New Generation Health Center Newsletter | Winter 2012
This past August, New Generation Health Center began a partnership with San Francisco State Health Education program. The SFSU Health Education program trains students to "facilitate changes in individual health behaviors and to advocate for social and economic policies which lead to health promotion and disease prevention for all." The last course of the program prepares students for professional employment in Public Health and Health Education by requiring a 20 hour a week internship within the field. Our very own Clinic Coordinator, Shawna Pattison, is a graduate of this program and was extremely excited to become a placement site. Our spring 2012 interns are Leslie Chocano and Amber Pinson. Both have contributed greatly to NGHC. We hope that they received as much from this experience as we have. They will both be extremely valuable to any organization they work for in the future.
We asked our interns to share some information about themselves and their experiences at New Generation Health Center.
What got you interested in working in the health profession?
Amber Pinson: I became interested in working in the health profession because I was interested in the aspects of health such as social, environmental, and biological. The health profession is so broad and in each aspect of health, you are helping people of different populations, cultures, and genders, which is a great learning experience.
Leslie Chocano: Growing up with my grandparents made me realize that I wanted to go into the health care field. Watching my grandparents' age made me realize that I wanted to go into the healthcare field because not only do I hope to provide them with the same care that they have given to me but I also want to extend that selfless support to other people. I began to develop an interest in public health as I learned that there is so much more to our health than just bad habits, lack of healthcare, and unlucky genes. Instead the social circumstances, in which we are born into, live, and work can actually get under our skin and disrupt our physiology with just as much impact as germs and viruses.
How valuable has the internship been for you?
Amber Pinson: The internship has been very valuable to me. I have learned a lot of information from the classroom setting. However, the internship takes everything that you learn in school and applies it. I have learned so much about myself as a health educator in addition to myself as a student.
Leslie Chocano: My internship experience at NGHC has been very valuable because it has provided me with a variety of opportunities to engage in the practice of health education, along with helping to improve and build on my skills. I've been able to directly work with teens through counseling and helping them attain health services.
What do you hope to take away from your experience here?
Amber Pinson: I hope to learn how a clinic works as well as the needs of the youth in regards to reproductive health. I feel this experience has opened my eyes to youth's perspectives and how to approach reproductive health, which is a difficult topic to discuss in itself, in a youth friendly way.
Leslie Chocano: What I hope to take away from NGHC is a better understanding of the daily obstacles teen's face when seeking sexual health care and information. I would also like to do outreach work in high school by either teaching health workshops or forming after school groups.
What do you plan to do in the health field when you leave NGHC?
Amber Pinson: I would like to continue to do health education sessions and family planning services. I want to continue to be a counselor and an ally for young adults.
Leslie Chocano: After I leave NGHC, I hope to further my education by getting my master's in nursing in order to become a public health nurse. I want to work with disempowered populations in order to help increase access to healthcare, improve social conditions, and create opportunities to facilitate healthier lifestyles.
Is there anything else you would like to add about your experiences at NGHC?
Amber Pinson: I love New Generation Health Center. The staff genuinely cares about their patients and the education of residents, staff, and interns. I believe New Generation Health Center is a great example of a great youth reproductive health clinic.
Leslie Chocano: My experience at NGHC has been amazing. Everyone at NewGen provided a very caring and supportive environment that really helped to development my skills as a health educator. I felt like it was the perfect learning environment and as I am finishing up my internship I feel much more confident and capable as a sexual health educator.
We are grateful for Amber & Leslie's contributions. They have served in diverse areas including community relations, outreach and education, and clinical service provision. We look forward to watching them blossom personally and professionally, and there is no doubt that their time with us will help New Generation Health Center continue to thrive.
Biggest fundraising event ever!
In December of 2011, New Generation Health Center had its biggest fundraising event ever raising more than $15,000! The event sold over 300 tickets and included a silent auction with more than 100 donations for some groovy San Francisco businesses, artists, and restaurants! Not only were there some awesome silent auction items, there was amazing entertainment from the youth in the Glass to Diamonds program (see below), and comedians Marga Gomez and David Thomason.
The goal of the event was to raise funds for NGHC's Outreach Program which has historically been funded by the Community Challenge Grant program. The grant provided funding to conduct outreach and education to youth in schools, juvenile hall, foster care, and other CBOs. Last year NGHC's outreach staff reached approximately 6000 youth through its outreach activities. Outreach accounts for approximately 30% of NGHC's new patients annually.
Unfortunately, in 2010 legislators defunded the program. Without this funding NGHC has been forced to significantly decrease outreach activities. This has a very serious impact on the youth who depend on NGHC's educators to provide them accurate health information and ultimately guide them to NGHC for appropriate family planning services.
However, the success of the fundraiser has allowed us to keep our Outreach Program going for at least another year. This is all owed to the San Francisco businesses, artists, and restaurants who donated auction items, to all the people who bought tickets to the event, One Brick volunteers who helped staff the event, and a special thanks to the Glass to Diamonds program and comedians Marga Gomez and David Thomason.
GLASS TO DIAMONDS: Promote the healthy and positive development of high school students
Glass to Diamonds is an after-school youth development and health education program that promotes the positive development of teenagers. The program provides high school students a safe place to learn and dialogue about sexuality and reproduction within a social justice context. Students learn the fundamentals of acting improv, sketch comedy writing and beginning acting, to pen and perform their own comedy show about health education and reproductive rights.
The program is led by Brava Teaching Instructor/Director Liz Anderson and UCSF's New Generation Health Center's Outreach Coordinator Tino Ratliff. Brava Teaching Artists help youth to examine class, race and gender stereotypes through cooperative work that helps them gain confidence and a strong sense of self, while Tino teaches the youth about reproductive health. By providing them with continuity and structure, a sense of group membership, and opportunities to develop competencies through participation in a range of activities, Glass to Diamonds helps develop skills needed for a healthy adult life.
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