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Lake Erie Projects

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Building Self-Esteem in Young Mothers

Student Intern(s):   
Alysia Kirkwood, Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine
Katherine Schneider, Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine

Academic Preceptor(s):
Margaret A. James, CPA, MBA, Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine

Community Preceptor(s):
Lorri Bland, The School District of the City of Erie, Student Parenting and Champs Afterschool Programs

The Community Site:
The School District of the City of Erie’s Student Parenting Program assists pregnant and parenting students with their dual roles as students and parents by providing education, counseling, advocacy, support services and community resources so babies are born healthy and student parents can realize their potential.

Healthy People 2010:
Leading Health Indicators: Mental Health; Environmental Quality; Physical Activity 
Focus Areas:  Mental Health and Mental Health Disorders; Environmental Health; Maternal, Infant and Child Health; Physical Activity and Fitness; Family Planning

The Project: 
Alysia and Katie worked closely with the Student Parenting Program staff to plan several events and to provide emotional support to the student mothers in the program. Specifically, Alysia and Katie took the lead in developing three major events for the students. The Baby Play Date event introduced the student parents to activities to promote their child’s normal healthy development. The Yummy in the Tummy event focused on oral health and exercise, and provided the student parents an opportunity to cook healthy, nutritious meals, which were quick and easy to make. The interns also worked to provide a weekly support group, Fridays for Moms. This group promoted mutual support and highlighted vital information needed by the student mothers in an age-appropriate, interactive format. In addition, Alysia and Katie accompanied case managers on home visits. 

Katie noted, “My experience working with these girls has … helped me to better understand the situations that they are managing in a way that I have not been exposed to previously. BTG has proved to be invaluable in that it has allowed me to relate to the population that I will soon be serving as a physician and provided me with the experience to better understand the accessibility of community resources that can aid future patients in my practice.” 

Alysia commented, “Through the BTG program and the opportunity to work with young student parents, I gained immeasurable experience. The lessons I have learned through the BTG program are life experiences that I could not learn sitting in a classroom or reading a textbook.  As a future physician, this experience taught me how to interact with a group of young individuals who most people have trouble communicating with.”

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Inside Community Outreach

Student Intern(s):
Charles C. Walcott IV, Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine

Academic Preceptor(s):
Robert Noiva, PhD, Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine

Community Preceptor(s):   
Diane Giannelli, Bethany Outreach Center

The Community Site:
The Bethany Outreach Center is dedicated to providing essential social services to the residents of Erie. At Bethany, the goal is to provide assistance and support to all who need it, not just transiently, but in the hopes of creating stable situations.

Healthy People 2010: 
Leading Health Indicators:  Access to Health Care; Overweight and Obesity; Responsible Sexual Behavior
Focus Areas:  Access to Quality Health Services; Heart Disease and Stroke; Diabetes; Nutrition and Overweight; Tobacco Use

The Project: 
Charles provided the people who come to the Bethany Outreach Center with a health promotion and education program. He engaged the individuals in one-to-one conversations about health-related issues such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, hypertension and obesity. He also created a pamphlet to reinforce the information and to list prominent health concerns along with local contact resources to address them. The Bethany Outreach Center will continue to distribute this pamphlet to the community.

Charles commented, “One of the most rewarding experiences I had was talking to the volunteers that I worked with. I was able to listen firsthand to many of the concerns the people had with the current state of health care. My experiences this summer, the successes and the setbacks, have allowed me to grow as a person, and as a future physician.”

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Feelin’ Fine in ’09 Wellness Fair

Student Intern(s):  
Chris Kern, Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine
Igor Tatarintsev, Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine

Academic Preceptor(s):     
Raeann L. Carrier, PhD, Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine

Community Preceptor(s): 
Kim Whelan, MS, Housing and Neighborhood Development Services
Cyreta Barnes, Housing and Neighborhood Development Services

The Community Site: 
Housing and Neighborhood Development Services (HANDS) seeks to provide quality affordable housing to senior citizens, people with disabilities, and low- to moderate-income families. The mission of the organization is to create stronger and more vibrant neighborhoods in partnership with the communities it serves, through the development and management of quality affordable housing. View Community Partner Web Site 

