Ayyad and Boutain are addressing substance use and abuse among adolescents in New Orleans by establishing an educational intervention program in the local community. In addition to preventing substance use in the adolescents in the community, the program will incorporate parent education on drug and alcohol misuse and mental health awareness. Adolescents will engage in activities fostered around the understanding of the harmful effects of substance use, in addition to learning drug refusal and coping skills to enhance their mental health. Ultimately, the program will aim not only to foster positive attitudes and behaviors related to substance use, but also to build strong parent-child relationships to promote better communication and understanding within families.
Community Sites: Xavier University Health Fairs and Community Center and local schools
Lougée and Samsel are addressing gaps in care and barriers to health access by connecting marginalized groups with tools to overcome their unmet needs. Their program emphasizes education by teaching self-advocacy and agency while simultaneously addressing emergent health concerns of the individual. Currently the program is attempting these methods with recently incarcerated citizens of New Orleans, as their health concerns, among many others, are top priority after they are released.
Community Site: VOTE – Voice of the Experienced
Perry is addressing HIV/AIDS incidence and prevalence rates and de-stigmatization in the Greater New Orleans area by establishing a free testing and risk communication program targeted towards minorities aged eight and older from the community at-large. In addition to sponsoring weekly rapid testing and counseling opportunities at universities, colleges, churches, community centers, and youth groups all over the community, the program will include a preemptive presentation that will include risk information, de-stigmatization exercises, harm reduction techniques, and distribution of materials designed to aid in sexual health and disease prevention. Perry’s “Health Over Hate” program intends to dispel myths concerning diagnoses, transmission, and societal attitudes towards HIV/AIDS.
Simon is addressing oral health of seniors in the Greater New Orleans area by educating residents and staff at nursing homes and assisted living facilities on best practices for oral care, the importance of good oral hygiene, and its relationship to overall health. Specifically, the project seeks to improve seniors’ oral health through the provision of oral exams and delivery of an educational curriculum tailored to elderly adults. While volunteering for hospice, Simon observed the dire need for better oral hygiene. She is venturing to address the underserved population of the elderly through education and prevention practices through inter-professional collaboration with the medical directors and nursing home staff.
Community Sites: Kingsley House and various local nursing homes and assisted living facilities