Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern


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Community Health Corps expands local access to health information

A+photo+of+students+at+a+Red+Cross+training.
Photo courtesy of Community Health Corps
A photo of students at a Red Cross training.

Northwestern’s student-run Community Health Corps works to spread health information and equip individuals with life-saving skills on campus and in the Evanston community.  

Founded in 2014 as Hircules Health Club, the group supports access to health information among students and community members through its two main initiatives: the Community Health Hub and the Red Cross Training Corps.

The organization’s on-campus campaigns include a collection of QR codes, flyers and pamphlets to promote health literacy, many of which span Main Library walls.

The student group also partners with several local organizations to improve access to health-related resources, CHC co-Director Josh Jerisha said

“One can have the greatest impact when it’s local,” Jerisha said.

CHC runs a desk at Evanston’s Robert Crown Community Center, providing visitors with informational printouts and online resources, such as infographics and kid’s activities. Student volunteers also take shifts where they converse with patrons and answer questions.

CHC co-Director and Weinberg junior Sophia Huang said the group’s resources reach wide age ranges.

“There’s a lot of kids at Robert Crown who will come by and pick up some of our children’s activities,” Huang said. “It’s really fun to see the kids get excited about some of the things that we have.”

CHC shares similar resources with children and families at the Evanston Public Library, Evanston Township High School and Lincolnwood Public Library.

CHC’s student volunteers write and share a monthly email newsletter to both NU students and surrounding community members on relevant health-related issues. The articles cover newsworthy topics like energy drinks, seasonal affective disorder and Ozempic.

Jerisha, who wrote newsletter features for two years, said the project targets health topics of student interest.  

“It’s really fun to write articles that are both engaging and also tackle challenging issues,” Jerisha said. 

Through its Red Cross Training Corps, the group said they promote emergency skills knowledge. The program teaches students to lead CPR, AED and first aid certification courses at no cost to participants.

According to Weinberg senior and former Red Cross Training Corps coordinator Robin Kim, Red Cross Training Corps has certified over 120 Evanston residents across four academic quarters. 

“Those skills can be not only time-consuming, but also expensive to acquire,” Jerisha said. “So, by reducing those barriers, we’ve been able to promote equity.”

Student instructors with the Red Cross Training Corps have recently partnered with local organizations including Norris Mini Courses, Black Women of Evanston and the Evanston YWCA to acquire certifications in life-saving response skills.

“As the cliche may go, an ounce of prevention goes a long way,” Jerisha said.

By expanding local partnerships, Jerisha said, the group is “giving people skills that can empower themselves to make a difference in their own communities.”

This spring, CHC will host a health professions day for students and continue its Red Cross certification courses.

 

Email: [email protected]

X: @milabrandson

 

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