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“It is obvious that with the Bridging the Gaps Program our community and the academic education of LECOM students are brought together in a very unique and rewarding way … The Northwest Pennsylvania Area Health Education Center (NW PA AHEC) is pleased to support the Bridging the Gaps Program. We hope that each year will be a continued success for the Erie community as well as all the other Pennsylvania communities honored to have this type of relationship with medical schools and their students.”
Jane A. Mullinax, MEd Director of Career Development,
NW PA AHEC
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BTG CHIP 2013-14 Report

Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine (LECOM) Program Activities


Program Established: 1996.

Program Period: June 3 to July 19, 2013.

Students/Projects/Sites: 26 students worked on 18 projects at 21 community sites in Erie, Pennsylvania.

Professional Discipline: Medicine.

Service Days: Students provided 702 days of health-related service.

Types of Sites Served: Community organization offices, community health centers/clinics, recreation centers, geriatric facilities, libraries, in the field/community, and shelters.

Student Activities:* Health-related client education, oral health activities, planning health activities, participation in community social activities, researching health issues, community outreach, literacy activities, medical interpretation, teaching living skills, assessed community resources, conducted client interviews, and evaluated existing programs.

Population Demographics: Mixture of females and males; all ages; mixture of races/ethnicities; English speaking.

Community Health Issues:* Oral health, exercise, diet and nutrition, mental health, personal hygiene, cardiovascular health, communication (language/literacy), diabetes, obesity, access to health care, and physical disability.

Didactic Sessions: BTG students in Erie attended didactic sessions on Wednesday mornings. Faculty included personnel from LECOM, along with individuals from health and social service agencies with specific expertise in health-related issues. The sessions included the following topics: Community Health Care; Dental Health; Serving the Elderly; Serving Women at Risk; Serving the Physically Challenged.

Community Event: LECOM held its annual Meet and Greet on April 3, 2013. This event enabled the students selected for the 2013 Bridging the Gaps Program to meet representatives from all the community sites seeking an intern for their facility. During the Meet and Greet, the community representatives set up small displays about their agency and the students visited each to hear about project opportunities and learn about the sites. 

Oral Health Activities: Dr. Luisa Utset Ward from the LECOM School of Dental Medicine gave a presentation on the relationship of oral health to overall health and offered suggestions on how to incorporate oral health activities into the students' projects, with particular emphasis on cultural issues and oral health needs within the populations at the various sites. Selected literature, dental materials, and resource information were distributed. All of LECOM’s community sites received oral health products and engaged in oral health activities. The dental team supported students' oral health activities throughout the summer program. According to student estimates, 130 children (aged 13 and under), 97 youth/young adults (aged 14 to 20) and 270 adults received oral health education.

Poster Presentation: The LECOM Annual Poster Presentation was held on August 5, 2013, at the College. The event was attended by representatives of the BTG community partners, invited guests, and LECOM faculty and students.

*The information provided here reflects only those categories reported by 40% or more of students participating at this BTG program location.


2013-14 LECOM Program Participants

Program Staff
Sarah A. McCarthy, PhD, Program Director
Walter Hu
Michael A. Schmidt, PhD

Academic Preceptors
Mathew J. Bateman, PhD, DHEd
Nancy Carty, PhD
Robert Evans, DO
Alice Hudder, PhD
Heather M. Jones, PhD
Jonathan K. Kalmey, PhD
Christine S. Kell, PhD
Christopher Keller, PhD, CPH
Randy J. Kulesza Jr., PhD
Theodore Makoske, MD
Sarah A. McCarthy, PhD
Kim Moscatello, PhD
Michael A. Schmidt, PhD
John Wojtkielewicz, MBA, MS

Community Preceptors
Pamela Biroscak, MS
Allen L. Bonace, MSN/MBA, RN
Margarita Dangel
Tiffany Frey
Stephanie Garcia
Martin Kelly, BSW, NHA
Cherie Kinem, MSW
Barbara Ann Lewis, RN
Betty Jo Lyons
Barbara McGuigan, RN
Suzanne Presta, BSW
Debra Proctor, RN
Diane Sickles
Melissa Thompson, MA
Clara Ward
Michael R. Wehrer, MSW, LCSW
Kim L. Whelan, MS
Amy Will, RN, CDDN


2013-14 LECOM Community Partners

For a complete alphabetical list of all 2013 BTG CHIP community partners and to view community project summaries by site, click here.

  • Barber National Institute
  • Boro Women's Services
  • Brevillier Village
  • Erie DAWN, Inc.
  • Erie VA Medical Center
  • Gannondale
  • Health Care for the Homeless Partnership Initiative, Community Shelter Services
  • Health Care for the Homeless Partnership Initiative, The Refuge and Community of Caring
  • Housing and Neighborhood Development Service (HANDS), St. Joseph's/Maryvale Apartments
  • Housing and Neighborhood Development Service (HANDS), Villa Maria Apartments
  • JDRF, Northwestern PA Branch
  • Mercy Center for Women
  • Millcreek Community Hospital
  • SafeNet Domestic Violence Safety Network, The Transitional Living Center
  • Saint Mary's Home of Erie, Saint Mary's at Asbury Ridge
  • Saint Mary's Home of Erie, Saint Mary's East
  • Voices for Independence
  • YMCA of Greater Erie, Kids Clubs
  • Youth Development Center

See a Heart Smart Happy Birthday Wish for BTG.
“As a future physician, I have come to learn that health, especially in geriatrics, is not only what the labs and x-rays tell you, but for a majority, it is the interaction and communication with their loved ones.”
Filip Moshkovsky
Lake Erie College of
Osteopathic Medicine

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