Building Healthy Communities in the Dominican Republic is an undergraduate research and study abroad Creative Inquiry (CI) project led by Dr. Arelis Moore de Peralta. The project is an interdisciplinary, holistic effort dedicated to improving the health of Las Malvinas, a poverty-stricken community in the Dominican Republic (DR). Moore de Peralta holds a joint appointment with the Department of Youth, Family and Community Studies and the Department of Languages.
A trip to Las Malvinas in November 2016 allowed for planning and partnership building with the Universidad Iberoamericana, the DR’s Ministry of Public Health, and Las Malvinas community members. Joining Moore de Peralta on the trip were David Vaughn, Professor of Practice, Clemson Engineers for Developing Countries (CEDC), and two of his students who are also program coordinators (Hunter Lee and Jack McLeod); Dr. James H. Spencer, Associate Dean of Research and Graduate Education, CAAH; and Katherine Brown, a CI Project Research Team Leader.
Community members in Las Malvinas hope for an organized community health plan and local government’s involvement in sustainable improvement projects. The Clemson CI project aims to conduct a Community Health Assessment and to develop a Community Health Improvement Plan in Las Malvinas. This experience improves students’ cultural competence and critical thinking skills, and allows them to develop evidence-based learning skills to conduct research beyond the CI class.
Building Healthy Communities in the Dominican Republic will take a spring trip in March 2017.