Community Health Partners

In 2011, Student Health Services (SHS) conducted a series of focus groups with underrepresented students to gather feedback on how SHS could better meet their health needs. Among the suggestions that were brought forward was the idea of a liaison program. After continued consultation with faculty and staff who work closely with students in those communities, SHS recruited volunteers to serves as liaisons and began the training process.


To form partnerships with underrepresented communities in order to provide enhanced programs and services that better meet the students' health needs and to serve as a resource for the community.


  • Make SHS a more inclusive and welcoming place
  • Collaborate on health-related events, programs and services
  • Provide community-specific health resources


  • Participate in ongoing cultural competence training
  • Conduct research and participate in community specific trainings
  • Attend community events and meetings
  • Network with students, faculty and staff in the community

Staff Selection and Training

The CHP staff were selected on a volunteer basis and training started in the fall of 2012.

Curriculum included:

  • Self-exploration
  • Difference and worldview
  • Privilege and power
  • White privilege
  • Oppression and the "isms"
  • Health disparities
  • Health and healing across cultures
  • Cross-cultural help-seeking behavior
  • How to be an ally

The CHPs also participated in a nine-week class, Intercultural Communication Effectiveness in Education (ICEE), conducted by two staff members of Intercultural Student Services.

CHPs and Their Communities

The following is a list of the partners and the communities they serve:

  • Beth Brown: Community of Women
  • Kim Foster: African American
  • Melinda Lear-Konold: Native American
  • Kathryn Lederer: International
  • Debbie Schliske: LGBT
  • Malinda Shell: Multi-racial; Student Athletes; Program Coordinator
  • Elinor Tatham: Asian Pacific-Islander
  • Michelle Wolf: Latino/a

Committee Tasks

During the spring term 2013, the CHPs hosted seven community meetings at various centers to tell people about the program, introduce the SHS Community Health Partner to the communities in which they would be serving, and to gather feedback.

Each CHP is using the feedback that they received to begin to work with their community. Next steps include getting out into the community, attending events, and meeting with key students and faculty/staff within each community.