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Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

Arizona Service Learning Program Serves as Vehicle for Building Health Equity and Eliminating Health Disparities

Service learning (SL) is a form of community-centered experiential education that places emerging health professionals in community-generated service projects and provides structured opportunities for reflection on the broader social, economic, and political contexts of health.

[Photo: Dr. Samantha Sabo]

Faculty from the University of Arizona Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health describe the elements and impact of five distinct week-long intensive SL courses focused on the context of urban, rural, border, and indigenous health. Students involved in these SL courses demonstrated a commitment to community-engaged scholarship and practice in both their student and professional lives. The research is published in the American Journal of Public Health.

The review finds that SL is directly in line with the core public health value of social justice and serves as a venue to strengthen community-campus partnerships in addressing health disparities through sustained collaboration and action in vulnerable communities.