Honors in Community Health - University of Houston
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OUR MISSION

Honors in Community Health (HICH) seeks to build healthy communities through a multidisciplinary approach to overcoming barriers for underserved populations. This collaborative, student-led organization uses its understanding of the social determinants of health to explore multiple types of service: community engagement, advocacy and research. HICH provides all students at the University of Houston the opportunity to design, implement and lead a wide variety of community health projects. Through support from the Honors College, HICH members are given the opportunity to pursue projects that best suit their interests, values and goals.

 

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Membership

Membership fee: $15 per academic year

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Our current members, who collectively contribute perspectives from business, math, science, education, engineering, and other disciplines, work together to create measurable and sustainable impacts for our Houston communities. Students who demonstrate a high level of commitment and participation will have the opportunity to design their own community health projects and develop valuable leadership skills.

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Featured Projects

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    The Better Respiratory Education and Assistance Targeting Houston's Elementary (BREATHE) program is designed to help asthmatic and non-asthmatic elementary-age children learn about asthma, respiration and their environment. At its core, we aim to help students build better health awareness and provide the tools that enable them to advocate for themselves. As a volunteer, you will facilitate lessons using interactive activities, breathing exercises, yoga, and more!

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    The Creative Care project aims to collaborate with Cuney Homes to increase mental health outcomes through a curriculum that encourages self-expression, physical activity, and reflective writing. The Creative Care project is dedicated to providing a safe space for the children to be themselves and gain the tools needed to deal with their life stressors. Volunteers will develop and facilitate weekly creative wellness workshops for elementary and middle school-aged children. Creative Care is also beginning a partnership with a Houston community health worker to lead a women’s domestic violence support group, using art therapy to promote healing.

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    Project Engaging Encouraging Rising Students (PEERS), supported by the University of Houston, Honors College, Community Health Workers Initiative and the Hewlett Packard Enterprise Data Science Institute, focuses on encouraging STEM education and providing mentorship to underserved students in grades 9-12. PEERS grew from and embodies the model of Community Health Workers (CHWs) as simultaneous educators and advocates. Initially conceived in a CHW class, this program pairs high school students and the University of Houston undergraduates to create long-lasting, effective and engaging community projects that are meaningful and relevant. In addition, facilitating community engagement through collaboration and project-based learning encourages both our undergraduate and high school participants to pursue academic and professional development to advocate for improved health outcomes in their communities. Each student team presents their final project at the PEERS competition to compete for a monetary prize.

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    Responsive Resourcing (RR) aims to support the local community members during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond by collaborating with community health workers (CHWs) in resource matching. Our goal is to help CHWs enable community members with the right tools to address their individual needs. By doing so, we are bringing awareness to existing resources in the Houston area to ensure that they do not go to waste. As volunteers, you will be getting an exclusive look as to what CHWs do through feedback loop meetings, several in-person volunteer opportunities, and CHW shadowing as well as learning about common health barriers through fun and interactive workshops.

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    The Wildlife and Environmental Advocacy and Relief (WEAR) program emphasize engagement with nature and wildlife through project-based activities. WEAR aims to build members’ capacity to enhance their environmental quality of life and wants to create sustainable, long-lasting projects such as a “Watch It Grow” plant activity and field trips in the Greater Houston area such as the Houston Zoo and Hermann Park. Additionally, WEAR aims to foster meaningful community engagement and encourage members to connect with their environment. This semester, WEAR will be hosting monthly workshops OPEN TO ALL HICH MEMBERS, and we welcome everyone to attend and learn more about environmental health and sustainability.

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    The Stories of Health and Re-Entry Initiative (SHARE) aims to advocate for the formerly incarcerated population through established partnerships with local re-entry centers by developing goal-focused creative arts classes for the women to engage in. We hope that by doing so, we’ll be able to highlight the societal barriers women face post-incarceration. We also hope to collect plausible stories that capture shared experiences and use those stories to identify where intervention could positively impact the community. As volunteers, you can help organize the weekly classes at Angela House, a local re-entry house for formerly incarcerated women, interact with the ladies and engage in thought-provoking conversations. You will learn about the various barriers these women face; this opportunity is ideal for students interested in health and law.

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    Operation Fusion aims to serve the refugee and immigrant children of Las Americas Newcomer School while partnering with Amaanah Refugee Services. The goal of Operation Fusion is to blend culture and health through education and empowerment to allow the students to define their identity and set their personal health goals. This program emphasizes explicitly channeling cultural diversity to promote a sense of agency and belonging. Volunteers will lead weekly interactive sessions encouraging students to build healthy habits and learn to utilize their home cultures as assets in their education, identity, and everyday lives.

Recruitment and Development

The Recruitment and Development (R&D) team provides the backbone to all HICH activities and serves as the communication link that facilitates the flow of information between the various projects within HICH and its members. We host HICH-wide educational workshops, socials, and a mentorship program, and we welcome and recruit prospective members of all backgrounds and majors.

Directors: Olivia Tran and Tammy Tran

Membership Coordinators: Rosemarie Le, Xiomara Sustaita, Thai Tran

Project Head Coordinators: Vivienne Pham and Cecilia Phan

Outreach Coordinators: Huriyah Hasnain, Gabriela McAndrew, Nicole Perez

CONTACT US

Email: uh.hich@gmail.com

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