This past week has been filled with a plethora of opportunities for skill acquisition, community engagement, and relationship building with current and future leaders in the public health field. Furthermore, the ways in which my team engaged in public health activities at the community level and the relationships I have formed with students, faculty, and staff from the University of Michigan and the University of Texas Brownsville (UTB) are the driving factors behind many of the skills I have gained on this trip.
Through collaboration with UTB, my team and I completed a neighborhood assessment and walkability assessment of two designated areas within a district of Brownsville, and then developed a report for the district commissioner who oversees these two neighborhoods. It was our responsibility to make observations of these neighborhoods, synthesize the data, and present the data in a way that could be understood by a non-public health professional.
To present this data clearly, we decided to create infographics using two different tools/programs (Infogr.am and Easel.ly). Since neither my team members nor I had prior experience constructing infographics, we saw this as a great opportunity to learn a new skill.
After analyzing the data, summarizing the information, and choosing the most relevant strengths, needs, and opportunities to include in the report, my team and I then translated these details into infographics. Since the two neighborhoods were alike in some ways, but different in other aspects of the assessments, we had to decide whether or not to disaggregate the data in specific sections of the report. In addition, because we had missing data, we also gained a further understanding of how to deal with missing data in a real-world setting.
In the end, the final products we designed provided a snapshot of the community and could easily be understood by an individual outside of the public health field. We are hoping this report will propel the commissioner to make the necessary changes within the two neighborhoods assessed and ultimately inspire positive health behavior change within multiple levels of the social ecological model.