BTG Hope

"The BTG Program provides needed resources to the many thousands of community-based organizations that are working to create a more socially just and compassionate world. Because of their support, many nonprofits are able to reach and enrich the lives of many more people."
BTG Community Preceptor
Home >

Lehigh Valley Projects - 2012

Back to Summaries by Region

Alliance Hall Summer Recreation Program

Student Interns:
Heather Etzl, DeSales University, Department of Nursing and Health
Maria Moser, DeSales University, Physician Assistant Program

Academic Preceptor:
Mary Ellen Miller, PhD, RN, DeSales University, Department of Nursing and Health

Community Preceptors:
Tina Amato, MS, RD, LDN, Allentown Health Bureau

The Community Site:
Alliance Hall Summer Recreation Program is located at Central Elementary School in Allentown, Pennsylvania. The camp is a resource for underserved children aged 7 through 13. The children are provided with breakfast and lunch and activities, including field trips, swimming, arts and crafts, sports and exercise, and nutrition, as well as community-based activities.

BTG Focus Areas Adopted From HP2010 and HP2020:
Maternal, Infant, and Child Health; Nutrition and Weight Status; Oral Health; Physical Activity and Fitness; Tobacco Use

The Project:
Maria and Heather worked with the Alliance Hall children’s summer camp staff and provided a health education and promotion program for the children focusing on nutrition; exercise; and cardiovascular, oral and respiratory health. In addition to education, the interns accompanied the children on several field trips, including bowling, swimming and mini-golfing, and visits to the Wildlands Conservancy and the Da Vinci Science Center. Maria observed, “BTG was an incredible experience for me. I have learned so much from the children and staff and have gained a greater understanding of a community that I did not even realize was practically in my back yard. I will use this knowledge … to help better understand my future patients and to give them the best medical care I can provide.” Heather remarked, “My experience at Alliance Hall allowed me to immerse myself in a culture that I previously knew little about. Interacting with the children opened my eyes … and allowed me to further understand their lives. … I feel that through this experience with Alliance Hall and BTG I have obtained a valuable experience that will not only impact my future career, but my life as a whole.”

Back to Top

Casa Guadalupe Summer School Program

Student Interns:
Sarah M. Goodreau, DeSales University, Physician Assistant Program
Christina Rauch, DeSales University, Department of Nursing and Health

Academic Preceptor:
Mary Ellen Miller, PhD, RN, DeSales University, Department of Nursing and Health

Community Preceptors:
Lucy DeLabar, Casa Guadalupe Center
Sharon Gonzalez, Casa Guadalupe Center

The Community Site:
Casa Guadalupe Summer School Program, in Allentown, Pennsylvania, is a summer camp-style program available to children in kindergarten through high school. The center’s main goal is helping the youth stay active and social during the summer. The program provides participants with both breakfast and lunch and offers activities such as bowling, swimming, visiting the park, arts and crafts, cardio exercise, gardening, personal health, and cooking.

BTG Focus Areas Adopted From HP2010 and HP2020:
Environmental Health; Heart Disease and Stroke; Maternal, Infant and Child Health; Nutrition and Weight Status; Oral Health; Physical Activity and Fitness

The Project:
Sarah and Christy joined the Casa staff and presented interactive, age-appropriate lessons for children ranging from 6 to 16 years, primarily focused on heart health, oral health, hand washing and preventing illness. Sarah explained, “We really wanted our time with this youth group to be about giving a few lessons that taught some practical ways for being healthy instead of overwhelming them with information. … Not only did the campers seem to learn some things, but Christy and I got a few lessons on patience and different perspectives. I think this will really help us be more compassionate as medical professionals.” Christy said, “This experience helped me understand how limitations on resources and education for children affect how they deal with and understand health care later in life. This experience enlightened me to how I can better relate to those who don’t understand what health care expects of them.”

