Thank you to all who wrote back this past week and this weekend. I actually heard from 100% of you; your interest in the project and enthusiasm is palpable!
Three of us met tonight to chat about 1) the project, 2) initial ideas/thoughts and 3) our plans for the Saturday focus group. Notes are as follows:
1) Amy, the agency nurse, shared with us what nursing services consists of as of this week. She began her work, taking over from contracted outside nurse agency, the 2nd week of September. She has mostly been reviewing youth charts, meeting one-to-one with youth for specific health needs as well as implementing/writing agency policy. A couple helpful notes from her as we get going: she is seeing about 50-60% pregnant youth residents, who need to find housing before they deliver as a requirement of staying there. Thus, there is a great need for prenatal health education. Other thing, times to meet with all youth are difficult to find. Saturday morning has worked best. Early mornings, 8-10 am has been good and finally, 8-9 in the evenings. Youth have to be out of the building at certain times for school or work, so we'll have to ask them what times they'd come to hear our health ed.
2) I explained the tentative plan of getting a team together and frequency of health ed. I told Amy and Leah a bit about all of you who have responded and ability to commit to the project; all agreed there is a wealth of talent! The idea of a health ed offering every 3-4 weeks seems on target, though we want to run all ideas by the youth to get their thoughts. Last thing-- we had written into some of the grants this summer that we'd begin to partner with the other homeless teen shelters, perhaps replicating this endeavor at those other site. Thus, I will likely write a "lesson plan template" for lead educators to fill out prior to lessons as well as a lesson evaluation to record the education event. We can then transfer these valuable lessons to other sites and to other teachers for future education spots.
3) Our first official event will be holding a focus group with youth residents this coming Saturday, Oct. 27th at 11 am. Amy will lead the focus group, Scott and Leah will support. (Jocelyn?) Key questions will be: What do you want to learn? Do you want to learn from us? What times work best for you? How best do you learn? Do hand-outs/pamphlets work? We'll do this by starting with note cards and having youth share their thoughts "delphi process" style. If anyone else wants to attend that day, please let Scott know.
We do want to plan to include health education for Avenues staff, though we wanted to start with the youth first. Topics may be of similar nature, though likely will cover greater depths on medications as well as some DHS-required health ed.
Finally, we want to look to others to contribute to this effort. I'd like to invite other undergrad and post-bacc students and would be open to SPH (maybe Med) students who might be interested. Share this URL with them and have them contact me if interested. And those of you who can't commit at this time, I hope you still visit this site to keep up to date with what's going on. Folks like Shawna have such great expertise, maybe we can get you to contribute by reviewing our lesson plans to make sure we are on target.
D-oh...another thing. I will keep all of your names ambiguous in postings as I don't know how to make this a non-public site. If you are weirded out about me even using just your first name, let me know. Obviously, I will NOT be using any staff or residents names on this blog for the myriad of obvious reasons.
Watch for more after Saturday. I'll post a summary of what we've done.