Our wonderful AAPIHRG Alumni Ruby Lin came back fresh from a month of medical school to teach our researchers about different methods of analyzing data. Surprisingly, she started the presentation on the research question first. Why? She explains that good data comes from a focused research question. Essentially, researchers should iron out most of the wrinkles in their question to provide the proper foundation to a successful methodology. Whether this comes in the form of a survey or interview or whatever means of collecting data, the design and construction of a survey will fall back on that question. From there, students learned about different commands for Microsoft Excel and how to use Google Doc to organize their data.
Then, as per tradition, students received one on one time with Ruby and worked to hash out of the specifics of their research project. Yet another great session!
Back again wonderful community! Our last session challenged students to imagine the world outside the traditional medical model and to look at some of the faces of community health. Kimberly Ngo, our Service Group coordinator, lead our group exercise called “What’s My Line?,” a game where groups of students asked several yes/no question to the panelists to guess what their profession is.
Eventually, they all revealed their diverse backgrounds. Brigitte Peltekof is a social worker at LifeLong Medical Care East Oakland and shared her experiences in how health concerns can often go unaddressed in communities that struggle with other concerns such as transportation, housing, food, domestic violence, and mental health. The struggle for patients to overcome all of these obstacles at home can eclipse addressing health needs or even finding a way to go to the clinic.
Cheryl Tien is a Data and Quality Coordinator at LifeLong Medical Care. She shared her background working with housing and the extensive waitlist for people looking to find a permanent home. Cheryl also brought to light the obstacles for many people in the East Bay to get a proper source of nutrition with the limited budget afforded by government support. These issues are inherently connected to our understanding of health and those working in community health continue to serve the people beyond the clinic.
Finally, AAPIHRG’s mentor and founder, Dr. Marilyn Wong currently works at San Francisco State’s University Student Health Service, specializing in preventative medicine. She shared her experience as a practitioner who has served students and refugees in her past work at SF General Hospital. She, along with the other two speakers, all noted that they dealt in someway or another in mental health fields for their patients. Thus, it is important to bring mental health to the forefront of health dialogue since it is so prevalent in many aspects of community health.
After we finished this activity, we went on to go over some scenarios with students. They were asked to figure out ways that these speakers would be a part of the patient’s path to wellness again. Topics ranged from domestic violence to lack of housing to low English proficiency to lack of insurance coverage. Overall, we learned a great deal from this wonderful panel and broadened our understanding of how different aspects of health are addressed by community professionals.
This week the researchers had the wonderful opportunity of working with Charlotte Chang, another inspiring researcher who conducted research with SF Chinatown restaurant employees to eliminate the abusive practices seen in many restaurants. In this session, she walked us through the process of working in community based participatory research (BCPR) and the core principles of this kind of research. Then, she generously offered to give one on one research advice to each of the researchers on how to better interact with their participants or narrow down areas for the research methodology. Overall, she stressed the importance of equity between the researcher and the community. She reminded us that the end goal of AA and NHPI research is to find ways to serve using data to advocate. Thus, the community voice is crucial to the development of such research methodology.