This year, our Forum Fellows are launching a Community of Action (CoA), which is a student-led initiative through which undergraduate students can explore complex health-system challenges, and obtain policy- and research-related skills necessary to spark meaningful action within the community. The CoA is part of the Forum’s student outreach strategy, and will be led by Fanny Cheng and Puru Panchal.
For the 2017-2018 year, the CoA will focus on mental health and addictions issues affecting post-secondary students. Members of the CoA will gain access to health policy courses, interactive webinars, Forum products, and face-to-face meetings with experts to explore the field. With these resources, students will have the opportunity to enact initiatives based on identified needs of the community. These may include, but are not limited to, reviews of literature about the best ways to improve the health and social systems within which programs and services are offered, as well as analyses of public health services.
Depending on the pursued activities and the amount of engagement, students can expect to gain valuable skills and experience related to policy and political analysis, evidence synthesis and knowledge translation, and may have opportunities to receive authorship on student-led publications that are developed to inform the activities of the CoA. Ultimately, this CoA intends to bring the world of health research and policy to a cohort of engaged students on campus.