BTG Hope

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BTG Community Preceptor
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Philadelphia Consortium Projects

Children & Youth

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Neighborhood Bike Works: The Traveling Workshop as a Model for Community Engagement and Education

Student Intern(s):
Justin Bosley, University of Pennsylvania, School of Medicine
Elizabeth Heindel, University of Pennsylvania, School of Dental Medicine

Academic Preceptor(s):
Brendan Carr, MD, MS, University of Pennsylvania, School of Medicine
Joan I. Gluch, PhD, RDH, University of Pennsylvania, School of Dental Medicine

Community Preceptor(s): 
Andy Dyson, LCl, Neighborhood Bike Works

The Community Site:
Neighborhood Bike Works (NBW) is a nonprofit organization in West Philadelphia that seeks to broaden opportunities for urban youth through bicycling. Youth can earn points toward a bike, helmet and lock by completing a series of classes and by spending time fixing bikes. Beyond providing a positive activity for young people, NBW introduces them to the fun, health benefits and freedom that come with cycling in the city. View Community Partner Web Site

Healthy People 2010:
Leading Health Indicators:  Environmental Quality; Overweight and Obesity; Physical Activity
Focus Areas:  Educational and Community-Based Programs; Environmental Health; Heart Disease and Stroke; Nutrition and Overweight; Physical Activity and Fitness

The Project:
Liz and Justin worked with Neighborhood Bike Works (NBW) to organize and conduct a series of traveling workshops discussing bike safety and maintenance, along with cardiovascular health. The team visited sites throughout the city, including Haddington, Nicetown-Tioga, Germantown, Fishtown, and West, South, and Northwest Philadelphia.  The interns created a curriculum resource to help future volunteers hold similar workshops throughout the year. The interns also spent time assisting the NBW summer camp in teaching children how to repair bicycles, ride safely within the city, and better understand the relationship between physical health, exercise and nutrition.

Justin said, “The first few days of the BTG experience quickly transformed my understanding of what the objectives of this summer really were.  While there are quantitative measures of working 40 hours a week, performing a certain number of traveling workshops, and producing a health-based curriculum to leave NBW as a future resource; the real benefactor of this summer was me and my future patients. Though I tried to give all that I could to those people we served this summer, the truth is that they were far more powerful in shaping my understanding of community advocacy, organizing, and what it looks like to pursue health.  I did what I could to aid the youth that visit NBW, and those met during our traveling workshops in the various Philadelphia communities, but it cannot be denied that they taught me more: who they are, what they care about and why, and what their hopes are for their lives." 

Liz noted, “Working at Neighborhood Bike Works this summer as part of a traveling workshop has given me the opportunity to explore and connect with the communities of Philadelphia on a more personal and direct level.  Ultimately, it will be my future patients who come from these neighborhoods that will benefit, as I will be better able to identify with them and their experiences.  I also truly appreciate being able to work on a team with someone from a different health discipline.  We were able to bounce ideas off of each other and compare our perspectives.”

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Encouraging Healthy Choices Through a Summer Camp Curriculum

Student Intern(s):
Brittany Lewis, Drexel University, College of Nursing and Health Professions, Creative Arts in Therapy
Richard Birkett, Drexel University College of Medicine
Deirdre Church, Drexel University, School of Public Health
Celeste Wade, Drexel University, College of Nursing and Health Professions, Creative Arts in Therapy

Academic Preceptor(s):
Rashida West, Esq, Drexel University, Earle Mack School of Law

Community Preceptor(s):
Suku John, PhD, East Park Revitalization Alliance
Tatiana Granados, East Park Revitalization Alliance
Patricia McCole, Mander Recreation Center

The Community Site:
The East Park Revitalization Alliance (EPRA) aims to empower residents to revitalize the Strawberry Mansion neighborhood through the arts, environment and education. EPRA joined with the Mander Recreation Center to present the Healthy Choices Summer Camp for children aged 5 to 13 from the Strawberry Mansion neighborhood. View Community Partner Web Site

Healthy People 2010:
Leading Health Indicators:  Environmental Quality; Injury and Violence; Physical Activity
Focus Areas:  Environmental Health; Heart Disease and Stroke; Injury and Violence Prevention; Nutrition and Overweight; Physical Activity and Fitness.

The Project:
The Bridging the Gaps interns worked with campers in the Healthy Choices Camp at Mander Recreation Center, through the East Park Revitalization Alliance. The interns designed and led programs to foster social responsibility and respect for others. Brittany and Celeste led art activities focused on inspiring each camper to express his/her creativity. Deidre and Rich organized a wide variety of physical fitness activities including organized sports, stretching, aerobics and yoga to encourage an active lifestyle starting at a young age. In conjunction with fitness to support cardiovascular health, they also led hands-on nutrition activities such as cooking, baking and educational games.

Brittany noted, “Co-leading art classes for the kids provided me with the opportunity to work with, and then get to know and truly appreciate and enjoy, children from the Strawberry Mansion neighborhood … I had a chance to interact with the beautiful, brilliant hope of this neighborhood — the children.” 

Richard stated, “It was exciting to use my small knowledge base about health and nutrition along with my passion for physical activity this summer … I learned a lot about the surrounding community of North Philadelphia and the wonderful families that live there. Working alongside BTG interns from other disciplines has been enjoyable, as we each bring something different to the table … and our teamwork provides a good example for our camp members.” 

Deirdre said, “When I first read about East Park Revitalization Alliance’s Healthy Choices Camp description, I immediately was so excited for the opportunity to possibly serve in a program that is dedicated to the comprehensive growth, development and nurturing of children living in an economically depressed community.  During this experience, I’ve seen the passion in my heart to fight disparities of many kinds.” 

Celeste said, “They tell us that the BTG program lasts seven weeks.  My BTG experience is one that will never end … In BTG, I learned that gaining knowledge will simply not suffice … The BTG experience helped me learn that everyone has a unique story to tell. My job is to let them tell it in the most meaningful way possible.”

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Getting Healthy, Staying Healthy!

