At Chapman University Crean College of Health and Behavioral Sciences, health care isn’t just something you learn in the classroom. The college provides practical, university-level training for healthcare professionals in a variety of disciplines. And it turns out that these programs aren’t just good for the students, they’re also good for the community.

“Crean is very service and welfare oriented,” says Dr. Naveen Jonathan of the college’s multi-pronged approach to education. Jonathan is the president of Marriage and Family Therapy Department (MFT), which operates the Frances Smith Center for Individual and Family Therapy, the oldest public clinic at Chapman University. The center provides low-cost counseling to more than 200 clients each term, providing both valuable education for students and a much-needed service to the community.

“Many clients would not have access to therapy services without a clinic like ours,” says Jonathan.

Graduate students, working under the close supervision of licensed marriage and family therapists, work with clients who have been referred by hospitals, clinics, schools, churches and other local organizations, providing in-person services and telehealth to Orange County and neighboring south. California communities.

For students, lessons about community impact are just as important as what they learned during their training, says Jonathan. “How do you use yourself as a vehicle to transform the lives of others? he says, echoing the university’s mission statement. “And how can you be a citizen of the world in this way?”

Understanding and Treating the Symptoms of Long COVID

Crean’s newest clinic available to the local community is the Neuro-deficit clinic for survivors of COVID-19. Here, people with ongoing issues after recovering from COVID-19 can receive free assessment and treatment services.

The clinic provides assessment and treatment for people who are functional, going to work and school, but struggling with cognitive and communication issues. Symptoms such as fatigue-impaired thinking and memory, difficulty speaking, difficulty reading, listening, and communicating at work, school, or home may be indicators of post-acute sequelae of COVID-19, colloquially referred to as the “long COVID”.

“Many people have lingering effects from COVID-19 and many of them were not severe enough to be hospitalized. For this reason, they may not have been referred for help or treatment. assistance,” says Dr. Mary Kennedy, who oversees the clinic.

“If they were on a ventilator and hospitalized, they could have problems with long-term memory, attention and disorganized thinking. But what we’re also seeing is that even people who are never hospitalized, people who have what’s called mild COVID, who have been tested but have been told to stay home… some of those people who have never been to hospital, many of them have post-acute sequelae of COVID-19,” she says.

The clinic, which opened last fall, can see patients in person or via telehealth. People in the community who are facing cognitive or communication difficulties as a result of COVID are encouraged to contact the clinic for evaluation.

A helping hand for stroke victims

MFT students also participate in another of Crean’s pioneering clinical services, Stroke boot campoperated by Crean’s Doctor of Physiotherapy program. Stroke Bootcamp is an intensive, interdisciplinary two-week treatment program that provides patient-centered, multifaceted care for stroke survivors.

“Typically, people with chronic stroke have very limited access to therapy or rehabilitation. They get discharged pretty early in the process,” says Dr. Alison McKenzie, director of operations for the Department of Physical Therapy anatomy lab. “They typically fail to maximize their recovery potential after a stroke due to the limitations of our healthcare system. Our goal is to help people who have had a stroke to be as healthy, as active and as mobile as possible.

The Neuro-Deficit Clinic for COVID-19 Survivors, Frances Smith Center, and Stroke Boot Camp are just three of many outreach efforts that give students the opportunity to engage with the community. Crean’s Community Exercise Program (CEP) helps patients with balance, coordination, neurological, and mobility-related disorders, while the Balanced Families program is designed for families with children with cerebral palsy and related neuromuscular movement limitations. Additionally, graduate students work with local organizations such as the Down Syndrome Association of OC, Ritecare Childhood Language Center, and Clinic in the Park, among others.