Healthy People 2010:  
Leading Health Indicators:  Physical Activity; Access to Health Care; Overweight and Obesity
Focus Areas:  Arthritis, Osteoporosis, and Chronic Back Conditions; Diabetes; Disability and Secondary Conditions; Access to Quality Health Services; Nutrition and Overweight

The Project:
Chris and Igor coordinated the planning, organizing and execution of an informational health fair for the residents of St. Joseph Apartments. The health fair was successful in featuring 15 community organizations that could provide information about services that match the health indicators of the residents, such as footwear, eye care and pharmacy services. Chris and Igor also developed a contact list that HANDS can use in the future. In addition to the health fair, the interns developed and implemented weekly activities for the residents. These included outdoor croquet, shuffleboard, beanbag toss games and Wii Bowling. Igor also provided basic computer help to the residents of St. Joseph Apartments. 

Igor noted, “My work at HANDS is a very memorable experience. It has given me the opportunity to see how the elderly live, their interaction with the health-care system, and the impact of health problems … The communication skills and a better understanding of the lifestyle of the elderly will enhance my ongoing training as a future physician.” 

Chris said, “Working at HANDS has been such a blessing in the sense that I actually enjoy showing up for work every day; I love sitting, communicating, and listening to everything that the residents have to say, and with the wide spectrum here, there is never a dull story. As a doctor, it is of the utmost importance to develop a strong rapport with your patient, and if I can cooperate with someone four times my age, I think I can work with anyone.”

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Progress, Not Perfection

Student Intern(s):
Diana V. Mata, Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine

Academic Preceptor(s): 
Theodore A. Makoske, MD, Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine

Community Preceptor(s):
Sr. Stephanie Schmidt, OSB, House of Healing

The Community Site: 
The House of Healing is a residential program that gives women involved in the criminal justice system the opportunity to build a better future for themselves and their children in a structured, caring learning environment. View Community Partner Web Site

Healthy People 2010:
Leading Health Indicators:  Injury and Violence; Overweight and Obesity; Responsible Sexual Behavior
Focus Areas:  Educational and Community-Based Programs; Injury and Violence Prevention; Maternal, Infant and Child Health; Nutrition and Overweight; Oral Health

The Project: 
Diana led several group discussions and presentations for the women residents at the House of Healing.  To maintain the interest of the women in the various health promotion sessions, Diana included games and interactive discussions. She also met one-to-one with the women to address their health concerns and those of their children. In addition, Diana worked with the children of residents (past and present) by leading preteens in Girl Talk, an ongoing group focusing on relevant teenage health topics. She also planned a House of Healing Summer Olympics Day for the children. At the Summer Olympics Day, nutrition, oral health and physical fitness were discussed and celebrated.  

Diana noted, “I was fortunate to work at the House this summer, sharing my knowledge of health with the residents, but more importantly, the House changed my attitude … My time at the House of Healing will enable me to become a better physician, because I now know how the background of a certain individual can shape her future … [and] with the right support and help, the future can change.”

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Making the Transition: A Holistic Approach

Student Intern(s):  
Elizabeth Gannon, Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine

Academic Preceptor(s):   
Ann Stephanie Stano, SSJ, PhD, Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine

Community Preceptor(s):   
Maureen Dunn, MS, Erie DAWN, Inc.

The Community Site:
Erie DAWN (Dwellings and Advocacy for Women in Need) in partnership with area landlords, provides safe, affordable, independent transitional housing for low-income women and children. View Community Partner Web Site 

Healthy People 2010:
Leading Health Indicators:  Access to Health Care; Overweight and Obesity
Focus Areas:  Educational and Community-Based Programs; Access to Quality Health Services; Health Communication; Nutrition and Overweight

The Project:
Elizabeth assisted in designing a holistic health promotion program for the women participating in the Erie DAWN program. The program highlighted healthy eating, personal wellness and safety. Elizabeth held individual client meetings to discuss nutrition and personal wellness, she created a healthy eating resource manual, and she organized group self-defense and safety activities.  

Elizabeth commented, “I learned about the indelible persistence of the human spirit during my time spent at Erie DAWN.  The women in our program may have come from abusive situations, poverty or disability and … strive for a better future for themselves and their children. The staff of Erie DAWN devote their lives to instilling confidence and independence in others through programs that provide stable housing and necessary life skills.  Participating in BTG this summer has been and will continue to be a notable experience in my journey as a student doctor.”