Student Intern(s): 
Lindsay Hourcade, Thomas Jefferson University, College of Health Professions, Department of Occupational Therapy
Meaghan Reich, University of Pennsylvania, School of Nursing

Academic Preceptor(s):         
Caryn Johnson, MS, OTR/L, FAOTA, Thomas Jefferson University, College of Health Professions, Department of Occupational Therapy
Ann L. O’Sullivan, PhD, FAAN, CRNP, University of Pennsylvania, School of Nursing

Community Preceptor(s):
Heather Palasky, BSN, RN, Frankie’s World

The Community Site:
Frankie’s World, located in North Philadelphia, is a day care center for children from birth to age 8 with special health-care needs. View Community Partner Web Site

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

The Project:
Lindsay and Meaghan created, planned and presented an interactive, age-appropriate health education program for the children in the Head Start program at Frankie’s World. The program’s topics included cardiovascular health, nutrition and oral health.  In addition to assisting the staff with daily activities and caring for the children, the interns also participated in a parent group meeting. In the meeting, parents were given information about the children’s health education program and were encouraged to reinforce the lessons to maintain healthy habits at home.

Lindsay said, “Frankie’s World helps children excel by making sure their medical needs are met and giving them the opportunity to socialize and develop with peers.” 

Meaghan noted, “It is wonderful to know that there is a place where kids with special needs will be so carefully attended to, and I feel very lucky to have had the opportunity to spend time at Frankie’s World with such inspiring and cheerful children!”

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CWEP: Investing in the Future Through Education

Student Intern(s):
Elisha Chao, Temple University, College of Health Professions, Department of Nursing
Allison Ordemann, Temple University, School of Medicine

Academic Preceptor(s):
Moya Kinnealey, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA, BCP, Temple University, College of Health Professions, Department of Occupational Therapy
             
Community Preceptor(s):
Alexis Brown, MBA, Community Women’s Education Project, Early Learning Center
Diane Love, Community Women’s Education Project, Early Learning Center

The Community Site:
The Community Women’s Education Project (CWEP), located in Kensington, is a community-based educational facility addressing the social and economic inequalities affecting the community’s at-risk families. View Community Partner Web Site 

Healthy People 2010:    
Leading Health Indicators:  Access to Health Care; Overweight and Obesity; Physical Activity
Focus Areas:  Access to Quality Health Services; Heart Disease and Stroke; Nutrition and Overweight; Oral Health; Physical Activity and Fitness

The Project:
Allison and Elisha developed a health education program for the children attending the Early Learning Center.  In addition to preparing the children for kindergarten and reinforcing healthy habits, the interns focused on instilling an understanding of the importance of cardiovascular health, nutrition, exercise, oral hygiene and proper hand washing. 

Elisha commented, “CWEP has helped me understand that not everybody grows up with the same resources at their hands as others have … It helped me to appreciate every aspect of childcare … and taught me to look past the surface and see what potential lay in the children.” 

Ali stated, “CWEP taught me that observation and openness will always lead to an amazing learning experience when working in an unfamiliar environment.  By doing so, I learned a lot about myself … Moreover, CWEP showed me that despite a shortcoming of funds, the kids there receive just as much joy, love and attention as any other preschooler in the country. This site has a lot of heart, something money can’t buy.”

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Bridging the Gap: Connecting Children with Healthy Living

Student Intern(s):
Janice Chon, University of the Sciences in Philadelphia, College of Health Sciences, Department of Occupational Therapy
Jacob McBride, Philadelphia of College of Osteopathic Medicine

Academic Preceptor(s):
Eugene Mochan, PhD, DO, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine
Ruth L. Schemm, EdD, OTR/L, FAOTA, University of the Sciences in Philadelphia

Community Preceptor(s):
Patricia Thompson, Lee Cultural Center

The Community Site:
The Lee Cultural Center, located in West Philadelphia, hosts Camp 2000 Summer Day Camp for children from the neighborhood aged 3 to 13.

Healthy People 2010:    
Leading Health Indicators:  Access to Quality Health Services; Overweight and Obesity; Physical Activity
Focus Areas:  Food Safety; Heart Disease and Stroke; Nutrition and Overweight; Oral Health; Physical Activity and Fitness

The Project:
Janice and Jake, in collaboration with the staff of the Lee Summer Camp, provided a program that included sports, arts and crafts, reading and mathematics exercises, and a general health component. The interns designed workshops for the youth in which they highlighted cardiovascular health, oral health, and the relationship between calories and energy.

Jacob commented, “I joined BTG with the hopes of ending my lack of investment, and my hopes proved well-placed.  The program had me traversing much of the city of Philadelphia, attending lectures discussing the city’s communities and their issues, and making social connections with various community groups and leaders.  I now feel I have some stake in the community, and that it has some stake in me.” 

Janice said, “I learned an invaluable lesson from this entire experience. It is the simple fact that in order for the children to really accept and trust me, I first had to become a relatable character in their eyes. Not only was I able to establish professional contacts, but also gain personal relationships with co-workers and, more importantly, the children. I feel more confident that I will be able to face tougher tasks in my professional career.” 

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a superHERO summer

Student Intern(s):       
Nichola Archer, Temple University, School of Pharmacy 
Kirsten Clancy, Temple University, College of Health Professions, Department of Nursing
Heather Anne Comerci, Temple University, School of Medicine

Academic Preceptor(s):         
Ina Lee Calligaro, PharmD, Temple University, School of Pharmacy
Dianne Butera, MSW, Temple University, School of Medicine

Community Preceptor(s):                   
Doris Phillips, HERO Community Center
Bernard Tyler, HERO Community Center

The Community Site:
HERO Community Center, in the Nicetown section of North Philadelphia, aims to help community members in need, especially children and seniors.

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

The Project:
Nichola, Kirsten, and Heather planned and implemented the daily activities for the summer camp at HERO community center. By acting as positive role models and creating fun, interactive activities, the interns aimed to help the children routinely engage in behaviors consistent with a healthy lifestyle. The interns encouraged healthy eating habits through presentations, with visits to the community garden, and during lunchtime. The children had fun exercising, playing sports and competing in tournaments. They learned about heart health and demonstrated their newfound knowledge at the Franklin Institute’s Interactive Heart exhibit. Other activities included conversations about careers and future dreams, expression through art, skits and conversations, and computer lessons on how to access resources. 

Nichola noted, “I am hopeful that even the small things I did like playing a game or taking the time to listen will help to shape a child’s life for a great future. I hope the posters they created of what their lives will look like in the next 15 years will be their guide.” 

