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Community Health and Outreach

The San Diego Border Area Health Education Center addresses the primary health care and workforce needs of medically-underserved communities. The program mission is to build and support a health care workforce through education, leadership and community collaboration in order to improve access and quality of care for underserved populations in border counties.

Since young people often prefer discussing issues with someone closer to their age, the Doctors Ought to Care program features visits by UC San Diego medical students to local high schools to discuss health topics such as HIV/AIDS, substance abuse and pregnancy. For students interested in medical careers, the Day with a Doctor project provides a firsthand look at what it’s like to be a physician.

Doctor assisting studentUC San Diego also participates in a number of programs designed to reduce childhood obesity and increase awareness of healthy lifestyles. For example, UC San Diego pediatricians coordinate the Nutrition Link program, which provides local elementary school students with exercise and nutrition classes that also meet California Core Content Standards in reading, math, geography and social studies.

Because early detection is a vital component of successful treatment, UC San Diego medical and faculty provide free screenings and educational programs for a variety of conditions, including diabetes, cancer, HIV/AIDS, heart disease and hypertension. Outreach efforts encompass the community at large as well as targeted populations such as Asians, Hispanics, senior citizens, and recently arrived refugees.

As the region’s only NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center, the Moores UC San Diego Cancer Center is focused on promoting community awareness of cancer prevention and early detection, clinical trials, and palliative care. Highlights of these programs:

  • The African-American Cosmetologists Promoting Health Program provides breast health and breast cancer prevention education to the African-American community through a network of San Diego-based beauty salons
  • The Clergy Cancer Education Program collaborates with clergy and lay church leaders from churches in San Diego and Imperial Counties to promote awareness and a better understanding of cancer prevention, clinical trial opportunities, and pain management and palliative care options
  • In cooperation with Deaf Community Services of San Diego, the Moores Cancer Center is developing strategies to reach the deaf community with information about cancer prevention
  • The Pacific-Asian Grocery Store Cancer Education is a project that partners with Asian grocery stores to disseminate information about cancer prevention, early detection, and clinical trials to Asian members of our community for whom English is not a first language.

Additionally, the UC San Diego AIDS Research Institute is a proud participant and co sponsor of HIV University, a collaboration among 15 local agencies, clinics and programs. These participating sites have produced a core curriculum covering HIV/AIDS prevention, transmission risks, and treatment options. Monthly courses are intended for clients, caretakers, and workers new to the HIV/AIDS field. All courses are free to attendees and are offered in both English and Spanish at various sites around San Diego County.