The NYSCHECK Summer Academy is a collaborative educational approach offered through the NYS Children’s Environmental Health Centers, launched in the summer of 2021. This program was designed to immerse undergraduate college students and pre-clinical medical students to the range of activities that are performed by a coordinated network of academic children’s environmental health practitioners.
The Summer Academy is an opportunity to dovetail with existing summer programs within the NYSCHECK network to connect students to participate in a defined course grounded in the principles of environmental health. The collaborating students explored the following:
Foundational principles of public health and children’s environmental health
Leadership in an advocacy project to develop effective and efficient communication modalities in environmental health that included:
Fundamentals of environmental health risk communication
Scholarly productivity as a means of communication within the medical literature
Strategies to enhance local center and network capacity with social media as a communication tool
The importance of interprofessional teamwork and academic community partnership collaborations
The New York State Children’s Environmental Health Centers is the only state-wide coordinated program in the country that has launched this approach.
Students spent 60 minutes 1x/week (Mondays 12-1 PM EST) in a large group setting which took place over Zoom meetings. The goal of these sessions was (1) Interactive Discussion on a Core Topic outlined in the Syllabus (2) Updates and facilitated discussions on Advocacy Projects. A Student outline included the following:
Prior to the group meetings, students were asked to view a ~20 minute didactic lecture on the topic of discussion before the group convened. Additional reading materials were also provided. This was intended to allow the student’s access to the core content and objectives for the session so that the group learning modality can be less lecture driven and more question/answer based.
The group spent the remaining 30 minutes reviewing their advocacy projects, providing updates on their work and engaged in collaborative group discussions of next steps.