Kirsten commented, “It is optimistic community advocates like HERO that strive to enhance the lives of our youth by offering a safe, friendly atmosphere where the children are encouraged to learn, play, make healthy choices, and keep smiling. I am truly grateful that I’ve had the opportunity to take part in this eye-opening experience and see the community from a different perspective. There is no doubt I will be a better, more understanding health-care provider after this experience.” 

Heather stated, “I am continually amazed at the resourcefulness of the community, and the heartfelt hard work that so many individuals at the community center put into furthering the opportunities available to the children. Having the privilege to join these children and their families in their home environments has adjusted my perspective as both an individual and as a health-care provider.”

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Teaching Healthy Habits at PHAT Camp

Student Intern(s):
Elizabeth Potts, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine
Joseph Santora, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine

Academic Preceptor(s):
Eugene Mochan, PhD, DO, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine

Community Preceptor(s):
Tina Jenkins, MHS, Church of the Advocate

The Community Site:
Church of the Advocate is committed to serving the surrounding North Philadelphia neighborhood by providing a daily soup kitchen, an after school program and a summer day camp for children aged 2 to 13. View Community Partner Web Site

Healthy People 2010:                
Leading Health Indicators:  Overweight and Obesity; Physical Activity; Tobacco Use
Focus Areas:  Heart Disease and Stroke; Nutrition and Overweight; Oral Health; Physical Activity and Fitness; Tobacco Use

The Project:
Elizabeth and Joseph provided a health education component to the summer day camp schedule that focused on physical education, healthy habits, activities and travel.  The health topics included cardiovascular health, exercise, nutrition, oral health and tobacco use.  In addition, the interns collaborated with the staff in orchestrating team-building activities, field trips and other camp activities.

Joseph remarked, “BTG gave me the unique opportunity to view the city of Philadelphia through the eyes of a community much different than mine. Although brief, the time I spent at the Church of the Advocate allowed me to grow personally and professionally, and at the same time, make a positive impact on the lives of young children." 

Elizabeth said, “I was happy to watch the children grow this summer and be one of the teachers nurturing this growth. I hope to take my new appreciation for the effect of community on an individual's health and use this to help my future patients."

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Bridging the Summer Learning Gap: A Flexible Health Curriculum for Philadelphia’s Kids

Student Intern(s):
Megan Basham, University of Pennsylvania, School of Social Policy and Practice
Pamela Liu, University of Pennsylvania, School of Dental Medicine
Ponney Palanisamy, University of Pennsylvania, School of Medicine

Academic Preceptor(s):
Jeffrey Draine, PhD, MSW, University of Pennsylvania, School of Social Policy and Practice
Joan I. Gluch, PhD, RDH, University of Pennsylvania, School of Dental Medicine
Raina Merchant, MD, University of Pennsylvania, School of Medicine

Community Preceptor(s):
Joy Mitchell, EducationWorks, Morton Elementary School Project
Francine Natal, EducationWorks, Morton Elementary School Project

The Community Site:
EducationWorks enriches the lives of children and families by providing educational programs and services in communities confronting high rates of poverty and other barriers to educational achievement. View Community Partner Web Site 

Healthy People 2010:
Leading Health Indicators:  Mental Health; Overweight and Obesity; Physical Activity
Focus Areas:  Heart Disease and Stroke; Mental Health and Mental Disorders; Nutrition and Overweight; Oral Health; Physical Activity and Fitness

The Project:
Pamela, Megan and Ponney developed and implemented a health curriculum targeted to two age groups: ages 4 to 7 and 9 to 13. The curriculum topics included nutritional, physical, oral, mental and social health. The interns’ weekly lesson plans were flexible and constantly took into account the educational levels and interests of the students. The project also involved conducting eye screenings at various North Philadelphia public schools for the Eagles Eye Mobile, which worked in collaboration with EducationWorks. In addition, the interns accompanied summer camp participants to various educational venues in the local community.

Ponney reflected, “This summer has been an incredible learning experience. I have not only realized the importance of collaboration across all health-care professions, but have also realized the many obstacles that children face concerning their wellness. I hope that I keep these children in mind no matter what field of medicine I decide to enter.” 

Megan said, “Working with EducationWorks was a very rewarding and informative experience. My eyes were opened to the potential of Philadelphia's children and the importance of contributing to the education system. I was made aware of the importance of an interdisciplinary model in not only working to improve the overall wellness of children, but of all others in need as well.”

Pamela shared, “When I first received my BTG site placement at EducationWorks' Morton School summer camp, I was excited as I looked forward to a summer filled with cuteness and fun. But what has made my community internship most rewarding was not just experiencing both these things, but overcoming various challenges we ran into over the course of the seven weeks—and growing from them.  BTG has been an extremely memorable experience that will undoubtedly shape my goals as an aspiring pediatric dentist.” 

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Serving Up the Arts with Love: Althea Gibson Tennis Camp

Student Intern(s):
Morgan Machledt, Drexel University, College of Nursing and Health Professions, Creative Arts in Therapy
Sara Rubinstein, Drexel University, College of Nursing and Health Professions, Creative Arts in Therapy
Arush Singh, Drexel University College of Medicine

Academic Preceptor(s):
Priscilla Killian, MSN, RN, PMHNP, Drexel University, College of Nursing and Health Professions

Community Preceptor(s):
Bronal Harris, Althea Gibson Community Education and Tennis Center

The Community Site:
Althea Gibson Community Education and Tennis Center is an organization in North Central Philadelphia that provides after school and summer camp programs for children in the community aged 8 to 14. View Community Partner Web Site 

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

The Project:
Maggie, Sara, and Arush worked to implement a variety of arts activities that included designing and assembling a camp memory book, building and operating giant puppets for a performance, arts and crafts activities, and learning and performing different styles of dance and cheerleading. These activities supplemented the established tennis, graphic arts and banking programs to provide the campers with a well-rounded camp experience. The interns also focused on integrating health and nutrition lessons and themes into the campers' experience, and they played a large part in researching, planning and supervising field trips for the campers. 

Maggie commented, “My internship experience … has connected me more deeply to Philadelphia. I've learned more about programming activities for larger groups of children, and how to adapt art projects to fit the group size and time period at hand. I appreciate the creativity and enthusiasm of the children.” 

Sara said, "It was enriching to be able to expose the campers to styles of dance that they may have not seen or tried before. In turn, the children also taught me about the dance styles that they enjoy that may stem from their cultures or communities. After this experience, I feel more confident in leading groups, and I know that as long as I am having fun, the children will have fun as well." 