Back to Top

Cardiovascular and Family Practice Community Outreach

Student Interns:
Megan Chernega, DeSales University, Department of Nursing and Health
Lauren Kline, DeSales University, Physician Assistant Program

Academic Preceptor:
Mary Ellen Miller, PhD, RN, DeSales University, Department of Nursing and Health

Community Preceptors:
Rebecca Morgan, BSW, Cancer Support Community
Jennifer Sinclair, LPC, MEd, Cancer Support Community

The Community Site:
The Cancer Support Community (CSC) is a national organization that provides support, education and hope to people with cancer and their loved ones. Through participation in professionally led support groups, educational workshops and mind/body classes using the “Patient Active” concept, people affected by cancer learn vital skills that enable them to regain control, reduce isolation and restore hope regardless of the stage of disease. Most important, CSC provides a home-like setting for people fighting cancer to connect with and learn from each other. View Community Partner Web Site

BTG Focus Areas Adopted From HP2010 and HP2020:
Access to Health Care; Health Communication; Heart Disease and Stroke

The Project:
Lauren and Megan spent their summer with the Cancer Support Community, focusing on creating packets that captured CSC’s beliefs and values and educated patients and providers about the services and programs offered at the Cancer Support Community. Some packets were designed to target patients visiting family practice offices; others targeted cardiovascular offices. The cardiology packets included information about the connection between cardiovascular health and cancer. Megan stated, “The BTG internship has given me a sense of community. … The speakers have given me insight into what life is like for so many of my neighbors and what I can do to support them as a health care professional. The Cancer Support Community … further extended feelings of community. BTG was an irreplaceable experience that has changed me as a person and future nurse.” Lauren added, “Through my experience at the Cancer Support Community, I have truly discovered what it means to be a part of a community. Being a member of something so powerful has motivated me to be a better person, and that is something I can carry with me to my future as a health care professional. The BTG internship was a wonderful opportunity, and seeing that love, hope, compassion and community can change the mind-set of those affected by cancer has, in turn, changed me.”

Back to Top

17th and Chew Hospital: Peer Education Training Program Curriculum Development and Community Issues Management Organization; Sixth Street Shelter: Health Promotion Development

Student Interns:
Jenna Chromiak, DeSales University, Department of Nursing and Health
Kimberly McLaughlin, DeSales University, Department of Nursing and Health

Academic Preceptor:
Mary Ellen Miller, PhD, RN, DeSales University, Department of Nursing and Health

Community Preceptors:
Cathy Coyne, PhD, MPH, Lehigh Valley Health Network
Marsha Eichelberger, Sixth Street Shelter
Denise Hylton, MS, Lehigh Valley Health Network

The Community Site:
The Division of Community Health and Health Studies provides leadership in the Lehigh Valley Health Network and community. The division focuses on improving the effectiveness of health care interventions and patient outcomes, access to care and health status of the community. The Sixth Street Shelter in Allentown, the largest family shelter in the region, provides housing and casework services to homeless families with children. The shelter has 20 units and provides intensive programming for up to 60 days. Their guiding principle is to help families set and reach their goals through intensive and effective case management, in-house programming and referrals to appropriate services. View Community Partner Web Site

BTG Focus Areas Adopted From HP2010 and HP2020:
Access to Health Care; Heart Disease and Stroke; Nutrition and Weight Status; Oral Health; Physical Activity and Fitness

The Project:
Jenna and Kim collaborated with the Lehigh Valley Health Network on several projects. In the clinic, they administered surveys to identify gaps in health care. Using the community issues management program, they constructed resource sheets for community distribution and completed a literature search for curricula relating to community lay workers. At the Sixth Street Shelter, Jenna and Kim provided informative classes and distributed newsletters and weekly health recipes. The residents’ health was further promoted with a weekly walking club and the “How to Clean Your Apartment” video, which Jenna and Kim designed. Jenna shared, “Both sites taught me numerous things, but the common theme I discovered was that unfortunate situations can happen to anyone. … These sites have imparted a special message to me that people do have a desire for good health, but there can be a number of obstacles impeding such a lifestyle. This experience will be reflective within my role as a nurse.” Kimberly stated, “Working with the people at the Sixth Street Shelter, and 17th and Chew Hospital, has been a truly rewarding experience. Being able to make a difference, and realize that what you are doing actually helps the people in the community, makes me want to work as a community health nurse. I will never take for granted how blessed I was to be able to work with BTG this summer.”

Back to Top

BTG 20 Years Video
BTG 20th Anniversary Tribute
"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."
BTG Student Intern
BTG 20 Years Video
What BTG Means to Us

BTG Photo Gallery BTG Video Archives