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ARC Fellows

 

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David Rincon

ARC Project: This research project studies the communities around the Columbia Tap Hike and Bike Trail, which crosses through East Downtown and Third Ward. Using community feedback to propose improvements along the trail, this project is intended to highlight some of the many benefits that urban infrastructure can provide. Currently, I am working with a group of people and nonprofits to create a pocket park along the trail, where we will be using my research to aid in its design and implementation.



Impact on Houston: This project is intended to show how quality urban infrastructure can be created through community engagement, partnerships, and collaboration. The goal of this research project is not only to improve the conditions of the trail for the community that lives around it but to also become an informational source that shows the importance of public spaces and health-based infrastructure.

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Audrey Huang

ARC Project: Responsive Resourcing (RR) is a collaborative effort between University of Houston undergraduates and the UH Community Health Worker Initiative (UH CHWI) to support Houston’s communities. Student volunteers work directly with CHWs (community health workers) from geographic hubs of low socioeconomic status to search for and verify resources that support community members impacted by COVID-19 and other crises. RR was founded in April 2020 to address immediate barriers that hubs experienced during the pandemic and has since evolved in structure. It utilizes a strengths-based approach in which students and CHWs coordinate their unique skills and assets to find the best resources for individual community members. The program evaluation I am conducting on RR will be used to measure the effectiveness of the collaboration in finding and applying useful resources. I will also be identifying the aspects of the program that enhance resource matching efficiency and success.

Impact on Houston: Although Houston has useful resources, what I have learned is that many are not accessible to the people who actually need them. With the information I gather, my goal is to have existing resources be more accessible to community members by identifying strategies that will make resource finding and matching a more efficient process for CHWs.

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Neha Sunkara

ARC Project: Food insecurity is briefly defined as experiencing the lack of or difficulty accessing affordable, nutritionally-dense foods. Providing food can be a stopgap measure, but ideally, food insecurity should be addressed in conjunction with health disparities. The goal of this ARC project is to conduct case studies on Texas food distribution organizations and evaluate institutional program practices that address food insecurity and health disparities together. The first stage of the project identifies two to four food distribution organizations across 5 Texas counties and collects publicly available information regarding their individual programs. The second stage involves creating a repository system with parameters for each program and developing a coding scheme using similarities identified among the facilities’ initiatives. Finally, a report will be produced that explains the coding scheme to identify key features of relevant programs and provide exemplars of each feature. This project will further evolve a more systematic relationship between food insecurity and health disparities within Texas food distribution organizations. 

Impact on Houston: Research from the administrators’ and food distribution organizations’ perspective is pertinent to comprehending how to better integrate food insecurity and health disparities together. Understanding significant characteristics among these individual programs can enhance the services they provide and better address the health of food-insecure clientele. Through this, a model program addressing both food insecurity and health disparities can be visualized.

 

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Kala Pham

ARC Project: This project assesses the perceived gap in gynecological health knowledge for adolescent girls, determines what medical resources are commonly used by adolescent girls, and identifies what type of health education is most effective to help promote access to accurate information regarding adolescent gynecologic concerns based on our analysis. The research centers around data analysis of pilot classes for recently homeless adolescent girls to evaluate gaps in health literacy and effective modes of education. Through the results, I can create a health education initiative or platform that can successfully improve access to gynecological health information. 

Impact on Houston: My goal is to create a sustainable health program for precariously housed
girls that connects them to local clinics. In doing so, we may reduce the health problems they
face and encourage them to serve as models of triumph for future individuals.