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Bereavement and Celebration of Life Program

Student Intern(s):      
Saloni Paudel, Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine

Academic Preceptor(s):     
Ann Stephanie Stano, SSJ, PhD, Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine

Community Preceptor(s):   
Allen L. Bonace, MSN, MBA, RN, Saint Mary’s at Asbury Ridge

The Community Site:
Saint Mary’s at Asbury Ridge is a continuing care retirement community that includes Independent Living, Assisted Living, Personal Care Services, a specially designed Alzheimer’s Assisted Living Facility, Nursing Facility Care and Respite Care. View Community Partner Web Site

Healthy People 2010:
Leading Health Indicators:  Mental Health; Physical Activity
Focus Areas: Educational and Community-Based Programs; Health Communication; Mental Health and Mental Disorders; Physical Activity and Fitness

The Project: 
Saloni worked with the Saint Mary’s at Asbury Ridge activities aide and created a Bereavement and Celebration of Life Memorial Service and Social for the residents and staff. Saloni helped identify resources that would help with the continuity of the memorial program. In addition, she compiled information for a pamphlet about grieving. The pamphlet had information for the residents, their families and the staff on the many ways to grieve and celebrate the lives of those they have lost. 

Saloni reflected, “Working with the residents and staff at Saint Mary’s has been a great learning and personal experience for me. These individuals have helped me tremendously in becoming more compassionate and patient towards others and also remembering that every person is different and unique in his/her own way. The BTG program has opened up new doors for me and enabled me to look beyond the person and see each person in a different light.”

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Healthy Habits for Healthy Futures

Student Intern(s):   
Shauna Parzymieso, Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine

Academic Preceptor(s):    
Kim Moscatello, PhD, Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine

Community Preceptor(s):   
June Pintea, expERIEnce Children’s Museum

The Community Site:
The mission of expERIEnce Children’s Museum, located in downtown Erie, is to enrich the lives of children by providing a creative and interactive environment where children can experience learning as fun. View Community Partner Web Site

Healthy People 2010:
Leading Health Indicators:  Overweight and Obesity; Physical Activity
Focus Areas:  Nutrition and Overweight; Physical Activity and Fitness; Oral Health

The Project: 
Shauna participated in the RAZZMA program at the expERIEnce Children’s Museum. The RAZZMA summer mini-camp includes a series of health-related classes. The four RAZZMA classes that Shauna was responsible for planning and teaching were Beautiful Bones; Healthy You; Eat Right, Feel Right; and Squeaky-Clean Dental Hygiene.  Each class taught the children ways to keep their bodies healthy and strong. Since making good daily food choices is one of the easiest ways to stay healthy, nutrition was a key point covered in each class. 

Shauna commented, “Planning and teaching health-related classes to children has been a great learning experience for me. During the weeks I spent at the Museum, I learned some techniques … which helped me to work with the children more effectively. I will be able to incorporate these techniques, as well as a new-found level of patience, when educating my pediatric patients in the future about healthy practices.”

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Empowerment of Homeless Women Through Health Education

Student Intern(s):     
Valerie Ford, Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine

Academic Preceptor(s):  
Michael Bradbury, PhD, Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine

Community Preceptor(s):   
Christine Tombaugh, Mercy Center for Women

The Community Site:
Mercy Center for Women provides long-term transitional housing and support services to homeless women with or without children. Transitional housing fills the gaps between emergency housing and permanent housing. The extended stay at Mercy Center allows women time to work with an advocate who helps them develop life skills and set realistic goals to attain self-sufficiency. View Community Partner Web Site

Healthy People 2010:
Leading Health Indicators:  Overweight and Obesity; Physical Activity; Injury and Violence
Focus Areas:  Education and Community-Based Programs; Nutrition and Overweight; Physical Activity and Fitness; Oral Health; Injury and Violence Prevention

The Project:
Valerie created specialized educational programs that focused on health needs relevant to the women living at Mercy Center. Programs were presented on obesity and exercise, nutrition, oral health, and first aid. The goal of each program was to introduce the women to health ideas and needs and to provide tools to help them make healthy decisions on eating, exercise and oral hygiene for themselves and their children. The programs were designed to empower women with the knowledge to develop healthy and rewarding lives and to fulfill Mercy Center’s commitment to healing of the body, mind and spirit.

