Partnering to address the relentless STI epidemic: A unique collaboration between the jail, local and state health departments and an academic health center in Douglas County, Nebraska

Ruth Margalit, Mary Earley, Jillian Fickenscher, Raees Shaikh, Austin Person, Kari Simonsen, Monirul Islam, Kathy Kaiser, Uriel Sandkovsky, Adi Pour, Elizabeth Berthold, Mark Foxall

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract

Douglas County, Nebraska, has high prevalence of sexually transmitted infections (STI) with Chlamydia trachomatis (CT) and Neisseria gonorrhoeae (NG) rates 30% and 88% higher than the rest of the nation, respectively. The local jail emerged as a crucial public health partner, positioned to facilitate interventions to reduce STI rates within its high risk population, joining the effort to combat the high STI prevalence in the region. Criminal justice populations are at disproportionately higher risk for STI, with less access to STI screening. Objective: Develop an innovative program addressing the problem, through collaboration between the jail, local health departments, public health agencies, and the Service Learning Academy at the College of Public Health. Methods: Healthprofession students offered STI education, screening and treatment to jail inmates. They coordinated their peers, interacted directly with jail authorities and the local and state health departments, provided education and treatment under clinical supervision. Students used a succession leadership plan to ensure continuity and sustainability of the program. Over 1,500 inmates have been provided education and over 1,000 screened so far. Conclusion: Strong commitment, multi-sectorial expertise, and effective collaboration have ensured the implementation of this program, which is intended to test and disseminate best practices for universal screening in jails and assist in establishing effective policy. The program presents an opportunity for health professions students to develop public health knowledge, along with organizational, communication and leadership skills, while engaging in hands-on interprofessional education and practice, ultimately leading to personal and professional growth.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationBuilding Community Capacity
Subtitle of host publicationCase Examples from Around the World
PublisherNova Science Publishers, Inc.
Pages165-174
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9781624171765
ISBN (Print)9781624171758
StatePublished - Jan 1 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Professions(all)
  • Medicine(all)

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    Margalit, R., Earley, M., Fickenscher, J., Shaikh, R., Person, A., Simonsen, K., Islam, M., Kaiser, K., Sandkovsky, U., Pour, A., Berthold, E., & Foxall, M. (2013). Partnering to address the relentless STI epidemic: A unique collaboration between the jail, local and state health departments and an academic health center in Douglas County, Nebraska. In Building Community Capacity: Case Examples from Around the World (pp. 165-174). Nova Science Publishers, Inc..