Arush said, "This group of kids truly broadened my horizons. They were creative and astute … I also enjoyed teaching the kids basic nutritional skills and they seemed very willing to listen. They asked pertinent and intriguing questions.”

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Health and Wellness Education in Urban Youth Summer Campers Aged 10 to 11

Student Intern(s): 
Martin Kane, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine
Katelyn Muenker, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine

Academic Preceptor(s):  
Eugene Mochan, PhD, DO, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine

Community Preceptor(s):  
Phyllis D. Lawhorn, Columbia North YMCA
Siretta Humphery, Columbia North YMCA

The Community Site:
Located in North Philadelphia, the Columbia North YMCA offers a wide range of programs including a summer day camp for children aged 3 to 17. View Community Partner Web Site 

Healthy People 2010:
Leading Health Indicators:  Overweight and Obesity; Physical Activity; Tobacco Use
Focus Areas:  Heart Disease and Stroke; Nutrition and Overweight; Oral Health; Physical Activity and Fitness; Tobacco Use

The Project:
Martin and Katelyn assisted the camp counselors in the day-to-day operations of the YMCA summer camp, working mainly with campers aged 10 to 11. The student interns also provided a health promotion program based on the Healthy People 2010 recommendations. In the health promotion sessions, the interns emphasized the risks connected with overweight and obesity, the importance of physical activity, and the dangers of tobacco use. 

Martin noted, “BTG has allowed me the opportunity to become a part of a community that is not my own, and the lessons and experiences learned from this program will allow me to better understand and communicate with a much broader range of people throughout my professional life.” 

Katelyn said, “Working with the YMCA summer camp has given me the invaluable experience of interacting with, learning from, and educating urban youth.  I will take the many valuable lessons I have learned this summer from interacting with the community and implement them into my daily life as well as my future practice as a physician.”

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The Boys of Summer: Northern Home

Student Intern(s):
Jillian L. Silvestrini, Temple University, School of Medicine
Michael Kochan, Temple University, School of Medicine
Najeem Fazil Habibullah, Temple University, School of Medicine

Academic Preceptor(s):
Ina Lee Calligaro, PharmD, Temple University, School of Pharmacy

Community Preceptor(s):
Kevin Weber, Northern Home for Children

The Community Site:
Northern Home for Children supports children and families in the surrounding communities of Manayunk, providing resources for youth facing a range of challenges. View Community Partner Web Site 

Healthy People 2010:
Leading Health Indicators:  Injury and Violence; Mental Health; Physical Activity
Focus Areas:  Educational and Community-Based Programs; Injury and Violence Prevention; Mental Health and Mental Disorders; Nutrition and Overweight; Physical Activity and Fitness

The Project:
Jillian, Michael and Najeem worked alongside staff to provide a summer program for young males, aged 8 to 14, who were referred to the Northern Home for Children. The interns encouraged positive peer interactions through group talks, recreational activities and academic support. Activities included interactive video games, discussions, swimming and other recreational and team-building activities. Additionally, the interns served as tutors in reading and mathematics as well as provided occasional cooking classes. 

Mike noted, “This experience gave me a better perspective on human behavior, my childhood and the expectations we place on children. Additionally, for better or worse, this experience showed me the failings of our current education system and the importance of consistent messages.” 

Jill said, “This summer we worked with 13-year-olds on a second grade reading level, and witnessed the resilience of children whose parents were in jail; we worked with boys who lived in inadequate housing in North Philly, and kids that really just needed someone to talk to in order to feel appreciated. I have learned that I need to be patient with kids in my practice, because most behavior problems do not arise spontaneously. Every person has a background, and a reason for acting the way they do.” 

Fazil commented, “The BTG experience was one of a kind in that it gave me an opportunity to interact with a patient population that I might never have gotten to know otherwise. Most importantly, this summer has taught me the importance of keeping an unbiased view toward the people that we encounter in both our personal and professional lives.”

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Tennis: A Means to a Healthier and More Positive Lifestyle

Student Intern(s):
Andrew Parziale, Drexel University College of Medicine
Shaheen Najafi, Drexel University College of Medicine
Sonia Singh, Drexel University College of Medicine

Academic Preceptor(s):
Daniel Taylor, DO, Drexel University College of Medicine

Community Preceptor(s):
Ben Hirsh, Arthur Ashe Youth Tennis and Education

The Community Site:
The Arthur Ashe Youth Tennis and Education (AAYTE) strives to enhance the quality of life of young people through tennis and education. The organization works primarily with children aged 4 to 18 from local underserved areas. View Community Partner Web Site

Healthy People 2010:
Leading Health Indicators:  Environmental Quality; Overweight and Obesity; Physical Activity
Focus Areas:  Educational and Community-Based Programs; Environmental Health; Health Communication; Nutrition and Overweight; Physical Activity and Fitness

The Project:
Andrew, Shaheen and Sonia worked with the Arthur Ashe Youth Tennis and Education staff to teach children tennis. The interns used tennis as a means to communicate important life skills such as honesty, integrity, discipline and respect. The children learned the value of teamwork, how to enhance communication, and conflict resolution.  The interns conducted presentations on vital health topics including cardiovascular health, nutrition and hygiene. Daily tasks included tennis instruction, tournament play and life-skill discussions. 

Andrew said, “My personal experience at this site (AAYTE at Girard College) has opened my eyes to some of the conflicts that children face and how to introduce the means to manage these conflicts. Tennis truly does provide a positive, healthy and effective means to educate youth on how to deal with anger and conflict. Ultimately, the program provides children with a passion for the sport as well as a fun way to introduce important life skills.” 

Shaheen said, “Working with the children at the East Poplar playground has been a very rewarding and enlightening experience. The kids have exposed me to aspects of their culture and lifestyle that I would never have had the opportunity to experience otherwise. Through the summer I have gained a better understanding of the community and its members, which as a physician will better allow me to address their issues.” 

Sonia noted, “AAYTE at Penrose this summer has proven to be a very enriching experience for me. As a future health professional, I now understand that physical activity is not only vital for a growing child’s physical health, but also for his or her mental health as well. Tennis is a challenging and competitive sport that tests physical ability, requires strategic thinking, teaches self-discipline and promotes proper etiquette.” 

