Diversity Fellow Project, Joelle Fang

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Partnering with the Asian Pacific Development Center

Partnering with the Asian Pacific Development Center [download PDF]

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Project Narrative

1. Please describe your activities during your fellowship experience. Describe your final capstone project(s).
For my final capstone project for my Diversity Fellowship, I partnered with the Asian Pacific Development Center (APDC) and their staff members to increase their awareness of early intervention services available to Asian and Pacific Islander (API) populations so that they can better help the families they serve access early intervention services. I presented to 14 different APDC providers (e.g., medical providers, patient navigators, psychologists, behavioral health clinicians, case managers) regarding accessing early intervention services. I also provided them with various references and handouts, such as major developmental milestones that children 0 to 3 years of age should be achieving and how to make a referral for early intervention services when concerns regarding a child’s development arise.

Before and after the presentation, I provided the APDC staff members with a pre- and post-questionnaire to assess their knowledge gained from the presentation. The pre-questionnaire featured knowledge-based questions that required the responder to apply what they already knew. In contrast, the post-questionnaire featured knowledge-based questions to assess what the responder learned from the presentation as well as 7-point Likert scales to assess their perceived understanding of the presented material. Survey results revealed that on average, people answered 6.75 questions correctly on the pre-questionnaire and answered 10.125 questions correctly on the post-questionnaire, with an average increase of 3.375 questions answered correctly. The Likert scales revealed a perceived increase in knowledge regarding the difference between Part C and Part B services, potential benefits of early intervention, how to make a referral for early intervention services, what early intervention services are available to families, and potential red flags for autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Responders also indicated that the presented information will strengthen their future practice and their recommendations for families.

2. Who did your project inform, help, influence or impact? (UCEDD, individual, community, state) How?
My project informed different community providers on how they can better help the families they serve access early intervention services, which has been shown to enhance a child’s development through everyday learning opportunities and everyday routines (e.g., mealtimes, bath time) and reduce future problems in a child’s learning, behavior, and health status. APDC currently provides a variety of services to the adolescent and adult population (e.g., behavioral health, youth leadership, adult education, victim assistance), but they are limited in their services geared towards the pediatric population. Therefore, I collaborated with APDC to determine what services might be most beneficial and impactful to the pediatric population (i.e., early intervention).

3. Why did you choose to work on that project(s)?
I decided to partner with APDC because of my interests in working with culturally and linguistically diverse populations. The API community is one of the fastest growing communities, yet only a small percentage of API children receive early intervention services. Therefore, I wanted to increase the API community’s awareness of the availability of these services by partnering with a community organization that serves this population in order to create a systems change.

4. What did you gain from being a Diversity Fellow?
Through the Diversity Fellowship, I completed a systems change project and influenced community access to community services. I was provided with the opportunity to attend the AUCD conference in Washington, D.C. and was able to connect with other Diversity Fellows from around the country. Through my clinical work, I increased my clinical skills and gained valuable insights into the many health care system challenges that families encounter.

5. How will this experience impact your education or career decisions?
This has been very valuable and unique experience. I will be able to collaborate more effectively with community organizations in the future. Because I am more aware of how systems affect access, I will also be able to better advocate for families and better help families access services.

6. What are your future goals? Where do you see yourself 5 years from now?
In 5 years, I envision that I will still be working with culturally and linguistically diverse families with children with complex needs while working on multidisciplinary teams with other professionals. I will hopefully be mentoring my own students and will still be striving to expand my knowledge and expertise so that I may better serve families and their children.

7. What recommendations do you have for other Fellows?
I would recommend that Fellows take advantage of any opportunities that are provided to them. I would pick a project that you are passionate about. I would ask lots of questions and learn as much as you can from your mentors and peers. I received wonderful support from my mentors and peers, who helped enrich my fellowship. I would also try to connect with other Fellows and make the most out of this unique experience.

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