Jaguar Health Ambassadors to host "Health Table" in Spring 2023
As the College of Health and Human Services recognizes the 2nd anniversary of the Jaguar Student Health Ambassador Program, it’s expanding on its efforts to keep GSU healthy with a new monthly series.
In Spring 2023, the program, which started amid the COVID-19 pandemic as a way to spread awareness about COVID-19 and other health conditions, will host a “Health Table” the third Thursday of each month in the D-Building corridor from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. There, the ambassadors will hand out health education materials and resources on monthly health topics identified through student surveys. Additionally, the ambassadors will invite community-based or national organizations that focus on the monthly topic to share their insights at the table.
The next saga of the ambassador program builds on the important work its students have already done through virtual orientations, health awareness events and on social media. For Dr. Tonya Roberson, director of Community Engagement, Program Development and Academic Support CHHS, these efforts have made the ambassadors “campus heroes.”
“These students are role models for our campus. They recognize the importance of health awareness and want to make sure everyone is safe,” Roberson said. “I worked very closely with the ambassadors and from day one, it was evident that many students want to keep the campus community safe, healthy and make a positive impact for everyone.”
Shannel Crump, a social work major and a 45-year-old returning student, decided to join the program after seeing how Dr. Roberson and the ambassadors could have open and honest conversations with participants at their educational events. It reminded her of the kind of work that she doest at her job, Phalanx Family Services in Chicago. There she work with the city on its Health Chicago Equity Zones initiative, which aims to promote health and racial equity on issues ranging from diabetes and heart disease to COVID-19 and healthcare access.
As someone who has had family members die from COVID-19 and diabetes in addition to loved ones who struggle with mental health, she believes that “if you get to it in a timely fashion, you can prolong life.” That mentality cuts at the heart of why the health ambassadors are so important, she said.
“Groups like the health ambassadors are extremely important because they spread knowledge and share different perspectives that some people might not hear otherwise,” she said. “These are conversations that can save lives.”
To become an ambassador reach Dr. Roberson at firstname.lastname@example.org