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Planting the Seeds for Better Health

Student Intern(s):
Allison Hemphill, Thomas Jefferson University, College of Health Professions, Department of Occupational Therapy
Brian Lee, Thomas Jefferson University, Jefferson Medical College
Jennifer Zatorski, MS, Thomas Jefferson University, Jefferson Medical College

Academic Preceptor(s):
Carl Pitts, PT, DPT, Thomas Jefferson University, College of Health Professions, Department of Physical Therapy

Community Preceptor(s):
Skip Weiner, Urban Tree Connection

The Community Site:
Urban Tree Connection is a community-based greening project that transforms abandoned city spaces into community gardens, providing fruits and vegetables to surrounding residents. View Community Partner Web Site

Healthy People 2010:
Leading Health Indicators:  Physical Activity; Overweight and Obesity; Environmental Quality
Focus Areas:  Educational and Community-Based Programs; Health Communication; Nutrition and Overweight; Physical Activity and Fitness

The Project:
Allison, Brian and Jennifer assisted Urban Tree Connection (UTC) in gardening programs targeting children and teens at UTC’s North Central Philadelphia garden location. The interns assisted community preceptors in facilitating gardening activities meant to educate the children on nutrition and increase their access to fresh fruits and vegetables. By addressing various health topics in these activities, the interns facilitated the children’s learning of overall health and the importance of eating fruits and vegetables. The interns also provided structured activities outside the gardens to increase the children’s level of physical activity.  In addition to providing fresh produce to the community, the work in the gardens helped beautify and increase safety in the surrounding areas.

Brian said, “My work with Urban Tree has provided a better understanding of the barriers that exist in achieving quality health, but has also shown me what can be done to address these issues.” 

Allison said, “As a BTG intern, I learned how to be part of an integral team and both a provider and an advocate for vulnerable children to utilize their community gardens and increase their overall health.” 

Jenn reflected, “The garden was such a source of positivity within the community. I was proud to contribute to a project that strengthened this community.”

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Norris Kids: A Smart Start for a Healthy Heart

Student Intern(s):
Kaitlin Balduf, Temple University, School of Medicine
Ashley Benson, Temple University, College of Health Professions, Department of Nursing
Esther Jeong, Temple University, College of Health Professions, Department of Physical Therapy
Ngoc Le, Temple University, College of Health Professions, Department of Nursing
Karen Saroca, Temple University, School of Medicine

Academic Preceptor(s):
Nancy Rothman, EdD, RN, Temple University, College of Health Professions, Department of Nursing
             
Community Preceptor(s):
Lisa Gass, Norris Homes, Norris Kids Camp

The Community Site:
Norris Kids, a summer day camp for youth, is located at the Norris Homes in North Philadelphia and is supported by the Temple Health Connection.

Healthy People 2010:    
Leading Health Indicators:  Environmental Quality; Injury and Violence; Physical Activity
Focus Areas: Educational and Community-Based Programs; Heart Disease and Stroke; Nutrition and Overweight; Oral Health; Physical Activity and Fitness

The Project:
Kaitlin, Ashley, Esther, Ngoc and Karen organized and implemented the Norris Kids summer day camp for children aged 5 to 13.  The camp’s program incorporated appropriate health topics and literacy activities and promoted outdoor safety and basic concepts of respect. The interns developed creative activities to spark interest and awareness in specific Healthy People 2010 areas and indicators. Some of the activities included high-energy games, such as dodge ball and kickball, which gave the children a fun form of exercise; nutrition Bingo, which provided education about healthy foods and portion sizes; and the use of spray sunscreen, which promoted skin protection in a fun, easy manner.

Kaitlin reflected, “This summer I have found that people are capable of so much more than you could possibly imagine.  While working at Norris this summer I have found that children of all ages are both students and teachers.” 

Ashley said, “This experience has taught me … one cannot pass judgment on another without fully understanding the whole situation. The community has provided a vast multitude of experiences and circumstances that I will take with me on my clinical journey.” 

Ngoc said, “The kids have taught me so much during such a short period of time … I also learned how to work on a multidisciplinary team in order to bring out the best solutions.” 

Esther said, “Acceptance, adaptation, and perseverance have been strong themes in the lessons that I have learned.  I have no doubt that this opportunity has equipped me with skills that cannot be attained from a book, but rather from the hands-on experience and joy that comes with the adventures of child care.” 

Karen noted, “These children have taught me that taking the time to get a better understanding of people and a community can yield surprising rewards … I have learned about the complexity of individuals and of a community, and have grown to appreciate the gifts that this diversity offers.”

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Expanding Horizons: Helping Children Experience Life Outside the Boundaries of Their Neighborhood

Student Intern(s):
Mary Curtin, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine
Jennifer Gomberg, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine

Academic Preceptor(s):
Eugene Mochan, PhD, DO, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine

Community Preceptor(s):
Brian Weaver, Haddington Townhouses Youth Summer Enrichment Program

The Community Site:
Haddington Townhouses, located in West Philadelphia, offers a Youth Summer Enrichment Program for children aged 7 to 12 who reside in the townhouses.

Healthy People 2010:
Leading Health Indicators:  Injury and Violence; Physical Activity; Tobacco Use
Focus Areas:  Educational and Community-Based Programs; Health Communication; Injury and Violence Prevention; Nutrition and Overweight; Physical Activity and Fitness

The Project:
Mary and Jen organized educational and recreational field trips for 25 children aged 7 to 12 from the Haddington Townhouses.  The field trips provided the youth with an opportunity to experience different cultures and environments, while breaking down the impact of negative societal expectations and helping them develop a sense of personal value and pride. Mary and Jen also incorporated a health education component to the field trips that focused on nutrition, cardiovascular health, resisting negative peer pressure and violence prevention. 

Jen said, “My experience with the children at Haddington has made me realize how serious of an impact negative expectations have on children and why it is so important to reverse these effects and fix the underlying problem.” 

Mary stated, “My experience in BTG has greatly enhanced my understanding of the economic and social inequalities amongst various populations in Philadelphia, and this knowledge will be critical to understanding the hardships faced by my future patients and to my ability to serve them.”

