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Philadelphia Consortium Projects

Adolescents & Young Adults

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A Brighter and Healthier Future at Brother Rousseau Academy

Student Intern(s):
Laura Guggenheimer, University of Pennsylvania, School of Social Policy and Practice
Michael Segall, University of Pennsylvania, School of Dental 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

Community Preceptor(s):
Larry Patrick, MPA, Brother Rousseau Academy

The Community Site:
Brother Rousseau Academy, a component of Saint Gabriel’s System, is a community-based day treatment program for court adjudicated pre-adolescents (male and female). View Community Partner Web Site

Healthy People 2010:
Leading Health Indicators:  Overweight and Obesity; Responsible Sexual Behavior; Substance Abuse
Focus Areas:  Injury and Violence Prevention; Nutrition and Overweight; Oral Health; Sexually Transmitted Diseases; Substance Abuse

The Project:
Laura and Mike were responsible for creating a new and innovative health education program and assisting in the day-to-day routine activities at Brother Rousseau. The health education program involved hour-long lessons once a week on a variety of health-related topics, including dental health, nutrition and exercise, sexual health, drugs and alcohol, and cardiovascular health. Assistance with routine activities included weekly field trips, community service projects, and tutoring on science, language arts, math, the criminal justice system, and a variety of other topics. 

Mike said, “After being trapped inside the dental school bubble for the past year, BTG and Brother Rousseau have provided me with an up-close and personal look at the multitude of disparities that exist in our society. I have learned more about myself and my responsibility to the community. It has reinforced my passion for serving others as well as inspired me to lessen the gaps in access to care within my professional field.” 

Laura noted, “At the start of this program, I believed that education was the solution to today’s social, cultural and economical disparities. What I have learned from this program … is that adolescents don’t make poor decisions because they believe them to be good ones. They make poor decisions because those are the decisions their communities and environments foster and support. This experience has made abundantly clear to me that change for today’s disadvantaged youth cannot be made solely by relying on clinical programs; but rather that systemic and policy level changes are integral to their future success.”

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Allegheny West Foundation: Service Learning Project Shaping Today’s Youth for the Future

Student Intern(s):
Alexis Guenette, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine
Brian Miller, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine

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

Community Preceptor(s):
Melanie Palmer, Allegheny West Foundation: Murrell Dobbins Service Learning Project

The Community Site:
The Allegheny West Foundation, located in North Philadelphia, is a community-based organization that works to improve the quality of all aspects of community life. The Service Learning Project provides an opportunity for the Murrell Dobbins students to obtain necessary academic and business tools for the future. View Community Partner Web Site 

Healthy People 2010:
Leading Health Indicators:  Overweight and Obesity; Physical Activity; Responsible Sexual Behavior
Focus Areas:  Oral Health; HIV; Sexually Transmitted Diseases; Nutrition and Overweight; Heart Disease and Stroke

The Project:
Alexis and Brian, working with the Allegheny West Foundation staff at Dobbins High School, provided a program focusing on job readiness and health promotion. The 58 young people in the program participated in activities that highlighted leadership skills and age-appropriate health topics. 

Alexis commented, “My desire for joining BTG was to be able to be more involved in the community, become more familiar with the people that I will be serving as a future doctor, and to try to make a difference in a teenager’s life. I feel that this experience definitely provided me with this opportunity.” 

Brian stated, “I entered my BTG assignment at Dobbins High School with an eagerness to teach the students about health care and job-related skills. However, I was the one who gained a significant amount of insight. This program has enhanced my desire to administer health care to the underserved areas of Philadelphia. My hope is to incorporate the information and skills that I have obtained from BTG in order to become a more competent physician.” 

