BTG Hope

“Not only was it rewarding to have two outstanding students in our agency for six weeks, but it helped to broaden the real understanding of public health in an inner-city environment ... They [the interns] left recognizing the ‘gaps’ that affect the work that is done each day and the need for quality public health services. We were honored to be part of the program this summer and look forward to another opportunity to participate.”
Carol Wolff
Executive Director
Camden Area Health Education Center (AHEC)
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BTG CHIP 2013-14 Report

Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey Program Activities


Program Established: 2008.

Program Period: June 10 to July 26, 2013.

Students/Projects/Sites: 14 students worked on 7 projects at 7 community sites in Camden, New Brunswick, Newark and Pennsauken, New Jersey.

Professional Disciplines: Medicine, physician assistant, and public health.

Service Days: Students provided 376 days of health-related service.

Types of Sites Served: Community organization offices, in the field/community, schools, community health clinics, day camps, and other sites.

Student Activities:* Research on health issues, community outreach, health-related client education, planning health activities, community social activities, assessing community resources, and development or administration of surveys.

Population Demographics: Mixture of females and males; all ages; African-American; Hispanic; English speaking; and non-English speaking.

Community Health Issues:* Diet and nutrition, access to health care, mental health, and violence.

Didactic Sessions: Students attended 7 weekly sessions. These sessions were held in New Jersey and locations rotated between campuses (Piscataway, Stratford and Newark). The workshops in New Jersey included the following: The Benefits of Care Coordination in Resource-Poor Communities; Building Community Food Security; Challenges in Mentoring Youth; Violence as a Public Health Issue; Situations of Abuse and Vulnerable Populations; Oral Health; and Health Challenges in New Jersey’s Urban Cities. Students participated in afternoon sessions focused on discussion of the reading, updates on activities at community sites, and development of panel discussions on health issues in their respective cities.

Oral Health Activities: A local dentist gave a workshop focusing on oral health promotion and the challenges facing populations with access barriers to oral health services. The workshop also offered information about how to target oral health activities to different age groups. Almost 86% of the sites engaged in oral health activities. According to student estimates, 40 children (aged 13 and under), 4 youth/young adults (aged 14 to 20) and 200 adults received oral health education.

Symposium: Students created posters and displayed them on July 24, 2013, for a poster session at Rutgers School of Public Health, Piscataway campus.

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


2013-14 Rutgers University Program Participants

Program Staff
Bernadette West, PhD, MA, Program Director
Alexsandra Apostolica

Academic Preceptors
Millicent King Channell, DO, MA
Danielle Cooley, DO
Sonia Garcia-Laumbach, MD
Sheryl Geisler, MS, PA-C
Irina Grafova, PhD
Teri Lassiter, PhD, MPH
Pamela A. Ohman-Strickland, PhD, MS
Jill Reichman, MPH, PA-C
Marcia Sass, ScD, MSN
Stephan Schwander, MD, PhD
Derek G. Shendell, DEnv, MPH
Pauline A. Thomas, MD
Bernadette West, PhD

Community Preceptors
Karen Benjamin MPH, MCHES
Camilla Comer-Carruthers, MPH
James Comstock, LCSW, ACSW
Wendy Cubano
Lisanne Finston, MDiv, MSW
Andy Joshua, MPP
Renee Kee, MS
Mariam Merced, MA
Michele Robinson


2013-14 Rutgers University Community Partners

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

  • Elijah's Promise
  • Greater Newark Conservancy
  • Prevent Child Abuse NJ
  • Project H.O.P.E., Inc. (Homeless Outreach Program Enrichment), Bergan Lanning Health Center
  • Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, Community Health Promotion Program (RWJUH-CHPP)
  • Urban Promise
  • YouthBuild

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“Anyone considering a career involving community health should have a hands-on experience like this. No textbook can convey the full reality of the hardships faced by residents in some needy communities, and no lecture can prepare you for the situations you encounter … I feel more strongly than ever that I’ve chosen the right career path.”
Raina Brown
University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey
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