Students from the Faculty of Medicine and the School of Nursing at UBC’s Okanagan campus are working collaboratively to provide health action teams for the local community.
The newly-established Community Action Teams for Community Health B.C. are groups of medical and nursing students that work together and with public health organizations to assess health risks and provide disease prevention information and strategies to local residents.
“The goal of CATCH B.C. is to help improve the health of at risk community members while exposing students to interprofessional practice,” said Dr. Charlotte Jones, associate professor of medicine.
“Students help to address the health needs of diverse populations within our community and they gain valuable experience working in a collaborative environment, similar to that in which they will practice upon graduating from their respective programs.”
CATCH B.C. recently conducted its first public health event in Kelowna.
Students provided free health assessments to more than 100 participants. After measuring each participant’s blood pressure, they used the Canadian diabetes risk questionnaire to assess each participant’s risk for diabetes. The students also provided healthy lifestyle recommendations to each individual.
“We are able to raise awareness about high risk factors and provide advice on healthy lifestyles,” said Robyn Fedediko, a nursing student.
“Each participant is given a risk assessment from low to moderate and then they are given some advice based on their risk level — that advice might include a possible follow-up with the appropriate health care professional.”