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Community-centered Population Health

Dr. Berg mentors students interested in Community-centered Population Health. The community-university partnerships she has developed build health equity and benefit populations who are under-served, un-served and marginalized. Student-agency partnerships help to familiarize all to the possibilities of the role of an occupational therapist on community teams to enhance population health. Students develop skills in program development, program evaluation and community engagement.

General Description of Student Activities

Students will have the opportunity to work with a community agency to develop and deliver effective programming from needs assessments, provide educational programming to enhance the capacity of current staff and evaluate program outcomes. Students will develop skills in leadership, communications, partnership development, program assessment and evaluation, and interagency collaborative programming. These scholarly experiences are in the community, and personal transportation is required.

Examples of Projects

Beyond Housing and United for Children partner with WashU OT in the Move2Learn initiative to provide ongoing professional development for early childhood staff serving infants and toddlers. We seek to enhance the capacity of the early childhood educators. Current Move2Learn projects include:

  • Volunteering weekly in an early childhood center (ECC) to model/enhance infant and toddler movement
  • Training staff in ergonomic principles to decrease chronic pain from child care
  • Recruiting, training and retaining community volunteers for Move2Learn
  • Pairing reading with movement to enhance literacy and movement

Jennings High School: Supporting Positive Opportunities with Teens (SPOT). This school-based health center is run by WUSM physicians and offers full primary care and behavioral services onsite. We have partnered with the SPOT at Jennings High School to assist in this healthy community focus, broadening the role of OT in public schools. Current projects include:

  • Building a coalition within the school community to define and champion health initiatives.
  • Developing one, yet to be determined, health initiative at the high school


Christine Berg, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA
Associate Professor of Occupational Therapy and Neurology
Phone: 314-286-1745

Community Partners

Beyond Housing
United 4 Children
The SPOT at Jennings High School

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