UCLA School of Public Health Field Studies Program

Community Health Sciences

Field Placement: Los Angeles County Department of Health Services, Maternal Child and Adolescent Health Department, Child and Adolescent Health Unit
Los Angeles, CA
Laura Lathrop-Warriner LCSW, MPH
Student Name: Michelle Gibson
Year: 2005

The Los Angeles County Department of Health Services under the Public Health Division houses the Maternal, Child and Adolescent Health Department (MCAH), and within that department exists the Child and Adolescent Health Unit (CAH) where I completed my summer internship. Under the guidance of Laura Lathrop-Warriner LCSW, MPH, I assisted on numerous tasks that related to their five-year plan. The CAH unit had five major tasks to be completed by July 2006, each a component of the major objective for the five year plan; I worked on three main tasks and various other smaller activities.

The first CAH task was the development of the infrastructure for the newly forming Los Angeles Adolescent Health Collaborative whose initial impetus for meetings was to bring together adolescent service providers in the county to develop projects and disseminate information that will improve health access and ultimately health outcomes for local youth. My role, in preparation for their third meeting, was to develop a presentation of sample mission and vision statements, based on discussions from previous meetings, and to facilitate a discussion aimed at crafting a vision/mission agreeable to collaborative members. By the close of the internship, the collaborative adopted a vision statement and was still discussing the mission statement.

The second CAH task was to develop a best practice document on youth development that within two years will be disseminated to community providers. Based on a literature review, I completed the first draft of the document that included the theory of youth development, key principles and effective program activities that foster youth development. The process continues, and the CAH unit plans to complete a more thorough asset mapping project to determine successful youth development programs in the community and identify how youth development principles are incorporated into those programs.

The third objective for CAH was to develop a youth profile of adolescent in Los Angeles County, and this years tasks were to identify existing national, state and local youth surveys, to complete a gaps analysis, and determine if a new survey needs to be developed of if existing data will provide an adequate overview. My tasks were to identify the existing surveys, complete informational briefs that outline the methodology and survey domains, and then to create a matrix of those survey questions so that the gaps analysis can be completed within the year.

Because the Maternal, Child and Adolescent Health Department bases its yearly tasks on the five year objectives, the tasks I assisted on will continue throughout the fiscal year and will continue to further develop throughout the five-year plan.


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