Interdisciplinary Community Outreach at the Capitol Reef Field Station

UVU Public and Community Health Students Coordinated with The Huntsman Cancer Institute and the UVU Wellness Center to Bring Health Education Services to Rural Communities Near the Capitol Reef Field Station.

Future health educators and health administrators from the Department of Public and Community Health at Utah Valley University (UVU), had the opportunity this summer to deliver health services in rural communities in Wayne County, Utah. Students also had opportunities to explore and learn about the vast and beautiful Capitol Reef National Park. 

A Scholarly Activities Committee (SAC) grant was awarded to the department for 3 faculty members, 7 Public and Community Health students, 3 staff from the UVU Wellness Center, and 2 representatives from the Huntsman Cancer Institute to attend and participate in this educational experience. With the help from the UVU Wellness Center, the participating students presented at 5 informational booths and administered health assessments for the general public of Torrey and Bicknell, Utah.

Rachel Washburn, a student in the Public and Community Health Department, stated, “My trip to Capitol Reef Field Station (CRFS) was the highlight of my public health education. Being able to interact with the community, build rapport with the locals, personally educate individuals on various health topics, and learn more about the environment was so rewarding.” She added, “It was exciting to wake up every morning and know I, along with other UVU students, could really make a difference in the lives of those we spoke with. The scenery was incredible, the hikes were exhilarating and the experience as a whole was unforgettable! I would do it again in a heartbeat!”

utah valley university public and community health department community outreach at the capitol reef field station

utah valley university public and community health department community outreach at the capitol reef field station

 

In addition to attending health fairs, students enjoyed several hikes through the park and were able to learn wilderness survival skills. Students were also taught the basics of how to protect and preserve the natural elements of Capitol Reef by national park experts Joe Ceradini and Carolyn Livensperger. The Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI) also attended and gave presentations on sun safety and gave some tips on how to protect our skin from cancer.

“The Huntsman Cancer Institute was excited for the opportunity to collaborate with Utah Valley University at the UVU Capitol Reef Field Station and surrounding environs," said Jane Ostler, a Community Health Educator at Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah. “The highlight of the trip was being able to engage with UVU students in teaching and practicing sun-safe behaviors at the CRFS, on hikes, at events, and everywhere we went. We were impressed by this next generation of health educators as we watched them grab hold of reliable health information, put it into practice, and share it with others.”

As part of the university’s College of Health and Public Service, the Department of Public and Community Health offers three bachelor degrees in Community Health Education, School Health Education, and Health Services Administration. Please visit uvu.edu/publichealth for more information.

utah valley university public and community health department community outreach at the capitol reef field station

utah valley university public and community health department community outreach at the capitol reef field station

About Utah Valley University

Utah Valley University is home to more than 35,000 students. UVU began as a vocational school during World War II, and in the seven decades since has evolved into a technical school, community college, state college, and, finally, a comprehensive regional teaching university. UVU is one of Utah’s largest institutions of higher learning and offers programs ranging from career training to high-demand master degrees.