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Wellness Without Borders: A Blueprint for Community Engagement
Community health workers Kamaile Tripp-Harris and Princess Bombyck and medical students Wesley Allen and Silvia Soule share their event's impact on the community, how medical students and community health workers were involved, and how a coalition came together to serve their community.

ith the inauguration of the Rose Park Primary Care Clinic, a student-led clinic, community-engagement medical students Wesley Allen and Silvia Soule felt compelled to inform the Rose Park community about the new clinic's resources available to everyone. Wesley and Silvia, with the assistance of our community healthcare workers, Kamaile Tripp-Harris, and Princess Bombyck, formed the Rose Park Providers Coalition.

This coalition decided to spread the word about the clinic by organizing a health fair. On October 28, 2023, Rose Park Primary Student Led Clinic held its first Wellness Without Borders Resource Fair. This significant community event offered vital health resources to the vulnerable and underrepresented populations within the Rose Park community, fostering long-term collaborations. The event boasted an array of services, including preventive health screenings, vaccinations, dental screenings, health snacks, food, entertainment, dance class and mindfulness demonstrations and a comprehensive collection of information on community resources. It was a resounding success for all organizations involved.

Coalition are key to public health

Coalitions and collaborations between health clinics and community organizations are vital to serving the needs of underserved populations. The Rose Park Providers Coalition brought together multiple community projects and helped all groups success. When we reached out, we quickly got positive responses, and soon, the coalition came together, featuring members from:

With so many community organizations involved, we were able to offer a considerable number of services to hundreds of people, including:

  • In-person interpreters for 9 different languages and virtual interpreters for 2 languages
  • 100 dental hygiene kits
  • 49 dental screenings and fluoride varnish
  • 100 bags of groceries
  • 200 emergency blankets
  • 35 blood pressure checks and glucose tests
  • Vaccination education
  • Health insurance information
  • Department of Public Safety
  • Small business assistance information
  • 38 community booths
  • Food pantry
  • Free clothing
  • Sound baths
  • Pizza and live music
  • Dance performances

The event helped community members learn about a significant number of resources in one place. It also led to an increase in patients at the student-led clinic.

As health care providers can’t take care of all of a patient's needs within our clinic, this fair helped us, and our patients connect with people who can support them.

The role of students and community health workers

The health fair involved more than 25 student volunteers. But students' involvement in care for underserved populations doesn't end there. At the Rose Park Population Health Clinic, medical students of all levels participate in care.

  • First second-year students take vitals and room patients.
  • Third and fourth-year students take a history, talk to the patients about their concerns, and relay that information to the provider.

Student-led clinics significantly enhance students' experiences, contributing to their development as well-rounded doctors. These clinics also enable patients to receive care from licensed primary care providers supervising the students. This lifetime experience shapes the career paths of our future physicians.

Connection to the community is critical not only to student education but for their continued careers. The  mix of community health workers (CHWs) and students, provides an innovative learning space for everyone involved. CHWs truly understand the community and the resources available and can share that with the students. They can help open student's eyes to the social determinants of health that affect their patients and provide culturally sensitive care. It also helps students see how they can reach out to their communities in the future and make a difference.

Plans for future events and initiatives

With the Rose Park Coalition in place, looking to the future and seeing what events and resources our community needs are more accessible. The coalition is currently working on creating long-term goals and sustainable infrastructure to allow us to meet community needs for years to come. We plan to hold more health fairs in 2024 and increase publicity to attract more community participants.

The Wellness Without Borders Fair has also inspired other student-led clinics to start planning and creating their own health fairs and coalitions.

Coalition-building is a skill that all students can use in their future practices and communities, no matter where they live. It is key to meeting public health needs.

Empowering the community

Building a coalition also means empowering community members. Though the health fair was primarily planned by students and providers, we aim to empower the  community to address their wellness. The community health workers at the clinic are a pivotal part of boosting community engagement and support.

The very positive response to the Wellness Without Borders fair gives us hope that we can provide the Rose Park community with the tools and resources they need for continued Wellness in the future. As community health workers, providers, and medical students continue to work together in the clinic, we hope to find more ways to help the people we serve to improve their health, their family's health, and the health of their neighbors.


Kamaile Tripp-Harris

Community Health Worker Coordinator, University of Utah School of Medicine

Wesley Allen

Director of Social Work and Case Management, Medical Student, Rose Park Student-Led Health Clinic, University of Utah School of Medicine

Princess Bombyck

Clinical CHW Academic Program Manager, University of Utah School of Medicine

Silvia Soule

Director of Community Outreach and Interprofessional Collaboration, Medical Student, Rose Park Student-Led Clinic, University of Utah School of Medicine

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