Friday, May 12, 2017

South Carolina AHEC Comics Launches Third Set of Health Literacy Comic Books

Imagine being sick with a bacterial infection that the doctor is unable to cure, suffering with feelings of despair and hopelessness, or limiting your activities due to breathing difficulties. What should you do? No need to worry, call on a super trio of science explorers! Vanessa, Brian, and their trusty sidekick RX (pronounced Rex) guide the reader on an exploration of the population health topics of super bugs, PTSD, and asthma in the newest health information literacy comic book series.
The three books are the third set in the South Carolina AHEC Health Information Literacy Comic Book Series.  Previous sets within the series were developed by high school students enrolled at North Charleston High, Colleton High, and Lowcountry Leadership Charter Schools.
In partnership with the National Library of Medicine (NLM) and the Biology Department of Winthrop University, AHEC sponsored the development of the books as a project associated with Winthrop University’s spring semester offering of the BIOL 122 course, Bench to Bedside 2: Introduction to Health Professions. Winthrop undergraduate students were charged with researching assigned public health themes and creating educational comic books that target middle school students. The pre-health students learned about helpful resources from the NLM, gained valuable communication, research and creative skills, increased their knowledge about health careers, and improved their health literacy.
Winthrop Biology Department Chair Dwight Dimaculangan, PhD, describes the project as, “not just a one-and-done thing.  It’s a developmental process to help introduce students to opportunities and develop skills”.
“My hope for this comic book is to help spread awareness on PTSD and for people to know that it is treatable,” said biology major, Cassidy Hess of Jackson, South Carolina of the book she helped to author.
The books were unveiled at a red carpet event held at Winthrop University. Faculty, staff, students, and administrative members of the Winthrop University family along with local school district and media representatives attended. Participants were abuzz with interest and enthusiasm about the potential of the comic book project as an educational tool. 
Visit https://www.scahec.net/hcp/comic/index.html to view electronic versions of the current and archived comic books.

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