If you live in San Jose or the Santa Clara area, you are certainly familiar with San Jose State University. But you may not be as aware of one of the busiest programs on its campus – the Center on Healthy Aging in Multicultural Populations (CHAMP). The mission of CHAMP is “to promote healthy aging among multlcultural and diverse populations living in the San Francisco Bay area.” This interdisciplinary program accomplishes its mission through a variety of training events and community outreach activities that are a boon for both professional and family caregivers in the area.
CHAMP recent hosted its third annual Conference on Health and Aging – Opportunities and Challenges: Evidence-Based Practice in Multicultural Communities — on April 18. Session topics and titles indicate the scope of what was covered in the day of training; e.g.,
Multi-Dimensional Aspects of Aging and Long-Term Care
The Occupational Needs of Fail Chinese Elder Immigrants for Aging in Place
Enhancing Nursing Courses with Realistic Geriatric Content
Is Seventy the New Forty? Paleopathology and Aging
Wellness in Senior Housing
When not hosting its outstanding annual conference, the CHAMP program continues to provide a range of university and community services throughout the year in three core areas: education and training, research, and community partnerships.
Student Education and Training
The purpose of this CHAMP core is “to develop interdisciplinary training and education opportunities for students in allied health program to work with seniors from diverse backgrounds.”
Examples of education and training programs include CHAMP’s interdisciplinary training in ethnogeriatrics, which helps students develop better cultural competencies, and its annual senior wellness fairs, which provide hands-on health screenings and information to area seniors. Last year’s wellness fair had over 600 in attendance. More recently, CHAMP sponsored a Santa Clara round table on HIV/AIDS in seniors.
The purpose of CHAMP’s research component is “to facilitate research to understand factors that promote healthy aging, barriers to healthy aging, and promote health equity among diverse populations.” Both transitional and applied research projects are undertaken.
One example of an applied research project is the Asian Indian Healthy Aging Needs Survey that examined healthy aging needs of seniors in the area’s Asian Indian community.
The purpose of the Community Partnerships core is “to develop strategic partnerships with community organizations to strengthen the community’s capacity to promote healthy aging among diverse groups of seniors.”
Two examples of community outreach projects include the Community Ambassadors Program for Seniors and the Senior Peer Advocate Program. The former provides training for older volunteers to provide information and referral to seniors in various ethnic communities, in order to assist them to better use community services that can maintain senior wellbeing. The latter program provides a training curriculum for older volunteers so that they can provide information and referrals for elders at several Santa Clara County senior centers.
CHAMP was honored by San Jose State University last year with a Collaborative Project Award, which recognized its innovative ways of promoting interdisciplinary education through forming strategic partnerships with organizations in the community.
You can learn more about this award-winning university program by visiting its website. You’ll want to get upcoming programs bookmarked on your calendar.