Today, Dr. Laura Culley, UNLV School of Medicine Associate Dean for Community Engagement, was named the Southern Nevada Health District’s Public Health Hero for her efforts to develop a Mobile Health Collaborative. The award is presented each year to an individual or an organization whose efforts positively impact the health and well-being of the community.
Dr. Culley serves as a member of the Community Health Improvement Plan’s (CHIP) Access to Care workgroup. The CHIP was first introduced in August 2016, and it is a multi-agency plan that serves as a template to address health disparities in Southern Nevada. The Access to Care workgroup has an overarching goal to provide health care resources to the public by overcoming barriers such as transportation and availability of resources.
To this end, Dr. Culley and members of the collaborative have worked to establish a series of community events that link clients with a cross-section of services. The first event was held in March at Hartke Park in North Las Vegas. Through the efforts of the collaborative, 156 families had access to mobile medical service vans that provided no-cost services, social service providers, behavioral health providers, opportunities to sign-up for insurance, and additional resources. By design, the event was meant to ensure attendees were linked to more than just health care services. Families in attendance were provided information on housing, utilities, and food assistance. When appropriate, caseworkers were available for families to ensure follow-up as needed. Each family in attendance also received a bag of food from Three Square. The Mobile Health Collaborative was introduced in March and now includes 50 community partners.
The collaborative has three more community events scheduled this year to provide services to areas of the community that have an identified lack of access. Dr. Culley continues to take an active leadership role in the Access to Care workgroup to address the needs of people in the community who live in areas with a scarcity of resources.
In addition to her efforts as a member of the Mobile Health Collaborative, Dr. Culley is committed to creating a well-informed health care workforce with an understanding of the issues and complexities facing communities. In 2015, she established the “Health Improves Together” program for students. Pre-health undergraduates meet monthly to gain an understanding of community health concepts and issues. As part of the class, students volunteer to work as patient navigators at locations that include UMC’s emergency department, Westcare, Positively Kids, and Three Square, where they meet with clients and ensure they are provided with adequate follow up and referral services if needed.
Dr. Culley’s ongoing commitment to provide better access to care and linkages to services for all community members, as well as her willingness to invest extra time and effort to educate her students on these important issues, makes her truly deserving of this year’s title of Public Health Hero.
Public Health Heroes are nominated by Health District staff members for their efforts in supporting one or more of the 10 Essential Public Health Services:
1. Monitor the health status to identify and solve community health problems.
2. Diagnose and investigate health problems and health hazards in the community.
3. Inform, educate and empower people about health issues.
4. Mobilize community partnerships and action to identify and solve health problems.
5. Develop policies and plans that support individual and community health efforts.
6. Enforce laws and regulations that protect health and ensure safety.
7. Link people to needed health services, assure the provision of healthcare when unavailable.
8. Assure competent public and personal health care workforce.
9. Evaluate effectiveness, accessibility and quality of personal and population-based health services.
10. Research for new insights and innovative solution to health problems.
Access information about the Southern Nevada Health District on its website: www.SNHD.info. Follow the Health District on Facebook: www.facebook.com/SouthernNevadaHealthDistrict, YouTube: www.youtube.com/SNHealthDistrict, and Twitter: www.twitter.com/SNHDinfo. The Health District is available in Spanish on Twitter: www.twitter.com/TuSNHD. Don’t have a Twitter account? Follow the Health District on your phone by texting “follow SNHDinfo” to 40404. Additional information and data can be accessed through the Healthy Southern Nevada website: www.HealthySouthernNevada.org.
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