Student Poster

FRESH Fairfax - Evaluating Health Needs Through Interprofessional & Community Collaboration During Covid-19

Log in to view the attachment.

FRESH Fairfax is a collaboration between residents of the Fairfax neighborhood of Cleveland, Ohio, CWRU graduate students (medicine, social work, nutrition, and dental), and Cleveland Clinic (CCF) to address community-identified health disparities. The long-term goals of this initiative are to improve neighborhood health outcomes and to maintain a strong relationship between health institutions and Fairfax residents through interprofessional student-led work. To work towards these goals during a global pandemic, we aimed to learn more about residents’ dietary habits and health conditions to create a community cookbook.

While originally planning to focus on in-person health screenings and nutrition-centered discussions with Fairfax residents, the project was restructured due to Covid-19. To better understand community needs, a feedback focus group was held to address technology access, communication preferences, use of food services, food and health related concerns, cooking access, community culture, and community improvements over Zoom. Using this information, a targeted survey was created and phone interviews were conducted to assess the neighborhood’s nutritional needs. Residents had the opportunity to share recipes and chronic health conditions of interest that directed the educational information and recipes included in the cookbook.

From the focus group of five residents, limitations in technology determined phone calls were the best method of communication. Health concerns such as diabetes and high cholesterol were identified and access to kitchens and cooking equipment was confirmed. Residents also shared community concerns, such as improving neighborhood cleanliness and replacing empty lots with businesses. A total of 14 residents, many of whom were aged 60 or older (n=10, 71.4%), participated in the phone surveys and wanted to learn more about treating hypertension (n=9, 64.3%), diabetes (n=7, 50%), hyperlipidemia (n=7, 50%), obesity (n=6, 42.9%), and heart disease (n=4, 28.6 %) through diet. The cookbook had educational information and recipes organized by relevant health conditions. Both printed and electronic versions are available to the Fairfax community.

Conclusion & Reflections
Despite having to restructure and work remotely, we successfully created a cookbook to aid residents in improving their health. Fairfax residents not only wanted to implement new recipes into their diet, but they also wanted to improve their neighborhood conditions. Even without being in-person, residents felt comfortable sharing unsolicited information and concerns with us. The ability to develop rapport even during a pandemic not only demonstrates the passion that residents have for their community, but also the strength in interprofessional teamwork.