The Lewis-San Antonio Healthy Communities Institute (HCI)
HCI seeks to address the healthcare worker shortage as well as elements of the educational attainment gap through its wHealth program. Our mission is to create a pipeline of students, especially underrepresented populations, who are interested
in, engaged, and prepared for college and health related fields.
wHealth (Healthcare Workforce Development)
San Bernardino County is facing a greater shortage of healthcare professionals than surrounding communities. That, coupled with poor health statistics, makes it important that we encourage and promote careers in healthcare to our youth. The Lewis-San Antonio Healthy Communities Institute (HCI) developed a school-based adolescent program called “wHealth” (wellness + healthcare) to address these needs and to build healthier outcomes for the future of the Inland Empire.
wHealth supports students in their health career journey by:
- Creating learning opportunities around chronic disease prevention
- Helping to establish lifelong healthy habits
- Supporting an interest in healthcare careers
- Retraining local students in the region
- Increase knowledge on wellness topics and healthcare professional development training.
The wHealth curriculum is adapted from HealthCorps Inc., a national nonprofit, and is aligned to national health education standards focusing on nutrition, fitness, and mental resiliency. The wHealth program goals include:
- Increasing knowledge in nutrition, physical activity, and mental resilience among junior high and high school participants using HealthCorps curriculum; and
- Increasing professional development training for healthcare career preparedness among high school participants.
The curriculum utilizes university students from across the region to instruct high school wellness in eight classroom sessions.
Train the Trainer
Professional development through the widely-known “Train-the-Trainer model” is integrated throughout the program, along with instruction and mentorship among various educational levels. The university interns are instructors on the wellness curriculum and mentors to the high school students as they answer questions on college life, majors, and career planning. Once the high school students complete their eight-week HealthCorps program, they have the opportunity to teach the curriculum to junior high students, while gaining peer-to-peer training and building presentation skills for professional development.
NON-CLINICAL INTERNSHIP PROGRAM
HCI oversees San Antonio’s non-clinical internship program in bringing students from various
health disciplines on-site and in the community for practicum experiences. Interns are comprised of undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral level students pursuing degrees in public health, social work, healthcare administration, nutrition, business
administration, and more. Students are matched with projects that meet their practicum requirements as well as support a community need. Additionally, students are connected to various health professionals in and out of the hospital, exposed to
the need for health professionals in the local area, and are encouraged to remain in the region while fulfilling their professional aspirations. Student interns have opportunities to participate in program development, evaluation, health education,
marketing, social media, and business development.
Currently, HCI has Memorandums of Understanding with universities from across the region, including:
- Azusa Pacific University – MPH
- California Baptist University – MPH
- California State Polytechnic University, Fullerton – Nursing
- California State University, San Bernardino – Undergrad and graduate students in Health Care Management and Public Health
- Claremont Graduate University – MPH, MPH/MBA, Bio Stats/Epi, MD, DrPH
- Keck Graduate Institute
- Loma Linda University – MPH, MHA, DrPH, Bio Stats/Epi
- Pitzer College – Social Impact/Community Engagement
- USC – Social Work
Professional staff is available to act as preceptors and have backgrounds in public health, health administration, human services, and business development. Current opportunities are advertised on Handshake as well with our partner university intern coordinators. Resumes are accepted on a rolling basis at LewisHCI@sarh.org.
For further information, contact our Executive Director:
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