December 16, 2019

Speech-Language Pathologists & Registered Dietician Coordinate International Team of Students/Faculty to Offer Free Screening to Local Community Children & Others for Health Disorders

health screening at WCUAs a first of its kind at West Chester University (WCU), international students and faculty will be brought to campus to join WCU students and faculty in the offering of free health screenings to those in the local community via a team-based approach on December 18 through December 20. Upon their arrival to the U.S. this week, a team of health profession students and faculty from Universidad Santa Paula (USP) in Costa Rica will join WCU Speech-Language Pathologists Liz Grillo and Patricia Swasey Washington, as well as WCU Registered Dietician Patricia Davidson and their students in an “interprofessional collaborative care” project that will take them into the heart of the community to provide screenings and recommended care plans to community members for disorders related to communication, swallowing, feeding, hearing, ambulation problems, limitations with activities involved in daily living, and nutritional concerns.

Free screenings will be held by the international team of students and faculty from Universidad Santa Paula and West Chester University at:

  • West Chester YMCA of Greater Brandywine, 1 East Chestnut Street in West Chester, for children, who will be accompanied by their parents and/or guardians, on December 18, 9-10 am, 11 am – 12 pm & 1:30-2:30 pm
  • Community Volunteers In Medicine (CVIM), 300B Lawrence Drive in West Chester, for clients on December 19, 9-10 am, 11 am – 12 pm & 1:30-2:30 pm
  • West Chester University’s Speech and Hearing Clinic, 201 Carter Drive in West Chester, for caregivers, families, and clients on December 20, 9-10 am, 11 am – 12 pm & 1:30-2:30 pm

Following the results of the screenings, the team will offer recommended care plans to each individual.

Prior to the screenings, Grillo, Swasey Washington, Davidson, and faculty members in WCU’s College of Health Sciences will teach the Costa Rican/U.S. team of 22 students and faculty the principals of interprofessional collaborative care (IPC). IPC is a model preferred by the American Public Health Association and is based on the premise that patient care improves when health care professionals work together in a collaborative manner. As part of the IPC training, Grillo, Swasey Washington, and Davidson will teach ways to form an effective interprofessional team and the essentials needed to develop a comprehensive screening protocol to assess clients’ health needs.

The team, which will be trained on IPC practices on December 16 & December 17, from 9 am - 5 pm at 201 Carter Drive, Suite 400, West Chester, is comprised of seven students and three faculty from Universidad Santa Paula’s professions of occupational therapy, physical therapy, and speech-language pathology together with three WCU registered dietician students and three WCU speech-language pathology graduate students.

The critical work provided by the international team comes with the support of the University’s College of Health Sciences and the community, including Wegmans' Downingtown, Community Volunteers Medicine, and Timothy's Restaurant.


More about West Chester University’s Partnership with Universidad Santa Paula (USP), Costa Rica

West Chester University and Universidad Santa Paula, Costa Rica have had a longstanding relationship. Since 2015, West Chester University students have been participating in a study abroad at Universidad Santa Paula, Costa Rica under the program founder and leader, Patricia Swasey Washington, in which they provide speech-language services to the local community of San José, Costa Rica. Swasey Washington created the program as a component of the Bilingual Emphasis in the graduate Communication Sciences and Disorders program, to prepare future bilingual speech-language pathologists for global engagement.

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