in New Orleans, one Tulane graduate student is learning more than he expected about how to bring together different interests and plan health programs for the community.
Since this summer, Connor Cushman, a second year graduate student at the Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, has worked to develop programming and evaluation plans for the ReFresh Project, a community health hub. ReFresh uses a multi-pronged approach to create healthy communities by linking food access, culinary and nutrition education, youth and workforce development, healthy lifestyles programming and wraparound services. Located along New Orleans' historic Broad Street corridor, the ReFresh site was developed by nonprofit Broad Community Connections, and its Executive Director Jeff Schwartz supervised Connor during his internship.
"In an academic setting it’s easy to talk about the impact that a coordinated effort can have on improving health and access to health, yet it is rare that you get the opportunity to see that discourse translated into action in the community," Cushman said about his internship. "The ReFresh Project brings everyone to the table, and represents a true intersection of health, food, business, education, and urban design.
Broad Community Connections selected Cushman for the internship through the Tulane Prevention Research Center’s Health Promotion Practicum Program, which matches graduate student interns and local host organizations for 300-hour practicum internships. Schwartz said the internship and Cushman's work has been valuable.
"Connor has undertaken grant writing, research, coalition leadership and coordination, and he has even worked at several community events," Schwartz said. "Connor’s familiarity with public health theory and research methods has greatly contributed to Broad Community Connections’ abilities to carry out its public health programming, including doing a data scan for populations served by BCC, as well as setting up preliminary evaluation tools for partners in the ReFresh Project."
For more information about the ReFresh Project visit broadcommunityconnections.org/projects/refresh.

By Naomi King Englar, Tulane PRC
October 2015

(Photo courtesy of Connor Cushman: Jeff Schwartz, left, and practicum intern Connor Cushman, right, paint and prepare a wall for a mural project, as part of the Hurricane Katrina 10th Anniversary Day of Service.)

Topics:   practicum , community health , food environment , built environment

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