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Me, Myself, My Future: Practicing Healthy Habits Today to Make Better Decisions Tomorrow

Student Intern(s):
Elizabeth Emmanuel, Thomas Jefferson University, College of Health Professions, Department of Occupational Therapy
Margot Weneck, Thomas Jefferson University, Jefferson School of Nursing

Academic Preceptor(s):
Molly Rose, RN, PhD, Thomas Jefferson University, Jefferson School of Nursing

Community Preceptor(s):
Chris Whaley, MA, Project H.O.M.E., Community Restorative Practices

The Community Site:
Project H.O.M.E.’s Honickman Learning Center and Comcast Technology Labs helps residents of the lower North Philadelphia community increase their educational and employment opportunities through technology and literacy instruction. View Community Partner Web Site  

Healthy People 2010:
Leading Health Indicators:  Physical Activity; Environmental Quality; Injury and Violence
Focus Areas:  Injury and Violence Prevention; Nutrition and Obesity; Oral Health; Physical Activity and Fitness; Health Communication

The Project:
Margot and Elizabeth worked with children from kindergarten through sixth grade at Project H.O.M.E.’s summer program. The interns worked primarily with a group of fourth through sixth graders, focusing on violence prevention, nutrition, oral health, career opportunities, communication and developing healthy social relationships. Margot and Elizabeth collaborated with the community preceptor to develop activities and projects that fulfilled classroom themes and BTG program initiatives. They also organized field trips, which facilitated group discussions and activities on topics such as biking, nutrition and strategizing about nonviolence. 

Margot said, “I truly feel fortunate to have been able to work with these young individuals. A few of the kids have asked me to come back during the school year as a Jeff mentor. There is no doubt in my mind that I have touched and enriched their lives as much as they have mine.” 

Elizabeth commented, “It is a sincere privilege for me to have been able to contribute to the program. I encouraged, laughed, cried and shared common experiences with the children at our site. It has broadened the scope of my understanding and it is my hope that at least one child benefited from my presence at the site.”

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Educating Youth For a Better Tomorrow

Student Intern(s):
Syeda Ali, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine
Emily Drechsel, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine

Academic Preceptor(s):
Eugene Mochan, PhD, DO, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine

Community Preceptor(s):
Carlane Gregory, Wagner Beacon

The Community Site:
The Wagner Middle School Beacon Center and the Institute for the Development of African-American Youth (IDAAY) Out of School Time program provides a summer camp for children from kindergarten to eighth grade. View Community Partner Web Site 

Healthy People 2010:
Leading Health Indicators:  Environmental Quality; Injury and Violence; Physical Activity;
Focus Areas:  Educational and Community-Based Programs; Heart Disease and Stroke; Nutrition and Overweight; Oral Health; Physical Activity and Fitness

The Project:
Syeda and Emily assisted the staff in providing an academic enrichment program for the youth attending IDAAY’s Out of School Time program. The interns also provided a program that focused on various health topics, such as cardiovascular health and the impact of disease, body systems and the role of the various organs in keeping the body healthy, and the importance of oral health in the prevention of disease. 

Syeda said, “My experience this summer has had a huge impact on me … I hope to take the interactive skills I have learned this summer as I continue to grow as a person and in my career.” 

Emily said, “I began this internship expecting only to teach children about health care; however, during the process, I also received a valuable education. My experience with the children exposed me to many issues urban youth face. The knowledge I have gained and the experiences I have shared in the BTG internship will allow me to better understand and relate to people in my future career as a physician.”

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From Tadpoles to Frog Princesses: Fostering Healthy Nutrition and Lifestyle Choices in Children

Student Intern(s):
Priyanka Chugh, Drexel University College of Medicine
Jeffrey Cruz, Drexel University College of Medicine
Brian Czervionke, Drexel University College of Medicine
Shivani Thakkar, Drexel University College of Medicine

Academic Preceptor(s):
Diane Gottlieb, MD, Drexel University College of Medicine

Community Preceptor(s):
Arte Verbrugghe, North Light Community Center

The Community Site:
The North Light Community Center, located in Manayunk, is a multi-service center that provides art and recreation programs, as well as employment services and emergency support. View Community Partner Web Site

Healthy People 2010:   
Leading Health Indicators:  Environmental Quality; Overweight and Obesity; Physical Activity
Focus Areas:  Environmental Health; Heart Disease and Stroke; Nutrition and Overweight; Oral Health; Physical Activity and Fitness

The Project:
Shivani, Jeff, Brian and Priyanka promoted health and provided educational guidance to the youth participating in North Light’s summer camp. The interns led various activities to promote healthy lifestyle choices, such as making nutritional snacks with the youth to highlight healthy eating, play and sports activities to encourage physical fitness, performing a fluoride experiment to emphasize the importance of oral health, and creating a poster for the Heart Smart Dinner to highlight cardiovascular health. The interns also supervised the counselors-in-training, assisted the senior counselors and organized a trip to the Mütter Museum for the older children. 

Priyanka noted, “Working with different age groups made me realize the difference in maturity levels among the children.  Each group had to be presented with the same set of materials in ways that fit their level of understanding. Working with children has also taught me the importance of teamwork and patience.” 

Jeffrey said, “My first year of medical school has given me the opportunity to learn much about the medical sciences, however, my involvement with BTG this summer has been equally enriching. Our internship has been an invaluable experience for me not only as a future health professional, but also as a member of the Philadelphia community.  BTG has been an excellent complement to my medical education, allowing me the chance to learn about humanity, not just the human body.” 

Brian reflected, “If I had to choose a word that typified my experience it would be ‘eye-opening’. The challenge of fostering these lifelong practices in young children in a culture ripe with conflicting messages and oftentimes unhealthy lifestyles was daunting. The children … all had a strong ability to learn as long as information was communicated in an appropriate way.” 

Shivani said, “Helping the children resolve their own conflicts gave me the opportunity to grow and mature as an individual. My interactions with them not only allowed me to understand them on a deeper level, but also gave me the opportunity to learn more about myself.”

