The new partnership expands opportunities for students, research, training and workforce development for public health and human services in San Diego County.
San Diego State University and the San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA) have announced the creation of a new department of academic health and human services, the Live Well Center for Innovation and Leadership.
After years of collaboration in clinical research, internships and successful pandemic response projects, the university and the agency became official partners following the signing of a five-year agreement on Thursday.
“I am very proud that the already strong partnership between SDSU and the County Health and Human Services Agency will continue to grow and expand after today,” said the SDSU president. Adele della Torre.
“Through the Live Well Center for Innovation and Leadership, we are creating something new,” said de la Torre. “There will be a focus on workforce development and county internships for SDSU students in the public health and social work sector, creating a highly educated and better trained workforce to address many of the health disparities that pervade our community. today”.
San Diego’s HHSA does more than many traditional public health services and addresses complex community health issues including housing, homelessness, hunger, and child, family, and adult well-being.
At the same time, students and faculty from SDSU’s College of Health and Human Services (CHHS) conduct extensive research projects and explore innovative ways to address health disparities and emerging public health problems in the region’s urban and rural communities.
Described as a holistic and unique approach to integrating resources with SDSU’s Schools of Social Work, Public Health, Nursing and Mental Health programs, the collaboration addressing county-level health problems, including child well-being, aging, behavioral health, and housing insecurity.
“This type of partnership is the first in the state of California,” he said Nathan Fletcher, chairman of the San Diego County Board of Supervisors. “We will streamline workforce development through new internships and training, and this will be great value as we continue to increase our behavioral health workforce. Together we can retain local talent locally and prepare them to meet the public health needs of our region. “
The joint venture also creates a formal pipeline linking HHSA and SDSU researchers. And it will streamline workforce development through new internship opportunities, with hands-on cross-training opportunities for CHHS students.
“The new partnership will provide substantial experiential learning experiences and more internships to better equip our students for jobs that will improve and maintain the health of diverse communities,” he said. Steven Hooker, dean of the SDSU College of Health and Human Services.
The faculty and the public will also benefit from a closer connection with the county’s many health initiatives to further expand research collaborations. Hooker said, “Solid research-based practices will result in better health outcomes among county residents of all ages, backgrounds and places.”
The diversity of HHSA’s many departments ranges from aging and independence services to housing and community development to self-reliance services, offering a wide range of services and opportunities for students, researchers and practitioners of the health.
“The launch of the Live Well Center for Innovation & Leadership will accelerate our already productive partnership with the university,” he said Nick Macchione, Director of the County Health and Human Services Agency. “We are excited about how the faculty and adding more graduates with lived experience and new thinking in areas of great public concern will contribute to a healthy, safe and thriving community.”
The SDSU School of Public Health is consistently ranked among the best in the nation. And, with the recent signing of California’s Senate Bill 684, SDSU can now offer independent doctorates in public health.
“The Live Well Center for Innovation and Leadership sets the stage for that PhD program, creating a unique new experiential learning opportunity where our students can apply what they are learning in a real community environment by helping HHSA and helping our neighbors, “said president de la Torre. “As California’s first academic health department, this is a model for other municipalities in the state to follow.”
The launch of the Center, he added, “will make San Diego County a healthier and safer place for its citizens.”