Service Learning

Summer: Rutgers- Health Communication & Health Inequalities Across the Health Professions in Greece & the U.S.

Crete, Greece

Program Overview

Term Start Date End Date Application Deadline
Via Zoom
May 16, 2022
May 26, 2022
Mar 01, 2022
Summer 2022 (travel dates)
May 29, 2022
Jun 11, 2022
Mar 01, 2022
Language(s) of Instruction
English
No
No
Yes
Class Standing
Graduate
3.0
Restrictions

Priority will be given to School of Health Professions and School of Communication and Information students.

ACTUAL PROGRAM DATES: 

Virtually via Zoom May 16- May 28, 2022.

In-person in Crete, Greece  May 29-June 11th, 2022

Program will finish on Canvas by June 24th.

Program Type
Service Learning
Credits

Up to 3 credits (available for non-credit with restrictions)

Program Advisor

The Program

How does communication in interpersonal relationships, organizations, and communities, as well as legal environments, and culture impact our health?

The emphasis of this course will be on communication and the examination of health disparities in a variety of health professional contexts. We will examine communication as a health-related outcome (e.g., improved communication between health care professionals and their patients, which leads to better health outcomes), as an important social process through which the environments we traverse in our everyday lives shape our health), and through a technological lens. The program will emphasize inequalities that affect ethnic and racial minorities, immigrants and refugees, rural populations, and people living with low incomes, among others, both in Greece and the U.S.A.

The course will begin via Canvas and ZOOM on both sides of the Atlantic on May 16, 2022, 2 weeks before students and instructors from both universities and countries meet in person on the island of Crete, in Greece.

This is a collaborative effort of Rutgers SC&I and SHP along with Greece’s HMU as part of the IIE IAPP.

students in greece

Program Locations

Image
Crete

Greece

Crete

Rutgers SC&I and SHP students and faculty and the Hellenic Mediterranean University (HMU) will work in Crete, Greece. Our ‘home’ base in Crete will be in Heraklion which is where one of Hellenic Mediterranean University’s campuses is located. Students from both countries will participate in program sessions at HMU and visit communities across Crete. Activities to aid students’ immersion in the local culture at HMU and around Crete are planned.

Academics

There are many determinants of health disparities that disproportionately affect a range of populations, including women, individuals with low socioeconomic status, ethnic and racial minorities, immigrants and refugees, people with disabilities, and individuals who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or intersex (LGBTQI). This is true in countries across the world, including the U.S. and Greece, and research has documented disparities across a vast number of health outcomes (e.g., healthcare access, physical health outcomes and mental health outcomes). Health disparities are difficult, but not intractable problems.

The course adopts a socio-ecological approach to health; the class will systematically explore how all the contexts and environments in which we live our lives influence our health, independently and in interaction. This means examining not only how individuals’ characteristics (e.g., age, ethno-racial background, education) play a role in health, but also how interpersonal relationships, the organizations we interact with and are part of, as well as the communities and the legal/policy environments that we live in impact our health.

The emphasis will be on communication and the examination of health disparities in a variety of health professional contexts. We will examine communication as a health-related outcome (e.g., improved communication between health care professionals and their patients, which leads to better health outcomes), as an important social process through which the environments we traverse in our everyday lives shape our health), and through a technological lens. The program will emphasize inequalities that affect ethnic and racial minorities, immigrants and refugees, rural populations, and people living with low incomes, among others, both in Greece and the U.S.A.

To put knowledge developed through the course to work, students will work individually and in small teams to diagnose public health challenges in local communities and develop proposals for how to solve them. They will work closely with faculty from both the U.S.A. and Greece.

In-class and in-the-field instruction will be complemented by fields trips that will facilitate students’ understanding of class readings and lectures, promote a deeper understanding of the role of culture, social environmental factors, geography, and policy in the emergence of health disparities but also in efforts to eradicate them. Additional field trips and extracurricular activities are also planned for students to get to know and appreciate Crete and the local culture.

Learning Objectives


The course will begin via Canvas and ZOOM on both sides of the Atlantic on May 16, 2022, 2 weeks before students and instructors from both universities and countries meet in person on the island of Crete, in Greece. It will continue in Crete May 29-June 11th and then finish up on Canvas by June 24th.

The program can be used for service learning or students can work with the Program advisor/director to take the program for up to 3 credits.


The learning objectives are listed below; program competencies will be included in the syllabus for participants.