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Taking Charge of Your Health at Alcorn Elementary School

Student Intern(s):
Stephanie George, University of Pennsylvania, School of Dental Medicine
Ameria Lennard, University of Pennsylvania, School of Social Policy and Practice

Academic Preceptor(s):
Jeffery Draine
, PhD, MSW, University of Pennsylvania, School of Social Policy and Practice
Joan I. Gluch, PhD, RDH, University of Pennsylvania, School of Dental Medicine

Community Preceptor(s):
Latifah Anderson, BSW, EducationWorks: Grays Ferry Beacon, Alcorn School Project
Eric Williamson, BA, EducationWorks: Grays Ferry Beacon, Alcorn School Project

The Community Site: 

Alcorn Elementary School, located in South Philadelphia, is one of the many housing sites for EducationWorks, a nonprofit division of AmeriCorps. EducationWorks serves youth from kindergarten through high school in low-income/urban settings. View Community Partner Web Site

Healthy People 2010:
Leading Health Indicators:  Mental Health; Overweight and Obesity; Physical Activity
Focus Areas:  Education and Community-Based Programs; Mental Health and Mental Disorders; Oral Health; Physical Activity and Fitness; Vision and Hearing

The Project:
Ameria and Stephanie created and taught a curriculum that addressed physical and mental health for kindergarten to eighth grade campers at the Alcorn Elementary School. The interns focused on four key areas: oral health; fitness and nutrition; stress management; and education, poverty and violence—transforming the negative. The segment on oral health involved instruction on proper brushing and flossing and each camper received an oral health kit, which included a toothbrush, dental floss and toothpaste. The fitness and nutrition component emphasized regular exercise, making healthy snack choices, the importance of cardiovascular activity and preparing healthy snacks. Stress management instruction involved discussing ways to creatively manage anger and frustration at home, school and their surroundings. Creative activities included art therapy, drum circle, yoga and writing.  Throughout the summer internship, Ameria and Stephanie placed great emphasis on the youth taking responsibility for their health. The interns brought in healthy snacks for the campers and conducting mini cooking classes.  They also presented the documentary “The Boys of Baraka” to initiate discussion on major social issues that the campers face. In addition, the interns performed eye exam screenings for each camper and assisted the Eye Mobile, which provides a free pair of eyeglasses to students who need them. 

Ameria noted, “Whether the campers take away one or everything that we have taught to them, it is still a small but fundamental positive change within their healthy habits and behaviors. They showed us how resilient, energetic, and intelligent the youth of Philadelphia are, and it was a privilege to teach them over the seven-week internship.” 

Stephanie stated, “My experience this summer was fundamental in preparing me for my clinical years at Penn as well as for the patients I will treat as a dentist. Working with the children of all ages not only gave me an important perspective on how to interact with children as a health professional, but also vital insight into the health issues facing disadvantaged families in Philadelphia. This experience has encouraged me to continue to be an advocate for improving health care for children living in poverty.”

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A Whole New World of Activities

Student Intern(s): 
Harshal Shah, University of the Sciences in Philadelphia, College of Health Sciences, Department of Occupational Therapy
April Gueco, LaSalle University, School of Nursing and Health Sciences, Nursing Program
   
Academic Preceptor(s):
Shelley Johnson, RN, MSN, LaSalle University, School of Nursing and Health Sciences
Ruth L. Schemm, EdD, OTR/L, FAOTA, University of the Sciences in Philadelphia, College of Health Professions

Community Preceptor(s):
George Riley, West Poplar Apartments, Summer Enrichment Program
Kevin Cox, West Poplar Apartments, Summer Enrichment Program

The Community Site:
West Poplar Apartments, located in North Philadelphia, provides a summer enrichment program for youth.

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

The Project:
Harshal and April helped the West Poplar community center team by creating and implementing many activities that engaged the camp’s youth in team building and physical exercise. The interns provided educational sessions highlighting cardiovascular health, nutrition, oral health, physical activity and exercise. These sessions were complemented by an activity that related to the day’s lesson plan. 

April noted, “Working with children has taught me to be open to new ideas, have patience, and be a great, supportive role model for them. Also, it has given me the chance to grow and build character necessary to be a nurse, such as communication, working in a team consisting of multiple disciplines, and learning to evaluate how effective my efforts were at the end of the day.” 

Harshal stated, “Each child has a unique strength of their own and a unique way of doing something. I have learned new ideas on how to communicate with children and how to try to bring out their best.”

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Summer Is Sizzlin’: Time to Get in the Zone …

Student Intern(s):
Natalie Hoffmann, Drexel University, College of Nursing and Health Professions: Creative Arts in Therapy
Raema Mir, Drexel University College of Medicine

Academic Preceptor(s):
Amy Montemarano, JD, Drexel University, Earle Mack School of Law

Community Preceptor(s):
Glenna Deekle, MSW, KidZone Philadelphia

The Community Site:
KidZone Philadelphia is an initiative that engages parents and residents to transform educational experiences for children in Northwest Philadelphia. KidZone supports children as an intermediary, connecting families with services. View Community Partner Web Site 

Healthy People 2010:
Leading Health Indicators:  Mental Health; Environmental Quality; Overweight and Obesity
Focus Areas:  Educational and Community-Based programs; Environmental Health; Access to Quality Health Services; Food Safety; Nutrition and Overweight

The Project:
Raema and Natalie planned and executed a summer program that focused on providing a fun, safe environment for children aged 3 to 14. They structured activities to prevent summer regression in reading and writing skills, while facilitating and encouraging appropriate social interaction. The interns educated children on various themes relating to community involvement, environmental awareness, life skills and careers, and creativity. Raema and Natalie also visited various community advocacy organizations that partner with KidZone. 

Natalie noted, “BTG has opened my eyes to the great need that exists for Philadelphia’s children. I now have a much more thorough understanding of the benefits that early intervention by a caring adult can have in aiding in the future success of a child. I have also gained a greater appreciation for the perspectives of other professionals in different disciplines. I never dreamed that my field would have so much overlap with social work and medicine!“ 

Raema said, “Participating in BTG has provided me with the opportunity to learn more about myself and my community. Before, I might have noticed that something seemed ‘off’ about a child’s behavior, but now I recognize that behavioral problems are often an external manifestation of inner turmoil in a child’s life. As a professional, I think this summer has taught me to look for subtle signs and to think deeper: Why does a toddler have Cheetos stains on her clothes at 8 a.m. and why would a 10-year-old throw a tantrum after being denied an extra bag of pretzels.”  

