Inspiring Self-Efficacy: Interview with HCGC Education Director, Dr. Tanikka Price
By: Future Ready Columbus
The Healthcare Collaborative of Greater Columbus (HCGC) is the convening force for healthcare in Central Ohio. The organization connects community members from infancy through senior citizenship with providers and healthcare resources.
HCGC is driven by the belief that all people in the Columbus region deserve to have the best possible health outcomes. This is only made possible when healthcare is high-quality, well-coordinated and affordable.
To accomplish this goal, HCGC designed and implemented the Central Ohio Pathways HUB— a program that connects physicians and community health workers (CHWs) to the most vulnerable people in our community.
This program is what attracted HCGC’s Education Director, Dr. Tanikka Price, to the organization to begin with. “When I learned about the hub model in 2012 it was so clear that this was what Columbus needed. Not only does it support community health workers, but it provides reimbursement to community-based organizations that need funding to be able to afford providing these essential services. These organizations are seeing the clients who are most in need. Through the HUB, we are able to advance population health,” Tanikka said.
HCGC has joined the Future Ready Columbus (FRC) family as one of our Future Ready by 5 (FR5) partners. As we build out our Health and Behavioral Health driver, we are thrilled to share more about the important work Tanikka and the entire HCGC team is doing to serve every family and community in Central Ohio.
We spoke to Tanikka about how HCGC and community health workers are impacting the health of Franklin County, and what community members can do to encourage self-efficacy in children to help them overcome early childhood trauma. Below are excerpts from that conversation.
Can you explain your position at HCGC and what you’re focused on accomplishing right now?
I came aboard at HCGC because I absolutely loved the Central Ohio Pathway HUB. I was supervising community health workers at my previous employer, but HCGC offered the opportunity to support and connect the CHWs and community-based organizations to the people who need them most. Through the HUB, we’re able to meet everyone where they’re at.
I recently received my Doctorate in Education from Northcentral University and as a result of that I was promoted to Education Director at HCGC. Now, I oversee all of our educational components. I’m really, really proud of our CHW certification program. We are able to certify people who are already doing community health work through the Ohio Board of Nursing. It’s a 12 week course and they complete a practicum that runs concurrently to it. They’re getting real world experience as a community health worker in a community-based organization.
How does someone qualify for the CHW certification program?
They have to have a high school diploma and be at least 18 years old. What’s really exciting is that our program is for anyone who cares about this work. Young people coming straight out of high school are sitting next to more experienced folks with masters degrees. They come from different backgrounds but the passion is what they have in common.
It has been so rewarding to bring people together from all walks of life in that classroom setting. We focus on social justice, reproductive rights, and other social determinants of health. We study the historical inequities that have brought us to where we are today— from redlining to the history of violence and discrimination, and how all of those things break into the very lived experience that our clients are experiencing each and every day.
Can you explain more about the research and work that you've done surrounding early childhood trauma and the adverse effects?
I wrote my dissertation on adverse childhood experiences and educational outcomes in African American women. 18 women participated in my case study where I researched whether having a high score on the Adverse Childhood Experience (ACE) Questionnaire made them more or less likely to graduate from high school and college.
If you answer yes to 4 or more out of the 10 questions you are likely to be associated with poor outcomes socially and physically. Everything from pregnancy, suicide, smoking, drug and alcohol abuse, domestic violence partnerships, obesity, high blood pressure, heart disease, even cancer. There is no area of life that's untouched by a high score.
My interest was to look at a group of women with a high ACE score–– half who graduated from high school or college and half who dropped out of high school or college–– and study the difference in these people's lives, how they process their trauma and how they describe their issues.
I expected all the high end graduates to be in the category of high performance but my research showed that the common thread in the most successful women in my group of 18 was self-efficacy.
I believe this ties to the work FRC is doing for children because self-efficacy is the belief that one wants to do what they set out to do and it can be taught. Children who see somebody with high self-efficacy that looks like them can then envision themselves doing the same thing. Even if it's not a parent encouraging self-efficacy in the child, other adults in a child’s life can inspire it.
We know 90% of brain development is complete by the age of five, so what can we do to kind of help encourage self-efficacy in the young children who reside in our community?
I think one thing is educating the providers and the educators on their impact. You’re not just a pediatrician or just a social worker or just a teacher. That's a lot of power. You can make a difference just by being kind, by making eye contact, by calling a person by their name.
Community members can get involved in mentorship. And mentorship doesn't have to be a huge time commitment. It could be as simple as taking a child to the library and reading with them once a month. Those things have a huge impact. Consistent adult presence is so important to children and libraries can fill in a lot of these gaps because they are free, safe and accessible.
Everybody wants to be seen and acknowledged. Even showing them books that have images and pictures that look like them is a way to inspire self-efficacy and give them hope in a hopeless situation. There is a children’s book for every situation now and that is so important. We need to make sure kids are seeing these so they can see themselves reflected in positive ways.
When you think about what HCGC and FRC are trying to accomplish in Columbus, how do you see the future taking shape for the children, families and communities throughout Franklin County?
The next thing we're going to have to do is help everybody, especially our children, recover from the pandemic. We really have to help families heal. That's why I do this work. If a mother or father can heal from childhood trauma it lessens the likelihood it will be passed to the next generation.
I saw the intergenerational effects of trauma in my study but I still have hope. I've never seen as many folks saying, “I’m struggling and I need a counselor. Can someone refer me?” People are ready to take off their masks. That gives me hope that we will be able to really heal families and ultimately raise children in healthier environments.
You can learn more about the Central Ohio Pathways HUB here.
You can learn more about the Future Ready by 5 Plan here.
Read Future Ready Columbus blog here.