Jason Paltzer, PhD, MPH, joined GCU in January as an assistant professor of public health. He received his PhD in population health science in 2014 from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and his master’s degree in public health from the University of Minnesota in 2003. He spent six years (2003 – 2009) in Zambia working as the director for the Lutheran Health & Development Program and served as the global health director for the nonprofit organization, Kingdom Workers, from 2013 – 2016. In these roles, Dr.
The Masters of Public Health program is excited to announce their first MPH Student Research Project. Dr. Paltzer will be working with MPH student, Ruth Dykstra, on a research project that will serve as a survey of holistic health and development methods and models that integrate physical and spiritual determinants of health. Community Health Evangelism (CHE) is one such example of a holistic health approach.
The purpose is to provide a comprehensive review and annotated bibliography of the evidence behind each of the models, methods and approaches. The goal will be to identify similar and unique components of each model and provide a decision matrix to give program managers a tool to select the most appropriate model to implement given their context. Ms. Dykstra and Dr. Paltzer plan to contact developers of these methods to further explore the implementation process and contexts of how these models have been successfully used in the field.
The project is titled: “A Review and Decision Matrix of Approaches and Methods for Holistic Community Health and Development.” At the end of the project, the research will be submitted for possible publication in a peer-reviewed journal with a potential conference presentation in late spring of 2019.
Why is this research relevant? The evidence around holistic community health practice exists, but is scattered in evaluation reports, organizational websites, annual reports, presentation abstracts and some peer-reviewed publications. This makes it difficult for faith-based program directors and managers to efficiently compare which holistic model would be the best fit for their specific cultural and social contexts.
The field of global health and development is essential for mission organizations as they strive to serve the physical and spiritual needs of people. Effective models exist that integrate these domains, rather than addressing them as independent areas. This research project will produce an important resource for faith-based health organizations working holistically alongside local churches serving low-income communities.
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