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Promoting a Healthy Lifestyle at Lamberton Safe Haven Kids Camp

Student Intern(s):
Blake Bailey, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine
Radhika Bhatt, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine

Academic Preceptor(s):
Eugene Mochan, PhD, DO, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine

Community Preceptor(s):
Pilar Fernandez-Blakey, To Our Children’s Future with Health, Lamberton Beacon Safe Haven

The Community Site:
The To Our Children’s Future with Health’s Lamberton Beacon’s Safe Haven provides a summer day camp with academic and general recreation programs, along with library workshops, bowling, swimming and weekly field trips. View Community Partner Web Site 

Healthy People 2010:
Leading Health Indicators:  Overweight and Obesity; Physical Activity; Responsible Sexual Behavior
Focus Areas:  Educational and Community-Based Programs; Food Safety; Nutrition and Overweight; Oral Health; Physical Activity and Fitness

The Project:
Blake and Radhika assisted the Lamberton Safe Haven staff in planning and implementing camp activities and health education for youth in grades three through six. In their health education activities, the interns explored oral health, physical fitness, cardiovascular health and the importance of sleep on overall health. The interns accompanied the youth on field trips and helped guide the problem-based learning component of the camp curriculum.  

Blake reflected, “I have experienced firsthand the challenges of camps with limited budgets … and have developed my personal and professional skills working with children, teamwork and community health advocacy.” 

Radhika said, “I have also learned the impact the economy has on Philadelphia and its schools. Overall, I had fun spending time with the children, and their energetic attitude has inspired me to continue promoting the importance of health care in our community.”

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Advocating for Access

Student Intern(s):
Rebecca Feigenbaum, University of Pennsylvania, School of Social Policy and Practice
Jamie Massarelli, University of Pennsylvania, School of Nursing

Academic Preceptor(s):
Jeffrey Draine, PhD, MSW, University of Pennsylvania, School of Social Policy and Practice
Ann L. O’Sullivan, PhD, FAAN, CPNP, University of Pennsylvania, School of Nursing

Community Preceptor(s):
Colleen McCauley-Brown, MPH, RN, BSN, Public Citizens for Children and Youth

The Community Site:
Public Citizens for Children and Youth (PCCY) has a mission to improve the lives and life chances of southeastern Pennsylvania’s children through thoughtful and informed advocacy designed to ensure that children are safe, stimulated, well cared for and healthy. View Community Partner Web Site 

Healthy People 2010:
Leading Health Indicators:  Access to Health Care; Environmental Quality; Mental Health
Focus Areas:  Access to Quality Health Services; Environmental Health; Health Communication; Oral Health; Public Health Infrastructure

The Project:
Rebecca and Jamie worked with the PCCY staff on activities to help children access health-care services.  Rebecca collected data on wait times for behavioral health appointments; conducted a survey on families’ satisfaction with the services PCCY has provided; and collected a variety of information to be used in PCCY’s upcoming Behavioral Health Resource Guide, which maps out behavioral health centers in and around Philadelphia. Jamie concentrated on a project that, it is hoped, will generate funding to improve the state of oral health for children in Philadelphia by proving the vital need for it.  Jamie also spent time researching and advocating for a new dental insurance option that would allow Pennsylvania to provide dental-only coverage to SCHIP-eligible children who are enrolled in private health insurance, but lack dental health benefits. Jamie also aided families in the insurance application process and provided low-income families with information about resources available to them. Additionally, Rebecca and Jamie attended training sessions, press conferences, rallies and meetings throughout their time at PCCY.  

Jamie noted, “The BTG program has opened my eyes to both the immense issues that face our communities and as well as the potential that I will have as a nurse to make a positive impact in the community. Not only do I feel more aware, but I also feel more accountable. I feel empowered that as a health-care professional I will have the capability to react and to play a part in lessening the unmet needs of the community.” 

Rebecca stated, “BTG and particularly PCCY has provided me with an understanding of and appreciation for advocacy and how it can be integrated into my future as a social worker. I hope to continue to integrate advocacy in some form, into my own profession one day.”

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Struggles & Successes: Community Health Education at Project H.O.M.E.

Student Intern(s):
Manasa Ayyala, Temple University, School of Medicine
Carolyn Thimot, Temple University, School of Medicine

Academic Preceptor(s):
Dianne Butera, MSW, Temple University, School of Medicine

Community Preceptor(s):
Vera S.B. Owens, MSW, Project H.O.M.E.

The Community Site:
Project H.O.M.E.’s Rowan Homes
, one of the many Project H.O.M.E residential sites, is a subsidized housing community on Judson Street in North Philadelphia that provides shelter to single-parent families. View Community Partner Web Site 

Healthy People 2010:
Leading Health Indicators:  Physical Activity; Overweight and Obesity; Mental Health
Focus Areas:  Diabetes; Educational and Community-Based Programs; Heart Disease and Stroke; Nutrition and Overweight; Physical Activity and Fitness

The Project:
Carolyn and Manasa participated in a variety of projects at Project H.O.M.E. For the children under 8 at Project H.O.M.E.’s Rowan homes, the interns designed a health education program that included instruction, snack preparation and physical activity. They developed a Healthy Living course for the adolescents at the Honickman Learning Center, directly across from Rowan Judson Homes. This interactive course was designed to address relevant health issues for the adolescent population. They also offered health counseling to patients at the St. Elizabeth’s Health Clinic, located in the same neighborhood. This included diabetes education, as well as nutrition and fitness counseling. In addition, the interns helped the health clinic staff with basic patient care and health screenings. A family fitness class was held that highlighted the importance of exercise and proper nutrition for both adults and children. The class included basic instruction on proper form and use of exercise equipment, nutritional analysis and dietary recommendations. 

Carolyn noted, “I dealt with a variety of emotions while working at Rowan Homes—the initial excitement of developing programming that would impact children, adolescents and adults, the realization that a health class a few times per week was going to do little to change the trajectory of some of these individuals, the depression that without removing these residents from their environment they would continue to cycle within the depths of poverty, and the acceptance I could not solve everyone’s issues but I could develop relationships strong enough to at least partially affect the people that live at Rowan and its surrounding community.” 

Manasa commented, “This summer at Project H.O.M.E has been a remarkable experience. I was extremely moved by my acceptance not only into the Project H.O.M.E staff community, but also into the residents’ community. My experiences at Project H.O.M.E Rowan Homes have made me realize the truth in the value of just one person in initiating change in someone’s life.  I’m not sure whether or not I have taught my students as much as I have been taught by them, but if possible, my wish is to be able to continue to drop in at Rowan Homes throughout the year so that I can maintain my part in the community there that was so readily welcoming.”

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