  • Describe what health disparities (or inequalities) are as well as the leading causes of them.
  • Explain what social determinants of health are, and, why they matter.
  • Apply conceptual tools to analyze and explain how culture is related to health, health disparities, and health communication across health professional contexts.
  • Articulate commonly used methodological approaches to diagnose health disparities and what causes them, but also methods for fighting and eliminating such disparities.
  • Explain the different ways (direct and indirect) in which health communication can support and aid in the maintenance of health behavior change for individuals and groups.
  • Evaluate critically claims and evidence regarding the effectiveness of health communication campaigns.
  • Explain use of Artificial Intelligence to develop health communication tools

There are individual and team requirements.  Individual assignments include readings, research journaling, a podcast or editorial and program evaluation. Group assignments include a community health project completed in Greece.

 

Housing and Meals

Students will stay in a hotel in Heraklion, Crete.  Hotels stays will be double occupancy and include breakfast. The cost of group excursions will be included in the program costs as will most weekday lunches and some dinners.

Financial Information

Program Costs

This is the billed amount that will appear on your Rutgers term bill during the term you study abroad.
All Students
Program Cost $3,000
Program Cost includes:
  • Housing
  • Most meals
  • Excursions
  • Administrative Fees
  • Emergency Medical Access Abroad

Out-of-Pocket Costs

These are estimated expenses that are not part of your term bill. Students will need to pay for these expenses out-of-pocket.
Airfare $1,100
Meals $100
Books and Classroom Materials $50
Personal Expenses $150
Total $1,400.00
Out-of-Pocket Cost includes:

The above costs are estimations and represent the known out-of-pocket costs students encounter during their time abroad.

Some of these expenses will be paid for prior to going abroad, such as an airline ticket, while some of these expenses, such as meals and personal expenses, will be paid in-country as part of your daily expenses. As you plan, you will need to budget these costs and spend wisely throughout your time abroad.

Scholarships

Available to all Rutgers students participating in a Rutgers Global–Study Abroad program. Applications can be found inside of your study abroad program application. For more information, please visit the Scholarship section of our website

Faculty Leaders

Matthew Matsaganis

Dr. Matsaganis is an Associate Professor in SC&I’s Department of Communication, and Area Coordinator of the Ph.D. program. His research focuses on therole of communication as a determinant of health disparities in urban communities, and on how the wellbeing of neighborhoods can be transformed through communication-centered interventions. In this context, he also investigates how ethnic media can serve critical information needs—including health needs—of immigrant and ethnic communities in the digital age. In 2018, he was a Fulbright Scholar in Athens, Greece; he continues to conduct research in Greece.

Riva touger Decker

Dr. Touger-Decker is a Professor and the SHP Associate Dean of Global Affairs and faculty in the Rutgers School of Dental Medicine. She is a registered dietitian, internationally recognized for her expertise and leadership in nutrition and oral health/dental education, and dietetics education. Her research has explored diet/nutrition and orofacial pain, tooth loss, and head and neck cancers and nutrition focused physical exam practices and advanced training of dietitians. She has worked with academic institutions in Greece, Japan, Israel, Malaysia, and Tanzania.

Yonaira Rivera

Dr. Rivera is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication at Rutgers University’s School of Communication & Information. Originally from Puerto Rico (PR), Dr. Rivera’s scholarship focuses on reducing health inequities and improving the well-being of Latinx and underserved communities through health communication initiatives. Her work uses qualitatively-driven, mixed methods and community-based participatory research to study social media health misinformation, cancer control and prevention, and disaster relief.

Lois Rockson

Dr. Rockson is an Assistant Professor and the Program Director of the Rutgers School of Health Professions’ Masters in Diagnostic Cytopathology Program. She completed her Ph.D. in Urban Systems with an Urban Health concentration, a joint degree with the Rutgers School of Nursing, New Jersey Institute of Technology School of Architecture and Rutgers Graduate School, Newark. Her research interest is in cancer health disparities among immigrant groups from the Caribbean and Central America. Dr. Rockson has published research on cancer screening among New Jerseyans with mental disorders and has several scholarly activities related to cytopathology education and practice

Dr. Kleio Koutra

Dr. Koutra is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Social Work, Faculty of Health Sciences at the Hellenic Mediterranean University. Her main research interest is promoting health and social services from a person-centered, social capital and community development approach. She is a member of the research laboratory of Social Research and Social Work and also of the educational laboratory of Local Community Development. She has been teaching to the undergraduate and postgraduate program of Social Work and she is a guest speaker to the Master of Public Health, Medical Department, the University of Crete and the University of Western Attica. She has collaborated on a wide variety of European Union-funded research projects

Dr. George Kritsotakis

Dr. Kritsotakis is an Assistant Professor in Public Health Nursing – Social Epidemiology at the Department of Business Administration and Tourism, Hellenic Mediterranean University (HMU). He is also faculty at the MSc Program in Health Services Administration at the Hellenic Open University, and he lectures regularly as Visiting Professor in Master courses in multiple universities in Greece and abroad. He has worked as Principal Investigator in research teams for various funded research projects and he has participated as a member in several other research teams.