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My name is Michael Vargas and I want to learn more about improving community health utilizing anchor institutions. I have been reading about community needs assessment to start my understanding of how to improve overall community health.

My question is this: How can I, as someone who isnt connected to an organization as of now, get more hands on experince to develop a deeper understanding of the topic and eventaully make a career out of this?

I have a Masters degree in Clinical Psychology and worked at residential facilitates for mental health and substance abuse (which was several years ago). But I havent been able to work on any community healthy issues. As of now I am not associated with any orgs. I am just an individual that is learning about the power of improving community health. I am open for all suggestions of where I can get real experince starting from basically scratch.

Thank you so much for your time and effort!

Dear Michael,
I am excited to hear about your interest in community health and development, especially your focus on anchor institutions. 
University of Missouri-St. Louis' Anchor Initiative Director had this advice for you: 
Here are some readings about the healthcare anchor network, the anchor learning network, reports by the democracy collaborative on anchor institutions, and then readings on the social determinants of health (e.g. why do this non-health related work along side health related strategies).
Based on your interests, you may also want to see if there is a nonprofit hospital or university where you could volunteer to support a community health initiative, sharing with them your particular focus on anchor work. 
Hope that helps. Wishing you the best as you support your community in improving its health and wellbeing goals.

Question Date: Lun, 06/15/2020