By Sarah Sweitzer, Dean, College of Health & Human Services, Concordia University & Karen Morgan, Visiting Assistant Professor of Exercise & Sport Science, Concordia University
Program aims to provide health & wellness for student, community success
Progress is underway on construction of the new Faubion School + Concordia University facility. This collaborative effort – known broadly as “3 to PhD®” – will open in fall 2017. Partners include Concordia University, Portland Public Schools’ Faubion School and Trillium Family Services. The vision is to create safer, healthier, and more educated communities. This article focuses on the “health” part of this vision.
Input from community members, teachers and school leaders identified a strong vision which included the need for health and nutrition education and services. Health and nutrition was deemed so integral to students’ ability to learn and thrive that, in response, the west wing on the first floor of the new building will be dedicated to developing a culture of wellness. 3 to PhD uses the latest research in nursing, social work, psychology, nutrition, and exercise and sports science.
Health and wellness efforts are already underway, including:
Concordia’s College of Health & Human Services and Faubion School created a Youth Advisory Council on health and wellness, thanks to a grant from Kaiser Permanente. This group held a Spirit Week, and advocated for schoolbased health centers at the Oregon State Capitol.
Concordia students worked with Faubion students and held their own version of the Food Network’s series “Chopped” to promote healthy cooking, with help from Pacific Foods of Oregon, a major 3 to PhD collaborator.
Trillium Family Services provides a full time behavioral health specialist at Faubion, through innovative mental health promotion funding through the state of Oregon.
Concordia social work students engaged with local schools and churches to survey community members about health and fitness needs, thanks to a grant from United Way of the ColumbiaWillamette.
A free community seminar series focused on Senior Healthy Aging was launched, thanks to support from The Jackson Foundation, which included foot care, scam prevention, and more.
Concordia students helped facilitate Faubion recess games and fitness awareness and testing.
To address food insecurity, a backpack program, started by nursing students at Concordia and supported by Pacific Foods, has expanded from long weekends to also include holidays and summer.
Ongoing community input and engagement will be integral to continuing and expanding these health and wellness efforts. We want to hear from you! Please share your thoughts at CHHS@cu-portland.edu.