Student Consulting Group Cont….

YSPH SCG, which has quickly grown to 20 members, aims to provide pro-bono consulting services to public health organizations in the Greater New Haven area and beyond, while generating opportunities for graduate students to advance their education, content-expertise and professional experience.

In 2011, the group completed comprehensive literature reviews for the Center for Children's Advocacy and for legal representatives to the Governor of Washington in support of the Affordable Care Act. Later that year, the group went on to develop web content for the Community Foundation for Greater New Haven, perform systematic analysis of qualitative data for the Connecticut Association of Directors of Public Health, and produce policy briefs for the Connecticut Department of Public Health. Last year, SCG members worked with Bridgeport Hospital to conduct its community health needs assessment.

The group's members, who come from a variety of backgrounds and all departments, are currently working on projects ranging from policy research to program planning and evaluation and even film production. With Yale-New Haven Hospital, the group is assisting in the design of a new program that will utilize students and community organizations to ensure that patients are connected to the nutritional, housing, legal and other resources needed to improve their health. On behalf of AIDS Connecticut, students are conducting interviews with senior service centers to assess their capacity to provide services for the aging population of HIV-positive individuals. This spring, SCG is also working with New Haven Farms, the Connecticut Department of Public Health and Wholesome Wave.

Each project is led by a student manager and supported by a faculty adviser, who provides guidance and ensures the quality of final deliverables. The group is especially grateful to Shelley Geballe (J.D. '76 / M.P.H. '95) and Dean Paul Cleary, who have supported the group's efforts. Students have found their time with SCG to be transformative, leveraging their continuing education to achieve broader improvements in public health. Second-year MPH student Melissa Weiner described her experience this way: "As a member of YSPH SCG, I have had the rewarding opportunity to contribute to important public health projects in the community while working alongside organization leaders and my peers. Because of these consulting experiences, I have become more confident in my practical skills, and am prepared and excited to embark on my public health career."

SCG receives guidance from a Board that is chaired by Dean Cleary. In addition, the Board consists of Yale faculty members Dr. Jeannette Ickovics, Shelley Geballe and Elaine O'Keefe, as well as two alumni members, Penny Canny, PhD '83 and Bill Quinn, MPH '75. Alumni Board members are appointed for a term of two years and are asked to attend three meetings over the term.

Interested in being involved with SCG? If you are working in the field of public health and you would like to propose a project for SCG, please contact the student manager team at ysph.scg@gmail.com. You can find out more information about SCG by visiting http://medstation.yale.edu/ysph-scg/www/.