New Partnership with Kingsville Community
Beginning late last fall, the LRGV AHEC has hosted a weekly community health worker training course for members of the St. Paul African Methodist Episcopal Church, in Kingsville, TX. The course is led by LRGV’s Janie Escanero, CHW-I, and currently has three students (Charlotte Lewis, Donia Tatum, Andy Shelton). Prior to the start of the course, LRGV AHEC and the South Texas Program Office met with members of the St. Paul AME community in Kingsville. During this meeting, community members expressed interest in incorporating a community health project into their CHW certification training. Dr. Janna Lesser enlisted the support of two doctoral students from UT Health San Antonio School of Nursing interested in Community Based Participatory Research to work with the CHW students to identify and pursue a health project. Over the past three months, the three CHW students from St. Paul AME; the two doctoral students, Nia Lane and Shanae Rhodes; and members from the ST-AHEC Program Office have met weekly over Zoom to participate in the CHW course and engage in discussions related to their community.
On January 12, 2020, the two doctoral students, along with Janie Escareno and Armando Lopez from LRGV AHEC, spent the day with the CHW students and the St. Paul AME community; they attended their church service and were given a tour of the neighborhood. As the group walked around the neighborhood, the CHW students expressed the many strengths of their community, including, the newly improved park and the generosity of their neighbors; but also shared some challenges and concerns. Since the face-to-face meeting in January, the doctoral students presented a training to CHW students on how-to conduct a community health needs assessment. Over the course of the presentation, the CHW students brainstormed and discussed plans for some short and long term goals in order to move forward with their health project. There was a noticeable amount of excitement and enthusiasm around the group’s discussion during the training and everyone is looking forward to a community wide meeting in the near future.