Since its founding in 1903, Georgetown University School of Nursing & Health Studies (NHS) has remained committed to a values based approach to its work. A set of values - Contemplation in Action, Cura Personalis, Diversity, Excellence, Respect, Social Justice, and Value of the Common Good - provides the framework for this activity.
Within this rich tradition, NHS is uniquely positioned to translate science – using this values based framework – into health outcomes that benefit the public.
The Center for Health Equity – Research, Implementation, and Teaching (CHERITH), approved by Georgetown University’s Board of Directors in 2001, was designed to support, facilitate, and coordinate interdisciplinary research, practice, and teaching to discover, evaluate, and eliminate health disparities.
CHERITH offers a strategic environment for faculty and students to convene and partner in teaching, research, and service/practice activities, using this values based approach that will address the elimination of health disparities.
CHERITH provides a venue for facilitating collaboration between colleagues within NHS, across campus, and with partners (including communities) external to Georgetown. In the Jesuit tradition, the center will promote the education, practice, and scholarship of students who seek to be leaders concerned about society and the world in which they live.
This will occur through interdisciplinary course offerings, community based learning, clinical placements, internships, and student scholarly projects at the undergraduate and graduate levels.
The CHERITH Approach
CHERITH takes a three-pronged approach to its work, covering the spectrum of research, implementation through direct services activities, and teaching.
- Research: Community based participatory research (CBPR) is conducted as an equal partnership between researchers and members of a community. The community participates in all aspects of the research process.
- Implementation: Faculty and students are involved in planning and providing health care to the underserved – including the homeless, the medically uninsured and underinsured, victims of natural disasters, and individuals who lack access to basic health care services.
- Teaching: Community based learning (CBL) involves student work in partnership with communities to meet disadvantaged or underserved community-defined needs. Community-based learning is offered to students in a variety of subjects, such as epidemiology, nursing, and public health.
- Inter- and multi-disciplinary partnerships will be actively sought through networking and team- building approaches and strategies.
- Integration of the NHS values of social justice, excellence, value of the common good, and respect and diversity into the research and science strategies.
- Engagement of diverse communities in creating the evidence base for culturally sensitive interventions and policies.
To advance its mission of research, implementation, and teaching, CHERITH partners with a variety of university and external organizations that have a stake in health equity. Examples include
- Center for Social Justice Research, Teaching, and Service at Georgetown University
- Georgetown-Howard Universities Center for Clinical and Translational Science
- CTSA’s National Health Disparities Group (Harvard)
- Region III Health Equity Council, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
- District of Columbia, Department of Health
- NHS Minority Health Initiative Council
- NHS Committee on Mission and Values
- Georgetown Student Chapter of the American Public Health Association
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School of Nursing & Health Studies
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