Innovations in Community Health and Social Change

Raising hands during event

See a gap – fill the gap. That’s exactly what Dr. Natasha Hall, assistant professor of Nursing and population health course director, did by organizing the first Innovations in Community Health and Social Change event.

While attending the Sullivan Ignite Retreat in 2017, two students noticed that the concepts of social change, entrepreneurship and innovation were not considered central to the nursing profession and shared their observation with Dr. Hall. Dr. Hall recognized a gap in the curriculum for our nursing students, and at the recommendation of Dan Maynard, business librarian with Wiggins Memorial Library, she spearheaded Innovations in Community Health.

Forty-three junior level nursing students participated, along with faculty from Nursing, Biology, the Lundy-Fetterman School of Business, and the Sampson County Community College Department of Nursing.    

Spud Marshall from the Sullivan Foundation was the keynote speaker. He facilitated several interactive sessions in which students were encouraged to engage in conversations on key issues such as discrimination, mental illness, the opioid epidemic and the need for a nursing support group. At the end of the event, students brainstormed ideas and projects to promote social change.

Attending student Leslie Webster noted that the brainstorming sessions were the highlight of the day, where ideas such as creating a nursing social club or prayer group along with a mobile care clinic to better serve the community were discussed.  

“Nursing 2020 came up with some great ideas on how to make a difference at Campbell University and maybe even in our community,” said Webster. “I was proud of us for this and for the excitement we had to make positive changes for us and others.”

The Nursing students also created a video on social change and what it means to them.

Dr. Hall hopes that students will be inspired to participate in social change activities on campus and in the community. She stated that the highlight of the event was “watching students engage in meaningful, heartfelt discussion on sensitive topics; there was transparency and realness in the room and it came through in every discussion.”

After the success of the inaugural event, Dr. Hall plans to hold more of these sessions for nursing students and hopes to incorporate them into the inter professional education (IPE) event schedule soon.