Adey Fentaw, BA, and Janette Romero Saenz, BA, from the School of Public Health, and Aisha Waseem, BS, from the College of Pharmacy, are working with UMN Morris Challenge to help garner data, community interest, expertise, and delivery approaches to engage populations in active change. The UMN Morris Challenge promotes sustainability, practical solutions, and community cooperation to improve health and quality of life. The team is working to conceptualize and launch interprofessional community health initiatives in west central Minnesota and are collaborating with key leaders as they begin the IRB process.
“Participating in this project is central in my future professional work—I hope to work closely with marginalized populations and incorporate the voices of the most vulnerable to improve health systems and ensure health equity,” said Fentaw.
The team has learned about rural health issues affecting west central Minnesota and will meet with stakeholders and leaders this spring to find ways to improve rural health.
“This project has highlighted the importance of teamwork, communication, and equity,” said Romero Saenz. “We look for ways to advance marginalized voices, and we'll continue to carry that on in the future.”
“My favorite part of this experience has been connecting with other students outside of my program. Our mentor, Doug, has been absolutely phenomenal to work with,” said Waseem.
The team added, “With varying academic backgrounds, personal experiences, and networks, we each bring a unique set of skills to the table.”