On January 28, Delgado Service Learning hosted a one-day conference sponsored by Learn and Serve America and the American Association of Community Colleges. Representatives from agencies and colleges from across the Gulf Coast region met to share ideas on creative, environmentally-focused, service learning. Addressing environmental concerns facing the Gulf Coast region and the response of higher education and community colleges in particular, thee conference kicked-off with a keynote performance by fiddling virtuoso, Miss Amanda Shaw. The young musician shared her own personal stories of surviving Katrina and of her participation in the efforts to restore the wetlands.
Following Amanda's keynote address, seven representatives from area non-profits and community agencies spoke on a pannel discussion that addressed ways for students and educators to get involved through environmentally-conscious service learning. Panel speakers included Colleen Morgan of Bayou Rebirth, Dan Favre of the Gulf Restoration Network, John Moore for the City of New Orleans, Michael McNamara of HandsOn New Orleans, and Caitlin Reilly with the LSU AgCenter and the Wetlands Plant Center at Pelican Greenhouse in City Park. The panel also featured Delgado Professor Bettie Abbate who has worked extensively with her classes on service learning projects to restore the wetlands, and Professor Wendy Rihner, who shared her unique position as both a service learning instructor and a community partner as a member of the Audubon Society.
During a lunch prepared by Delgado's culinary department, Lyvier Conss, Executive Director for the Community College National Center for Community Engagement (CCNCCE) gave an address on student-led service learning initiatives in environmental conservation.
For photos from the event and more information, click here.
Service Learning engages students in the educational process by encouraging them to apply what they are learning to address real issues in the community. Students learn both inside and outside the classroom, gaining critical thinking skills through the service project. This method of teaching and learning requires that educators think creative about their course objectives and how they can be applied to meet the needs of community partners. The monthly 'Brown Bag Lunch' series offers support to faculty through the planning process and to provide a space for creative and open discussion between faculty, student leaders, and the greater community. The hope is that the lunch series will guide students and faculty to cultivate interdependent relationships with community partners in sustained efforts to encourage community change and civic engagement.
The lunch at the Environmental Classroom Conference in January provided a pilot for the Brown Bag Lunch series. Faculty, students, and representatives from diverse community agencies shared a delicious lunch prepared by Delgado's Culinary Arts department. Inspired by a morning panel discussion of environmental initiatives in service learning, participants at the conference shared ideas for ways to apply what students were learning in the classroom to environmental issues in the Gulf Coast community. Through open dialogues, educators, students, and community members shared broad and interdisciplinary ideas for service learning projects. The open-forum, roundtable format of the lunch encouraged particpants to think about long-term community goals, working across the disciplines.
On Wednesday, February 16, Delgado Service Learning hosted its first potluck-style, Brown Bag Lunch of the semester in the Dolphin Den at City Park Campus. Implementing the open-forum, roundtable format from the Conference lunch, the Service Learning Team and faculty from various disciplines discussed broad topics- from ways to involve remedial classes in service learning to opportunities that celebrate Delgado's rich history as the college turns 90 years old.
Throughout the upcoming semester, Delgado Service Learning is gathering around the lunch table to encourage college-community networking. See our Current Events page or contact the Office of Service Learning for more information.
As our world evolves becoming increasingly globalized, so too does our understanding of 'community.' This changing definition encourages service learning practitioners everywhere to create greater opportunities to become civically involved and to share practices with new leaders and educators in an international context. Through a partnership with the Citizen Diplomacy Council, Delgado Service Learning has hosted groups of international visitors, students and teachers that have demonstrated leadership and a commitment to community development in their respective countries. The goal of the partnership is to create an international conversation in civic education, allowing leaders to examine the impact of volunteerism in U.S. communities.
In November, a group of educators from Russia visited the college to gain insight into developing service learning programs in their respective universities. The participants took a tour of Delgado's City Park Campus and learned about the work that had been recently accomplished through the Business & Tech Service Learning project, 'Save the Pond'. The Russian delegates then met with members of the Service Learning team and Tim Stamm of Delgado's Curriculum and Program Development department to learn about how service is incorporated into the academic curriculum.
Delgado Service Learning met with a second group of international delegates from Southeast Asia on January 24. Participants were invited as young leaders in their respective communities, representing India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. The group discussed initiatives to engage youth through service to the community. Delgado shared with the representatives, the history of Delgado Service Learning, traditions of volunteerism in the US through AmeriCorps-sponsored programs, and past and current service projects. The delegates, in turn, shared the needs they hope to address in their respective colleges and communities through service learning. They found particular interest in Delgado Service Learning's latest program, the Community Care Initiative, as a response to community health care issues.
To learn more about the New Orleans Diplomacy Council, please visit the website:
Patient-Centered Medical Homes (PCMH). This, the latest healthcare-buzzword, was at the core of the CCI student training last month. What is a Patient-Centered Medical Home, you ask? Well, Arleen Williams, Children's Special Health Services (CSHS) Statewide Care Coordinator for the Department for Health and Hospitals (DHH), trained Delgado students to answer just that.
As an essential component of the Community Care Initiative, PCMHs are not bricks and mortar, but a philosophy towards healthcare. The idea is, you have a team of physicians and specialists with a primary care physician as the team leader. If the primary physician serves as the go-to person for your medical needs and medical history, then that physician knows you and your medical tendencies best and will be more likely to produce more accurate diagnostics, promote more preventive healthcare, and provide you with referrals within their network of specialists.
According to the National Committee for Quality Assurance, the join principles that every practice designated as PCMH must include are: a personal physician, a physician-directed medical practice, whole person orientation, coordinated and/or integrated care, quality and safety, enhance access, and adequate payment structures.
Training on this topic allows students to become more aware as to how the healthcare industry is evolving.
"As Louisiana continues its shift toward Coordinated Care Networks," Arleen explained, "reimbursement would be linked to meeting PCMH criteria." Essentially meaning, patients would be rewarded for healthy behavior. Students can use this information from the training to educate patients within their current rotation cycles.
During the March 30th health fair on Delgado's West Bank campus, students that have undergone training will be educating the student community about the relevance of a PCMH for their practice.
For more information about Patient-Centered Medical Homes, or the Community Care Initiative, please feel free to contact CCI Program Coordinator, Matthew Sweeney, at email@example.com or by phone at (504) 671-5298.
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