Top Learning Tips from Southern Texas

  1. “ A close knit family.” In light of the negative media coverage in Southern Texan and Mexico- my experience in the Rio Grande Valley has taught me the value of a family oriented community. This community asset in Southern Texas is a contributor factor to the health of many families. A close knit community benefits the health of the family through the relationship ties, culture and food. These entities are critical passages in the physical, emotional and psychological development for an individual salient identity, which impacts their well-being. Now ask yourself, what is the atmosphere of your community? Are you a member of a close-knit community/ family? What implications has your family had on your health and well-being?
  2. “Check your privilege.” In the mist of my field experience I ran into many moments that reminded of my privilege. One of these moments occurred when we attended the binational meeting between Mexico and the Hidalgo County Health department. This meeting focused on the plans of addressing Zika and other mosquito born illnesses. During this meeting I thought of those families and neighborhoods most affected with these mosquito born illnesses. I wondered about their access to the educational presentations presented. Another moment occurred when we visited the Progresso International Bridge. As a group we were able to go underneath the Mexico border bridge as tourists to experience the intersection of Mexico and the U.S. Being a tourist in any city is a privilege, whether we acknowledge it or not; however during the drug and border control violence era this moment was surreal. Having a constant reflective mind when travelling is critical, have you ever encountered any privileges when travelling before?

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    Photo Credit: Megan Edmonds

  1. “Committed to Public Health Service.” The fieldwork that I was involved in this week walked me through one of the steps in accrediting a National Public Health Department. This step was the community health needs assessment project. This project was lead by the Center for Health disparities at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, in partnership with the Hidalgo County Health department, lead the community health needs assessment. This project brought up many survey, pretesting and other methodological questions to my mind, that could have the potential to strengthen the assessment. In any work environment you are in, are you following the system or questioning it, to improve it? How would you define your commitment to service?

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