Division of Community Health offering Community Engagement Practicum to Master of Biomedical Sciences students

Wednesday, February 24, 2016
By Claudia Graham, MBA, MPH

On Jan. 4, the Division of Community Health welcomed seven students from the Duke University School of Medicine’s Master of Biomedical Sciences program to the inaugural semester of HLTHSCI 521: the Community Engagement Practicum. The educational programs of the Division of Community Health are pleased to partner with the Master of Biomedical Sciences program to offer this learning opportunity.

Students Aaron Brooksbank, Dalia Kaakour, Melvin Larker, Jackeline Chaparro Lorenzo, Krupa Merchant and Onyema Nwanaji-Enwerem are enrolled in the course.

The semester-long practicum — developed by Course Director Anh Tran, Ph.D., MPH, assistant professor of community and family medicine and vice chief of education in the Division of Community Health, with assistance from Learning Together Coordinator Kim Nichols and coordinated by Brenda Lugar, course administrative assistant — consists of student engagement in a variety of population health improvement activities and a longitudinal population health improvement project.

The practicum is intended to provide students with a foundation in the principles and practices of population health improvement within the framework of community engagement. They will be able to, among other things, articulate the role of community engagement in promoting population health, how socio-cultural and economic determinants impact population health, and know the principles and application of community engaged research.

In the months of January and February students will complete study assignments while engaging in orientation of local community health organization resources and on-boarding with various community health initiatives through the Division of Community Health. Students will spend time with program administrators learning about how to design, implement and sustain programs that support population health improvement.

At the successful completion of the course in May, it is expected that students will be able to demonstrate improved knowledge and/or implementation of specific skills necessary to plan, implement or assess a population health improvement initiative that is community engaged and patient/client-centered.


Claudia Graham is a training coordinator in the Division of Community Health. She coordinates theDuke-Johnson & Johnson Nurse Leadership Program and the Master of Health Sciences in Clinical Leadership program. Contact her at claudia.graham@duke.edu.

Editor’s note: Community Health Corner provides an update on the latest happenings in the Division of Community Health.