Public Affairs

Helping Hands for Public Health

June 23, 2011
By Stephanie Thara

The CSU has bolstered its reputation as a leader in community service learning, offering at least 2,500 service-learning courses in virtually every discipline and providing Helping Hands for Public Healthoutreach opportunities for more than 65,000 students annually. With faculty guidance, students have carried out a number of programs and projects at community sites to help address public health needs, including the following:

  • California State University, Channel Islands’ health communication students used various forms of media and public relations to inform the community about free health care access, Rapid HIV testing and obesity and diabetes issues. With regard to the health campaign focusing on Rapid HIV testing, Ventura County Rainbow Alliance reported an increase in testing numbers after the health campaign had been implemented.

  • Sonoma State University launched “The Autism Project” where students completed 20 hours of observation, followed by 60 hours of direct experience working with an autistic child, their family and support teams. The internship experience connected students to community agencies serving autistic children and their families while also providing additional support to the children and families.

Helping Hands for Public HealthIn addition to the students’ efforts to improve the quality of life in California, CSU faculty play an integral role in the system’s contribution to the public health community:

  • California State University, East Bay faculty conducted a research study with Latino day laborer participants in an urban community in Northern California, which resulted in identifying the issues and strategies for improving the health of the workers’ children.
  • California State University, Stanislaus nursing faculty partnered with CalWORKS, the county welfare agency, on a pilot welfare-to-wellness-to-work program that provides health-related classes and activities to welfare recipients.