BHI Brain Health Scholar Description
This competitive program is open to high school (16 years or older) student leaders who participate in a youth program, attend a school or a school within a school district (others by special consideration) that are collaborating with the Brain Health Initiative. An authorized representative of a district/school/youth program will nominate identified student leader(s). The qualified candidate(s) should have interest in science, medicine and/or health and well-being. The position is anticipated to require about 20 hours of work spring and summer 2021. Brain Health Scholars have the right to refuse the nomination and may withdraw from participation at any time during the project.
The Scholar will work with the Brain Health Initiative in its effort to promote and protect brain health, fight brain illness, and improve performance for all ages throughout the Suncoast region. Specifically, the Scholar will help carry out the research agenda for the BHI Community Brain Health Prioritization Survey in the cities of Sarasota and Bradenton, Florida to better understand the brain health and well-being concerns, values, and attitudes of both youth and adults from the Sarasota/Lakewood Ranch/Bradenton area. This will be accomplished through a survey of issues in each community that leaders and citizens find to be important. Brain Health Scholars will receive a certificate of participation documenting their service hours contributing to this unique opportunity to assist on a community-wide research study conducted by the Brain Health Initiative and Massachusetts General Hospital, a Harvard Medical School Teaching Hospital.
The Brain Health Scholar will work remotely, so must have reliable access to the internet. Their duties include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Complete confidentiality agreement.
- Attend webinars, labs, and presentations on the science of brain health and research methods.
- Complete the BHI youth stakeholder prioritization survey. In doing so, the research assistant will contribute a youth perspective on the brain health risk and protective factors in Sarasota and/or Bradenton, Florida, share his/her perspective of how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the community, and help to shape the research that is conducted in the community.
- Assist in analyzing and presenting the results, including discussion on next steps
- Assist in creating communications and recruitment for youth related to the survey and Brain Health Scholar program.
- Assist with press releases regarding the BH Scholar program.
- Assist in identifying/recruiting youth leaders to complete the final BHI survey.
- Serve as Brain Health Champions in schools and at community events.
- Manage and respond to project related email.
- Receive support in the college admissions process through letters of introduction and personal outreach by BHI faculty to the scholars’ top college choices.
About the Brain Health Initiative (www.brainhealthiniative.org) The Brain Health Initiative (BHI) is a cutting-edge, new approach to protecting brain health and fighting brain illness across the lifespan. The BHI works collaboratively with Massachusetts General Hospital, a Harvard Medical School Teaching Hospital, to build brain healthy communities through education, research, innovation and action, with a specific focus on brain health promotion, prevention, early detection, evidence-based intervention, and performance optimization. The BHI is creating a culture that promotes brain health protective factors and decreases risk factors, thereby improving brain health and optimizing brain performance outcomes for the Florida Suncoast region and beyond. Join the brain health movement, because brain health matters, and lifestyle makes a difference.
BHI Brain Health Community Stakeholder Prioritization Survey (Adult and Youth)
Sarasota and Bradenton, Florida Research Project Introduction
Brain health is about all of us, and brain illness is about most of us. No matter our age, gender, race, or ethnicity, no matter our socio-economic status or where we live, no home goes untouched. Brain health affects many aspects of personal and community well-being and performance. At the personal level, optimal brain health prevents and reduces the impact of neurological, neurodevelopmental, neuropsychological, neurodegenerative and psychiatric diseases across the lifespan, such as autism, depression, addictions, Parkinson’s, dementia and stroke. A healthy brain promotes the ability to concentrate, remember, communicate, learn, experience and express emotions, regulate behavior, and engage effectively with the outer world through all primary life domains (e.g., relationships, learning, work and play). At the community level, brain health is associated with higher education goals, higher productivity, creativity, career achievement and personal success, lower drug use and incidence of crime, and better physical health, and overall well-being leading to less burden on the education, law enforcement, judicial systems, health care systems and society in general.
The Brain Health Initiative (BHI), in collaboration with Massachusetts General Hospital, a Harvard Medical School Teaching Hospital, is working to create brain healthy communities —cultures that proudly promote and protect brain health and fight brain illness across the lifespan through education/awareness/programming, science, innovation, and action. The team of scientists and clinicians at BHI focus on brain health promotion, prevention, early identification, evidence-based intervention and performance optimization. Building a healthy and highly productive brain and cultivating brain reserve begins with understanding the related needs, strengths, priorities and concerns that increase brain health protective factors and decrease risk factors across the community and at the individual level.
In order to begin this process, the BHI, in part through generous support from the Charles and Margery Barancik Foundation, will conduct two BHI Brain Health Community Stakeholder Prioritization Surveys in the cities of Sarasota and Bradenton, FL. Our past research indicates that the input from community members, including student leaders below the age of 20, provides valuable perspective for positive community growth. Therefore, we have developed two surveys, one for adults and one for youth (ages 14-19).
These surveys, and their results, will achieve several goals that will benefit the citizens and leaders of Sarasota and Bradenton. Most importantly, the surveys will provide an opportunity for Sarasota/Bradenton citizens and leaders to help shape the direction of the future brain health of their community and region by raising awareness of related attitudes, priorities and concerns, and by informing BHI’s research, programming, clinical trials and action. By participating in the surveys, Sarasota and Bradenton citizens and leaders will also share ownership of this opportunity to increase brain health outcomes at the individual and community level.
Survey participants will contribute by providing their:
- perception of attitudes toward brain health and illness in the Sarasota and Bradenton areas;
- thoughts and concerns, as well as their priorities, about their community’s health and well-being;
- physical, mental, social and emotional health and well-being experience secondary to COVID-19 pandemic individually and on the Sarasota and Bradenton communities.