BTG Hope

“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 2016-17 Report

Lehigh Valley Program Activities


Program Established: 2010.

Program Period: June 20 to August 5, 2016.

Students/Projects/Sites: 10 students worked on 5 projects at 5 community sites in Allentown, Pennsylvania.

Professional Disciplines: Nursing, physician assistant, and medicine.

Service Days: Students provided 253 days of health-related service.

Participating Institutions: DeSales University, Moravian College, University of Scranton, and The Commonwealth Medical College.

Types of Sites Served: In the field/community, client homes, community organization offices, community health center/clinics, day camps, schools, and shelters (homeless or other).

Student Activities:* Assessing community resources, health-related client education, planning health activities, research on health issues, community outreach, community social activities, advocacy activities, oral health activities, health screenings, teaching living skills, evaluation of existing programs, and linking clients with health resources.

Population Demographics: Mixture of females and males; all ages except the elderly; mixture of race/ethnicities; both English speaking and non-English speaking.

Community Health Issues:* Cardiovascular health, diet and nutrition, oral health, exercise, access to health care, child care, personal hygiene, poverty, communication, cultural beliefs/practices, homelessness, insurance/social services, mental health, race/ethnicity, and substance abuse.

Didactic Sessions: Lehigh Valley students joined the Wednesday core didactic sessions of the Philadelphia Consortium program. Starting on July 6, they attended Lehigh Valley component program sessions on Wednesday afternoons.

Oral Health Activities: The Philadelphia dental mentor and registered dental hygienist from the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine offered information and resources to Lehigh Valley students so they could conduct oral health education activities at their sites as appropriate. Four of the five Lehigh Valley community sites engaged in oral health activities. According to student estimates, 246 children (aged 13 and under), 70 youth/young adults (aged 14 to 20), and 80 adults received oral health education.

Symposium: The Lehigh Valley students presented at the BTG 26th Annual Symposium in Philadelphia, which took place on September 16, 2016, at The Salvation Army Kroc Center. The Lehigh Valley BTG program also hosted a local symposium held on September 21, 2016 at DeSales University.

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


2016-17 Lehigh Valley Program Participants

Program Staff and Faculty
Mary Ellen Miller PhD, RN, APHN-BC, Program Director
Abby S. Letcher, MD
Lissette Ortiz

Academic Preceptors
Pamela Adamshick, PhD
Dona Carpenter, EdD, RN
Cathy Coyne, PhD, MPH
Abby Letcher, MD
Mary Ellen Miller, PhD, RN, APHN-BC
Janet Townsend, PhD

Community Preceptors
Tina Amato, MS, RD, LDN
Hassan Batts
Jonathan Copeland
Cathy Coyne, PhD, MPH
Abby Letcher, MD
Andrea Wilson


2016-17 Lehigh Valley Community Partners

For a complete alphabetical list of all 2016 BTG CHIP community partners and to view community project summaries by site, click here.

  • Alliance Hall Summer Recreation Program
  • Casa Guadalupe
  • Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN), Healthy Stores Initiative
  • Neighborhood Health Centers of the Lehigh Valley
  • Sixth Street Shelter

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Lake Erie College of
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