Working in Public Health: William Lyons, LCSW-S
William Lyons, LCSW-S, serves as the Manager of Programs, Social Determinants of Health at Legacy Community Health in Houston, Texas. Legacy, a Federally Qualified Health Center, identifies unmet needs and gaps in health-related services and develops client-centered programs to address these needs. William has served as a preceptor to several School of Public Health students.
Students who have completed projects under William’s guidance have assisted with data monitoring and program evaluation efforts. One of the most memorable student deliverables was an informational video introducing Social Determinants of Health (SDOH), discussing how Legacy addresses SDOH through planning and direct patient care, and the quantifiable benefits to Legacy patients. This video will soon be broadcasted on Legacy clinic televisions and Legacy Community Health’s YouTube channel.
William stated, “preceptors have the opportunity to re-experience their profession through their students, when their perspectives might [otherwise] become routine or stagnant.” Bringing in new students allows a fresh perspective and can bring some much-needed energy to Practicum settings, and students bring new ideas that keep the public health and healthcare setting fresh and innovative. The projects allow for the organization to explore influences and impacts of workflow changes in a more quantifiable manner.
William encourages future preceptors to create space and opportunities for students to lead. Students benefit from experiencing a leadership role and encouraging leadership develops the professional autonomy to “tinker” with aspects of programs or projects. For students interested in pursuing a practicum with Legacy Community Health in the future, the Legacy LinkedIn page and the Annual Report found on the Legacy website provide a wealth of information on the organization.