The City of Seat Pleasant (Maryland) and the Department of Behavioral and Community Health at the University of Maryland formed a Health Partnership in 1999. Since then, other units at the University of Maryland have joined the Health Partnership.
This partnership’s goal is to improve the health of Seat Pleasant residents, and to enhance learning and research for students and faculty of the University of Maryland. These goals will be achieved by students and faculty providing health education services to Seat Pleasant residents that might not otherwise be available. At the same time, students and faculty will learn from Seat Pleasant residents and will integrate and apply components of the health education curriculum at the community level.
Collaborators in the Health Partnership include schools, local and state government, businesses, churches, agencies, and community organizations.
Research Projects Conducted with the Seat Pleasant Partnership
Door-to-Door Survey Needs Assessment
A grant was obtained to conduct a door-to-door survey of Seat Pleasant residents to determine health needs and interests. Over 300 residents were interviewed, which comprised 124 households. Data will be used to determine priorities for health education/promotion programs, to serve as a baseline of the city’s residents’ health status, and to demonstrate health needs to funding agencies. To view the data from the door-to-door survey, click here.
Graduate students from the Department of Anthropology at the University of Maryland conducted four ethnographic studies of Seat Pleasant. One study profiled the demographics, health and culture of Seat Pleasant. Another study profiled the education, human ecology, recreation and leisure activities of Seat Pleasant residents. The third study produced a crime profile and an economic profile of Seat Pleasant. And, the fourth study profiled churches in Seat Pleasant.
The Healthy Cookbook: Recipes for African American Populations
Conducted by students in the Department of Nutrition and Food Sciences at the University of Maryland. Healthy recipes were solicited from the City of Seat Pleasant residents, and other recipes were researched in the literature. Recipes were tested in a laboratory at the University of Maryland to determine whether they were healthy. In certain instances, recipes were adjusted to be healthier. The cookbook was reproduced and distributed at key locations in Seat Pleasant.
Click here to see the Healthy Cookbook
Personal Hygiene Workshops for Elementary School Aged Children
University of Maryland students from the Department of Behavioral and Community Health conducted workshops on brushing teeth and the use of deodorants for young children in Seat Pleasant. Workshops were conducted at the two elementary schools in Seat Pleasant, at a day care center in the city, and at the After School Program.
Accessing the Internet
In commemoration of Black History Month, a program was offered to Seat Pleasant residents instructing them on how to access the internet to obtain health information.
Community Health Awareness Day
Celebrating the 3rd anniversary of the Seat Pleasant/University of Maryland Health Partnership, a program focusing on HIV/AIDS and diabetes was conducted for Seat Pleasant residents. Various organizations that provide screenings, treatments, and products and other services provided material and information at booths in the Greendale Community Center.
Health Promotion/Education Workshops
Health promotion/education workshops were conducted at various sites throughout the City on various health topics and for various populations.
- Topics included stress management, breast cancer awareness, prostate cancer awareness, injury prevention, feminine health and hygiene, self-esteem, and risk factors for chronic diseases.
- Populations included elementary school children, teenage girls and boys, female and male employees of the City, parents, and adult men and women.
- Sites at which workshops were conducted included the Seat Pleasant City Hall, the Lyndon Hill Elementary School, St. Margaret's Catholic Church, the Seat Pleasant After-School Program, Carmody Hills Baptist Church, and the Eastern Avenue Apartments.
Health Partnership Column
Health Partnership personnel write a column on health matters that appears in each issue of the Seat Pleasant News. The Seat Pleasant News is mailed bi-monthly to each residence in Seat Pleasant.
Exhibit of Seat Pleasant
An exhibit highlighting the assets and resources of the City was developed. The exhibit is being used to recruit business to the City, educate the media about the City's strengths, and to bolster residents' pride in their City. The exhibit is housed in the Seat Pleasant City Hall.
Study of Seat Pleasant Children's Health Insurance Needs
University of Maryland Department of Behavioral and Community Health graduate students conducted a study of Seat Pleasant children's health insurance needs and barriers to enrollment in the Maryland Children's Health Program (MCHP). The study concluded that too many Seat Pleasant children who are eligible for the MCHIP program are still uninsured.
