Internship Reflection

Noel Leon at Hesperian Health Guides: Testing App Utility for Spanish-Speaking Community Health Workers

It was an internship that definitely pushed me out of my comfort zone and it allowed me to think about gaps in accessing health education.
September 1, 2021
Noel Leon

This summer I had the pleasure of working with Hesperian Health Guides, which is a non-profit organization located in Berkeley, CA. Hesperian Health Guides is a non-governmental non-profit organization publishing health guides for people to care for themselves and their community members. To best meet the need for comprehensive sexual and reproductive health education, Hesperian Health Guides created its Family Planning application

As a reproductive health intern, my goal was to test the application’s utility for Spanish-speaking community health workers who educate community members on family planning and sexual/reproductive health. The application was already tested in various Spanish-speaking countries, but not with Spanish-speaking communities based in the United States. The goals of this project were to see the initial reactions to the application, understanding the application’s usefulness for Spanish-speaking community health workers, and the application’s feasibility for use in community health. 

Data for this project was gathered through Zoom-based focus groups and online surveys with U.S.-based Spanish-speaking community health workers that were recruited through email. All interviews were conducted and transcribed in Spanish, but were analyzed and written about in English. 

Alongside the focus groups, I also conducted a data analysis concerning the Family Planning application and Hesperian’s other application, Safe Abortion. Specifically, the data analysis looked at how these two applications could be used for sharing information with people in Kenyan communities and for getting those people connected to services.  

My internship through Hesperian Health Guides was the highlight of my Summer, and I am thankful that it gave me the chance to practice my professional Spanish-speaking skills and to hone my qualitative research skills. It was an internship that definitely pushed me out of my comfort zone and it allowed me to think about gaps in accessing health education. I am grateful to The Wallace Center and Hesperian Health Guides for this opportunity.

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