Valerie noted, “My experience at Mercy Center for Women has been priceless. As a future doctor, Mercy Center has helped me to understand the background that many of my patients might be coming from, and now I feel better equipped to serve them as a physician.”

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Youth Swimming, Sports and Healthy Living

Student Intern(s):      
Joshua Smith, Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine
John LoFaso, Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine

Academic Preceptor(s):     
Christopher Keller, PhD, CPH, Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine

Community Preceptor(s):   
Cherie Kinem, MSW, YMCA of Greater Erie, Kids Clubs at Erie and Franklin Heights

The Community Site:
The Kids Clubs at Erie Heights and Franklin Heights are neighborhood service organizations provided by the YMCA of Greater Erie. View Community Partner Web Site 

Healthy People 2010:  
Leading Health Indicators:  Physical Activity; Overweight and Obesity; Substance Abuse; Tobacco Use
Focus Areas:  Educational and Community-Based Programs; Nutrition and Overweight; Oral Health; Physical Activity and Fitness; Substance Abuse; Tobacco Use

The Project: 
Josh and John assisted the staff of the YMCA of Greater Erie in instructing youth in the various exercise and sports programs there. In addition, they instated a program to teach swimming and build confidence that comes with learning this new skill.  Along with their participation in programs to promote physical activity and fitness, Josh and John addressed health issues with the youth, such as oral health, tobacco use, substance abuse and healthy eating. 

Josh noted, “Working at the YMCA has made me realize how much of a valuable asset it is for the community … it allows the kids, as well as myself, to be exposed to and spend time with the wide variety of personalities and cultures that walk through the doors at the YMCA. It is beneficial as a future physician to know that there are resources like this in the community and to understand how they function for the benefit of the community.” 

John said, As I spent more and more time with the kids, I could see just how important a program like the YMCA is for them. It is a place where the kids can participate in encouraging and productive activities and stay out of trouble. The YMCA also provides the children with opportunities to participate in things that they may otherwise have not been able to, such as golf lessons, drama and arts, swimming, and field trips to the beach and amusement parks.”

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The Future’s So Bright, Planning Ahead for a Healthier Life

Student Intern(s):   
Lauren Davidson, Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine 

Academic Preceptor(s):    
Steven Levy, MD, Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine

Community Preceptor(s):   
Sue Presta, SafeNet Domestic Violence Safety Network, the Transitional Living Center

The Community Site:
SafeNet Domestic Violence Safety Network’s TLC (the Transitional Living Center) program provides support to young mothers and their children who are the victims of domestic violence and who find themselves without a permanent home. View Community Partner Web Site

Healthy People 2010:
Leading Health Indicators:  Responsible Sexual Behavior; Physical Activity; Overweight and Obesity
Focus Areas:  Diabetes; Heart Disease and Stroke; Cancer; Nutrition and Overweight; Maternal, Infant and Child Health

The Project:
Lauren’s activities focused on facilitating group meetings for the women and children at the Transitional Living Center (TLC). The meetings addressed nutrition, women’s health issues, responsible sexual behavior, sexually transmitted diseases and oral health. The goal of the sessions was to increase healthy lifestyle practices and to assist in the prevention of future health problems for the women and their children. 

Lauren said, “It has been an extremely rewarding experience to work with the other staff members and clients of SafeNet. I have been amazed by the passion and diligence that the staff has while working with clients. The amount of strength and courage that the residents of both programs have is astounding. The knowledge and understanding I have gained from working at my site, and with my preceptor, is invaluable and I know that it will help me to become a more understanding and compassionate physician.”

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Healthy Women From the Inside-Out

Student Intern(s):   
Melissa Auer, Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine

Academic Preceptor(s):
Mathew Bateman, PhD, Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine

Community Preceptor(s):   
Sr. Mary Ann White, Gannondale

The Community Site: 
Gannondale is a residential center, offering a holistic and therapeutic approach to the rehabilitation of young women, aged 12-18, who have been placed there by the courts. View Community Partner Web Site 

Healthy People 2010:
Leading Health Indicators:  Responsible Sexual Behavior; Overweight and Obesity; Physical Activity
Focus Areas:  Educational and Community-Based Services; Health Communication; Sexually Transmitted Diseases; HIV; Immunizations and Infectious Diseases

The Project: 
Melissa researched and presented age-appropriate information on various health-related issues for the young women residing at Gannondale. The sessions included information on nutrition, oral health, body image, puberty and sexual health education. Each activity was intended to provide new information and to explain issues in a fun, exciting way that would contribute to a healthier future for participants. 