The most significant barriers to MCHIP enrollment were:
- stigma associated with the program,
- low literacy,
- Medicaid retention, and
- income test (sliding scale asset test in MCHIP materials provided by the state intimidated potential recipients).
Recommendations to increase enrollment and respond to these barriers included:
- educational programs,
- a door-to-door canvas of the community to enroll eligible children, and
- employing community assets such as local businesses and the senior population.
A follow-up to the previously conducted children's health insurance study was designed to increase the enrollment of Seat Pleasant children eligible for the Maryland Children's Health Insurance Program. University of Maryland Graduate students teamed with Prince George's County Health Department staff at outreach programs conducted in various locations in Seat Pleasant.
Each year, University students organize and conduct a health fair in the City in conjunction with Seat Pleasant Day. Information on various health topics such as Nutrition, Fitness, Risk Behaviors, Mental Health, Dental Health, and Chronic Diseases was available for residents of all ages. Special events include blood pressure screenings, an interactive dental demonstration, "Ask a Personal Trainer" and other fitness programs, and signing up for medical assistance for Adults and MCHP (children's health insurance).
Development of a Community Health Resource Guide
Undergraduate students developed a Community Health Resource Guide for residents of Seat Pleasant.
Seat Pleasant senior citizens were awarded scholarships to attend an introductory computer course that was designed specifically for them by the Senior University on the University of Maryland campus. Twenty Seat Pleasant elders were transported to and from the University by van, and applications for enrollment in the course far exceeded space available. Additional course offerings are planned.
Health screenings, education, and counseling were conducted in the heavily trafficked Safeway grocery store in Seat Pleasant to identify individuals with unmet health care needs, and provide them with information on health promotion, disease prevention, and treatment options.
Health Education Needs and Strengths Assessment of the After-School Program
Graduate students conducted an assessment of the health education needs and strengths of children attending the Seat Pleasant After-School Study and Recreation Program. Health education programs will be developed and implemented to respond to the needs identified.
Relationship with the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center
Complimentary tickets for selected performances at the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center at the University of Maryland were made available to Seat Pleasant residents. In addition, performing artists will visit the city to conduct performances for residents of the city.
The Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center at the University of Maryland underwrote two performances of The Wild Thing by the Liz Lerman Dance Exchange at Seat Pleasant elementary schools.
Pharmacy Assistance Project
Seat Pleasant residents needing financial assistance to afford medications were counseled by members of the Health Partnership Board of Directors and guided through the process to obtain free or reduced-cost medications from pharmaceutical manufacturers. Residents in need were referred to the Health Partnership by local pharmacies.
National Night Out Program
Participated in Seat Pleasant's National Night Out program by University of Maryland undergraduate students developing and displaying posters on diabetes, hypertension, healthy eating, and minority health issues at a community gathering.
Scholarship to Area Youth to Summer Camp at the University of Maryland
Ten scholarships for area youth to attend the Gymkana Summer Camp at the University of Maryland in 2007 and 2008 were donated by the School of Public Health at the University of Maryland . An essay contest was organized and submissions evaluated by the Seat Pleasant/University of Maryland Health Partnership for youth interested in competing for one of these scholarships.
Expanded Pharmacy Assistance Program
University of Maryland students researched web sites that provided free or low cost medications to patients with financial need. Presentations were made at local churches and a meeting organized at a local community center for area residents interested in accessing these web sites. Residents were helped to complete applications for free or low cost medications by these students.
Governor's Wellmobile Program
After several years of advocacy, the Health Partnership was successful in getting Seat Pleasant to be a scheduled site of the Governor's Wellmobile Program. The Governor's Wellmobile Program provides health screenings and health services to residents of Seat Pleasant at no cost, and makes referrals as necessary. Services are provided through the Governor's Wellmobile parked at the Feggan Community Center in Seat Pleasant.
Free Flu Shots
The Health Partnership arranged for the Prince Georges Hospital Center to provide free influenza immunizations in the city of Seat Pleasant. Hospital personnel administered free flu shots in City Hall for any residents and/or city staff interested in being immunized