Harmony Takes Care of Our Community

Harmony ArcillaName: Harmony

Year: Junior

Major: Anthropology

Minor: Global Health

CFS Program: Field Studies in Public Health

The Northwestern Medicine External Affairs Department strives to ensure that the needs of the patients, staff, and neighbors at Northwestern Memorial Hospital are understood and served by building relationships with community leaders, elected officials, neighbors and employees outside a clinical context. The Community Services division specifically prioritizes community health needs within the service area and collaborates with community organizations to offer health interventions in medically under-served areas.

This spring quarter, I have the opportunity to intern through Chicago Field Studies at this department and take on projects that cover different phases within this community health prioritization and intervention process. Since 2013, Northwestern has collaborated with various organizations in the West Humboldt Park neighborhood to introduce free wellness programming such as cooking classes, fitness classes, health fairs, and farmers markets. My role is to further the outreach of these interventions through leading the construction of a strategic communications plan with the neighborhood’s collaborative group. In addition to this “boots-on-the-ground” and direct type of service work, I also am helping with policy development and the prioritization of community health needs for the years 2016-2020 based on the hospital’s results from the Community Health Needs Assessment.

It has been an absolute pleasure interning for the Department of External Affairs; through seeing the variety of roles that my program manager and representatives from collaborating organizations take on every day, I have found a new appreciation to the breadth and depth of the field of Public Health. In addition, I have been able to discover the strong connection between community health and health administration. I am incredibly grateful for my experiences in Chicago Field Studies thus far, and I am excited to continue learning throughout the rest of the quarter.