Melissa said, “Overall, my time with BTG has offered me a view of what my future patients’ needs may be and has further instilled in me the importance of taking an osteopathic approach to care, treating the entire patient, their body, mind and spirit. I see now more than ever, that there is more to a patient than what is on the outside. Inner issues, such as the emotions and experiences that each person carries with them, must also be addressed to fully understand the big picture and to truly offer a healthy future.”

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Pressure Ulcer Prevention

Student Intern(s):   
Nicole Burns, Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine

Academic Preceptor(s):
Richard McCabe, PhD, Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine

Community Preceptor(s):   
Marty Kelly, Millcreek Community Hospital
Amanda Lis, Millcreek Community Hospital

The Community Site:
The Millcreek Manor is a geriatric education and care center affiliated with both the Millcreek Community Hospital and Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine. View Community Partner Web Site 

Healthy People 2010:
Leading Health Indicators:  Physical Activity; Mental Health
Focus Areas:  Physical Activity and Fitness; Disability and Secondary Conditions; Educational and Community-Based Programs; Health Communication; Nutrition and Overweight

The Project: 
Nicole created educational resources for pressure ulcer prevention to benefit the staff members and residents at the Millcreek Manor. Some of the residents have physical disabilities or are afflicted with progressing age-related dementia, which contribute to their limited mobility and place them at a high risk for developing pressure ulcers. The prevention of these ulcers through education of the nurses, medical students, and medical aides is a high priority in the care of Millcreek Manor residents. To address this issue, Nicole created educational resources that provide incoming employees and rotating medical students with a short and comprehensive overview, including epidemiology, risk factors, staging and prevention.

Nicole noted, “My time at the Millcreek Manor will not be forgotten. It was my first glimpse into the medical community where I gained perspectives from not only the physicians, but from the nursing staff, the social service directors, and most importantly the patients. I’ve learned that caring for the elderly is not only heart-warming and rewarding, but it is challenging and requires the utmost attention to detail.”

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Amazing Ability Found in Physical Disability

Student Intern(s):   
Paul M. Zipper, Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine

Academic Preceptor(s):
Thomas Corso, PhD, Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine

Community Preceptor(s):   
Amy Will, RN, CDDN, The Dr. Gertrude A. Barber National Institute

The Community Site:
The Dr. Gertrude A. Barber Institute is a national organization providing services for children and adults with developmental disabilities. These services range from early intervention (birth to 3 months old) to retiree care. View Community Partner Web Site

Healthy People 2010:
Leading Health Indicators:  Mental Health; Physical Activity; Environmental Quality; Access to Health Care 
Focus Areas:  Mental Health and Mental Disorders; Disability and Secondary Conditions; Education and Community-Based Programs; Health Communication; Physical Activity; Environmental Health

The Project:
Paul discovered an opportunity to further develop programs that address disabled individuals’ integration into the community from a social perspective. A small group of individuals with excellent cognitive abilities, but with severe physical disabilities, seemed to provide a wonderful opportunity for a new adult program — the David Day Program. After finding candidates for the program, Paul worked to create a budget and to identify program staff. He also worked to create a contract with Edinboro University between speech pathology students and the David Day program. Paul facilitated several activities in the program, including range-of-motion exercises for a laser-assistive technology art program, as well as discussion on topics of interest, health and nutrition. He also created an assessment tool to monitor the progress of the program’s participants. Long-term budgeting was initiated for assistive technologies in the David Day Program, as well. 

Paul said, “The time I have spent here has taught me about the human spirit, not judging a book by its cover, and about myself …  [the individuals] are warm people with thoughts, feeling, desires, and emotions just like me. They also need every opportunity to grow, express themselves, and experience life.” 

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"My internship … has affected me deeply. I have learned about the complexities of substance abuse and the struggles women face to remain clean. Working with a student from a discipline other than my own has helped me to view health issues from another perspective."
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