Promoting Health Equity Through Cultural Humility Training in Student-Run Community Health Clinics

1/17/2024 6:21:00 AM Hannah Wirth

Avicenna Community Health Care logoAcademic mentor: Margarita Teran-Garcia

Community partner: Avicenna Community Health Center

Project Description: 
Student-run clinics are unique collaborative environments with diverse volunteers and high turnover that serve a multicultural at-risk patient population. Cultural competence training is not enough to promote health equity in that learning environment, and we aim to incorporate the tenets of cultural humility. Cultural Humility is a lifelong learning process that needs to be nurtured with self- commitment and self-evaluation. The HEALER© training (Humility, Empathy, Awareness, Leverage, Empower, Reflect) was developed in collaboration with Integrated Health Disparities Programs (IHD) to serve that need. IHD Programs at University of Illinois Extension has strongly advocated for cultural humility and bias training with various state-wide partnerships. The Avicenna Community Health Center (ACHC) is a local student-run clinic with volunteers from the Carle Illinois College of Medicine and students from multiple majors at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. We want to investigate the impact of this project on service satisfaction and training experience.

In collaboration with IHD and ACHC, a pilot program was launched in Spring 2022, utilizing the HEALER© toolkit as a quality improvement and professional development opportunity. Since then, more than 120 volunteer students have participated in the HEALER© training, focus groups, and pre- and post-evaluations of students, and preceptors to assess the changes in cultural humility scales conducted. The proposed project strives to report cumulative experiences and expand the existing training for additional settings in volunteer clinics and health-promotion services areas. New training modules with case vignettes will be developed, implemented, and evaluated at other volunteer clinics in the community.

Role of the Community-Academic Scholar:
The Community-Academic Scholar will conduct a literature search on student-run clinics and cultural competency/bias training, which will inform the project design. They will work on the refinement of the new training vignettes and training manual. In addition, the scholar will contribute to summarizing previous data collected for focus groups. Based on the results of the collected data, the scholar will work on modifying the existing cultural humility training modules with vignettes to be tailored to different training and volunteer staff settings. The scholar will oversee this project, doing a literature search on student-run clinics and cultural competency/bias training for other professionals. They will also work on developing the vignettes for the new sections of the training. The scholar will work on modifying the existing training modules to be more tailored to a new clinic or community setting and volunteer staff.