The Winchester Heights situation is similar to that of many very rural communities throughout the country in the challenges it faces. Extremely long distances between the neighborhood and food stores, healthcare facilities, gas stations, etc. make it hard to address basic needs. It also puts individuals at risk in less obvious ways, as evidenced by the tragedy of the trailer fire where a family lost their lives due to lengthy emergency vehicle response times. The projects that the South East Arizona Health Education Center (SEAHEC) has taken on thus far to improve the well-being of the Winchester Heights residents may be small in scale to other projects, but they make a huge difference to the people who are benefitting from things such as covered school bus stops, a brand new community center, and a playground that will be a great resource for adults and kids alike. It always feels amazing when you can help out a small community by doing service work like our group did for the benefit of the people of Winchester Heights.
I love that there are Community Health Workers also doing a different kind of work in the community by addressing some of the basic healthcare deficits that almost always plague a small, somewhat cut-off/separated community. By teaching some of the community members about how to look after their chronic health issues and frequently checking in on and/or building relationships with residents, a sense of togetherness, pride, and comradery is fostered that increases the quality of life for everyone.
-Elizabeth Hardesty, Master of Public Health Student: Policy and Management
A BIG THANK YOU to all of our community partners for helping making Border Health Service Learning Institute 2018 a reality!! Extra high fives for my co-instructors: Luis Valdez, Libby Valdez, Robert Guerrero, Kate Ellingson, and Jill de Zapien. And an extra hug for all the background planning/work/organizing/re-planning for Dina Suarez. Thank you!!
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