Overview of Programs & Services for The Multicultural Health Institute (MHI)
MHI has consulted with organizations such as the Association of Black Cardiologists, Centers for Disease Control (CDC) REACH collaborative, Cobb Institute, Moffitt Cancer Center, Morehouse School of Medicine, National Medical Association (NMA), and the local health department.
Locally, MHI actively partners with: HIV/AIDS Network of Southwest Florida (HANS), Genesis Health Services, Gulf Coast Medical Society, Jewish Family & Children’s Services, Greater Hurst Chapel, Orange Blossom Community Garden, North Sarasota Library, and numerous other community-based organizations.
Community Based Services & Initiatives
• Consulting services to aid in the development of community-based health education programs and services
• Developing insightful community assessments
• Creating forums to educate and inform people about health and wellness issues
• Working with local agencies and healthcare systems to offer culturally appropriate programs and training to benefit the population
• Creating STEM mentoring programs that promote health, a strong foundation in science, technology, and math for young people (particularly young women) in the community. Multicultural Health Institute (MHI) founder, Dr. Lisa Merritt talks about STEM (Science Technology Engineering & Mathematics) and its importance for America's youth and future competitiveness.
MHI’s Educational Program Summary
….increasing the pipeline of future health leaders
MHI Scholars Program
Student summer program where college to high school, and middle school students have the opportunity to learn from hands on experience of assisting at a physician office. Students are exposed to careers in the medical field and ongoing access to careers mentors, academic and career planning.
Activities include curriculum planning, test prep, research on internships and scholarships, peer-to-peer counseling and provision of other educational resources and study materials. This year we’ve realized over 21 activities in the aforementioned programs and general community health outreach. In the summer we had 7 students participate in the MHI Scholar program, who collectively logged over 374 hours in service and training! check out updates about the scholars, click here
MHI Positive Aging and Wellness Program
High school students are given the opportunity to participate in MHI’s inter-generational Positive Aging and Wellness Program. Students adopt leadership roles in coordinating and managing the Technology sessions at the Positive Aging and Wellness Program monthly series.
Their responsibilities include: researching health care technology links, mentoring seniors on accessing technology and informational health care links, and creating an oral history report on senior participants. During 2014-2015 school year, we hosted 8 sessions on health and wellness topics with 12 students volunteering and dedicating a total of 130 hours.
Know No Bounds Program
Students from schools like Booker High School (a traditionally underrepresented school), are exposed to careers in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics) through ongoing speaking events with health care professionals and continued access to professional mentoring and field trips. In 2014-2015 school year, Know No Bounds program captivated 15 students and brought in 6 guest speakers including an architect, civil engineer, sports psychologist, and medical doctors.
Gatekeepers of Community Health
They hold regular peer to peer led health information and stress management healing circles. Gatekeepers educate and screen youth and other volunteers in the community on a variety of health topics. They promote education and awareness on the issues of hypertension, diabetes, and HIV/AIDS within the community at various events, especially focusing on high risk groups. They can also provide testing, counseling services, and linkage to care as needed.
Did you know:
MHI was instrumental in enhancing the impact of Project Unity, in the Southwest Florida region involving the SDOH (Sarasota, Florida Department of Health) with a variety of established outreach initiatives.
MHI was instrumental in introducing the SDOH to area Faith Based leaders, including a presentation by the Area 8 regional minority AIDS coordinator Amy Zamot, and SDOH HIV/AIDS prevention training consultant Joan Surso to the AME District Ministry Meeting of over 20 ministers.
MHI also developed a comprehensive program, including training of 20 church Liaisons in 500 and 501 coursework provided by SDOH. MHI has worked to build relationships within the community, enhanced through its existing Gatekeepers of Community Health, developed under the Silence is Death Initiative in 2007 which was also supported by SDOH. These efforts culminated in increasingly greater participation in the National Week of Prayer for HIV/AIDS as well as National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness and World AIDS Day.
Over the past decade, MHI has developed effective education, prevention, and treatment efforts in SW Florida.
