The Science Journal of the American Association for Respiratory Care

2010 OPEN FORUM Abstracts

IMPLEMENTATION OF COMMUNITY BASED OUTREACH

Sandy Rhodes, Richard M. Ford, Isaac Zamora; Respiratory Care, University of California San Diego Medical Center, San Diego, CA

BACKGROUND: We recognized the mutual benefits of partnering with schools and community agencies to promote the profession and lung health. In 2009 we formally established a department objective to expand our outreach programs, specifically in the areas supporting regional youth and in community initiatives involving lung disease. We report how we have structured our program and the successes of the past year. METHODS: We formulated an objective to engage ourselves in the community that was approved by both administration and medical staff. We started accepting request made through the AARC office for activities in the San Diego region that involved the support of RCPs. We solicited the interest of staff willing to visit schools and events. We identified situations that RCPs could participate in approved events as paid hospital time. In addition we provided a high level of recognition of these events and RCP participants. RESULTS: The following activities took place: RCPs interested in community outreach participated in local high school career fairs. Poster board presentations were made to give visual aide to the students. At another school there was an impressive interest in partnering with the hospital to show support for the UCSD smoke free campaign. This support lead to students creating a mural for the hospital supporting the smoke free campaign. This mural was presented to the Chief Executive Officer of UCSD on the day of the smoke free kick-off. We were able to develop a relationship with the local chapter of the American Lung Association and partner in lung health, specifically asthma education. We now have an RCP Community Liaison and five therapists interested in doing similar outreach. CONCLUSION: By implementing community outreach projects UCSD has established partnerships with local schools and the American Lung Association to better educate our communities about lung health and the field of respiratory therapy. This has and will continue to expand with volunteered support. Our hope is to continue to grow community outreach as well as support our patients beyond the confines of the medical center. Sponsored Research - None