The Non-Formal Education of Public Health Professionals: A Review of GEMMA Supported Student Activities 2009-2017 Open Access

Frost, Summer (Spring 2019)

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Global Elimination of Maternal Mortality from Abortion (GEMMA) is a mission, founded by Dr. Roger Rochat in 2003. (Goldman, 2007) The mission was created to educate and support students interested in the issue by offering: support in the form of a GEMMA seminar, a course created in response to growing demand from students, as well as the GEMMA fund, an endowment created to help fund student’s endeavors. (Lathorp & Rochat, 2013)

To date, there has never been a systematic review of GEMMA supported student activities. This special study thesis has two objectives:

Objective 1: Collect and review student activities supported by GEMMA

Objective 2: Analyze activities categorized as non-formal education, to identify contributions to public health student’s formal education and professional development

Data used was extracted from a thorough review of GEMMA documents and organized into activity types: Experiential Learning Opportunities (ELOs), thesis, and publications. After a code book was created, relevant data was analyzed using NVivo 12.  

A qualitative analysis of GEMMA supported ELOs revealed that the 50 studied activities supplemented student’s formal public health education, in 4 major ways: honing a specific skill set, working with unique populations, addressing domains of power impacting the issue or by working with collaborating organizations. Opportunities to participate in non-formal learning, are important to education, but not acknowledged or evaluated in the United States. (OECD; Werquin, Patrick;, 2010) GEMMA provides students with a valuable opportunity to experience non-formal learning while supporting their formal education.  Institutions in the Unite States that provide non-formal learning opportunities like GEMMA Mission or ERHA should collect information in order to conduct evaluations. Collecting consistent data and conducting routine evaluations of non-formal learning will help make a case for the inclusion and support of non-formal opportunities in higher education.

Table of Contents


Distribution Agreement. 1

Approval Sheet. 2

Background. 7

History of Educating Healthcare Professions. 7

History of Educating Public Health Professionals (PHPs) 7

Introduction.. 9

Global Efforts to Reduce Maternal Mortality. 10

History of RSPH.. 11

GEMMA.. 12

Significance. 13

Problem Statement. 13

Purpose. 13

Objective 1. 13

Objective 2: 14

Literature Review.. 15

Formal, non-formal and informal education. 15

GEMMA Documents. 17

Methods. 17

Sample. 17

Procedures. 18

Inclusion/Exclusion Criteria. 24

Limitations. 25

Findings. 26

Experiential Learning Opportunity (ELO) 26

Skills practiced in GEMMA Supported ELOs. 28

Spheres of Influence. 29

Populations. 30

Partnering Organizations. 31

Thesis. 33

Publications. 33

Discussion.. 35

Conclusion.. 36

Appendix. 37

Works Cited. 59


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