Community Health Education students at Fairmont State University will spend the 2016-2017 academic year identifying health and safety needs in Richwood, W.Va., one of the communities affected by the historic flooding in June 2016.
“When we heard about the flooding in Nicholas County this summer, we felt strongly we wanted to do something to help,” said Dr. Amy Sidwell, Assistant Professor of Health Education and Physical Education in the FSU School of Education, Health and Human Performance.
The project titled “A transdisciplinary approach to community needs assessment following a natural disaster” is a research-based project initiated by students to determine Richwood’s ongoing recovery needs. Students are collecting data from a number of sources. They are analyzing government data, developing an electronic survey and completing interviews with residents and key stakeholders.
“For our future health educators, being able to assess needs and resources are critical skills. This project allows students the opportunity to work within the community to address real issues,” said Dr. Janie Leary, Assistant Professor of Community Health Education.
Students are participating in service activities with Rebuild Richwood on Oct. 13, Dec. 1, and in April 2017. This fall, students will be involved in winterizing homes and collecting donations. In December, students will share the findings of their data collection at a community forum. In April, students will visit Richwood to help implement a health promotion program.
Students enrolled in the course include: Ahmed Alsheri, Brianna Blake, Sabrina Buhagiar, Chelsie Dunn, Spencer Flanagan, Madeline Hamilton, Gerlie Jenkins, Claire Shook, Candice Travis, Amber Trickett and Richwood native Tesla White.
“It’s always very sad to hear of disasters such as this, but one never thinks that it will happen to them or to people they love and care about. This flood was very devastating to my hometown. But to see all of the support and love that was shown from people everywhere, it really restores your faith in humanity, White said.
For more information on the FSU Community Health Education program, visit http://www.fairmontstate.edu/schoolofeducation/community-health-education.
The Fairmont State campus and the community are invited to contribute donations in support of Richwood including the following requested items:
- Non-perishable food items
- Canned meats (tuna, Spam, pork and beans)
- Cleaning supplies (no bleach)
- Laundry Detergent
- Safety glasses
- Nail aprons
- Work gloves
- N-95 Masks
All donations can be dropped off to Dr. Amy Sidwell (Education Building Room 348) Dr. Janie Leary (Education Building Room 340) or to the School of Education, Health and Human Performance Main Office on the third floor of the Education Building on the FSU main campus.