With MHI's input, there has been greater penetration OF HIV/AIDS EDUCATION AND PREVENTION EFFORTS into the high risk populations including African American youth, adults, and MSM (Men who have Sex with other Men).
MHI could not have such impact without the support collective work of so many. Thank you!
Funding support include:
Attain Health, LLC
Center for Disease Control
Sarasota Community Foundation and Patterson Foundation via "The Giving Partner Challenge"
Sarasota Memorial Healthcare Foundation
Connie Swiner III, MD
2nd Chance Last Opportunity
All Faiths Food Bank
Bayhaven, Booker High, Booker Middle, Emma E. Elementary, Fruitville Elementary, Out-of-Doors Academy
Boys & Girls Club
Community Aids Network
Cardiovascular Center of Sarasota
Center for Building Hope
City of Sarasota Commissioners
Community Redevelopment Agency
Department Juvenile Justice TASC
East West College of Natural Medicine
Easter Seals of Southwest
Florida Studio Theater
HIV/AIDS Network of Southwest Florida (HANS)
Health Equities Research Institute (HERI)
Health Equitites Leadership Network
Jewish Family & Children Services
Journey to Success
Latin Chamber of Commerce of Sarasota
Alix Redmond, SNN News
Charles Clapsaddle, METV
Ed James, ABC Channel 7
Health Check with Heidi Godman at WSLR Radio 98.9
Susan Burns, Sarasota Magazine
The Nilon Report
Laurel Civic Center
Layne Klabfliesch's 2E Consults
Manatee Rural Health Services
Men Educating Men
New College of Florida
Newtown Biz & Professional Women
Numerous faith-based communities including Truevine, Bethel, Bethlehem, Greater Hurst Chapel AME, Harvest Tabernacle, West Coast Center for Human Development, Light of the World
Orange Blossom Garden
Pines of Sarasota
Ringling College of Art
Sally Ride Foundation
Sarasota Chalk Festival
Sarasota, Manatee, and Pinellas Department of Health
Sarasota Housing Authority
Sarasota Memorial Hospital
Sarasota Library System
Sarasota Police Department
Sarasota Youth Opera
Sarasota School Board
Senior Friendship Center
Therapeutic Potentials, Inc.
University of South Florida
West Coast Lupsus Foundation
Positive Aging and No Know Bounds Program
We thank you for your support and encouragement.
Our last session acknowledged a late community leader in health awareness, Ms. Eleanor Ball, and her commitment to help plant the seeds of tomorrow's future health leaders.
We held a community conversation on strategy and solutions focused on reducing health disparities in Sarasota County.
The event was greeted by Mayor Willie Shaw, and updates from Dr. Lisa Merritt, SCOPE, the Florida Department of Health in Sarasota County's Community Health Improvement Partnership (CHIP), and Booker High School student's STEAM presentation.
During the 8 Positive Aging sessions held at the North Sarasota Library, we had 170 adult participants, and 34 middle, high school and college students, facilitating inter-generational discussions, technology knowledge transfer and coaching. Local community expert speakers provided up-to-date information on various health and wellness issues, useful sources and linkage to care. In addition, they spent time speaking with the students about their careers and healthy choices.
Some of our other projects have included:
• Developing multicultural healthcare curricula for medical schools, including Morehouse School of Medicine.
• Creating and participating in community forums regarding pertinent multicultural health issues.
• Created a report documenting "Use of Community Assessments to Eliminate Health Disparities"
• Collaborating with local agencies and healthcare systems with grant support to offer joint, culturally appropriate programs, and staff training.
• Establishing a multicultural resource center to meet the informational needs of community organizations, universities, and the healthcare industries.
• Led Silence is Death initiative in Florida's Sarasota and Manatee counties, substantially increasing the capacity of local communities for testing, peer education and referral to treatment resources, as well as formation of the:
Gatekeepers of Community Health.
• Consultant to Genesis Heath Services, Newtown Wellness programs in development and implementation.