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Violence Prevention and Reduction Amongst At-Risk Adolescents

Student Intern(s):
Allison Buchanan, Thomas Jefferson University, Jefferson College of Health Professions, Department of Occupational Therapy
Neha Sachdev, Thomas Jefferson University, Jefferson Medical College

Academic Preceptor(s):
R. Patrick McManus Jr., MD, Thomas Jefferson University, Jefferson Medical College

Community Preceptor(s):
Willie D. Little, MSW, Youth Emergency Service

The Community Site:
Youth Emergency Service (YES), located in the Fairmount section of Philadelphia, provides shelter and supportive services for adolescents between the ages of 12 and 18. View Community Partner Web Site

Healthy People 2010:
Leading Health Indicators:  Injury and Violence; Mental Health; Responsible Sexual Behavior
Focus Areas:  Educational and Community-Based Programs; Injury and Violence Prevention; Mental Health and Mental Disorders; Physical Activity and Fitness; Sexually Transmitted Diseases

The Project:
Allison and Neha planned a healthy lifestyle program for the adolescents in residence at the Youth Emergency Service (YES) shelter. The interns served as health-care advocates, supporting the residents in scheduling and attending health-care appointments and following up on their treatment plans. The healthy lifestyle program included nutrition activities, educational field trips and guest lecturers, all aimed at improving life skills.  A major focus was decreasing violence among the adolescents by introducing positive coping mechanisms. 
Allison noted, “Throughout my time at YES, I’ve developed new tools and insight for effectively treating future patients/clients with cultural competence because I’ve been allowed a firsthand view of inner-city adolescence.” 

Neha commented, “Working at YES has given me a richer understanding of the unique challenges faced by today’s youth, while also allowing me to improve my counseling and advocacy skills.” 

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Teaching Healthy Eating Habits, Cooking Skills and Professionalism to Urban Youth

Student Intern(s):
Laura Barunas, University of Pennsylvania, School of Dental Medicine
Samantha Powell, University of Pennsylvania, School of Medicine 

Academic Preceptor(s):
Joan I. Gluch, PhD, RDH, University of Pennsylvania, School of Dental Medicine
Jeane Ann Grisso, MD, MSc, University of Pennsylvania, School of Medicine

Community Preceptor(s):
Kristin Schwab, Urban Nutrition Initiative, Nutrition's Most Wanted Program 

The Community Site:
The Urban Nutrition Initiative (UNI) is a school-based community health and nutrition project established at the University of Pennsylvania’s Netter Center for Community Partnerships (NCCP) in cooperation with 20 different public schools in West Philadelphia. Nutrition's Most Wanted (NMW), an after school development program for youth, is a facet of UNI and is composed of Sayre High School students. View Community Partner Web Site

Healthy People 2010:   
Leading Health Indicators:  Overweight and Obesity; Physical Activity; Environmental Quality
Focus Areas:  Educational and Community-Based Programs; Environmental Health; Food Safety; Nutrition and Overweight; Physical Activity and Fitness 
           
The Project:
Samantha and Laura assisted their community preceptor in training a group of Sayre High School students who were participating in the Nutrition’s Most Wanted (NMW) program. The interns helped develop an academic curriculum for the program, trained students in healthy eating and cooking skills, and assisted the students as they shared their skills with other community members in West Philadelphia. 

Samantha noted, “I feel so grateful to have met the students of NMW and to have had the opportunity to learn about such an inspiring organization as Urban Nutrition Initiative. This experience has also helped to put my future into greater focus in terms of my professional pursuits. I feel as though adolescent medicine and adolescent psychiatry are definitely fields worth pursuing as I continue my exploration of the medical profession.” 

Laura commented, “Working with the NMW has been a very powerful learning experience. The experience has opened my eyes to the realities of West Philadelphia communities and it has given me insight into my future and the possibility of pursuing a career in pediatric dentistry or orthodontics. It provided me the opportunity to change the lives of the students I had the honor to work with and, in turn, it has allowed me to grow and change as a person.”

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Out of the Attic

Student Intern(s):
Jesse Daniel Moore, Drexel University, School of Public Health

Academic Preceptor(s):
Steven Rosenzweig, MD, Drexel University College of Medicine

Community Preceptor(s):
Guina Hammond, MEd, The Attic Youth Center

The Community Site:
The Attic Youth Center, located in Center City Philadelphia, creates opportunities for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) youth to develop into creative, healthy, independent and civic-minded adults. View Community Partner Web Site 

Healthy People 2010:
Leading Health Indicators:  Mental Health; Physical Activity; Responsible Sexual Behavior
Focus Areas:  Educational and Community-Based Programs; Heart Disease and Stroke; Mental Health and Mental Disorders; Oral Health; Sexually Transmitted Diseases

The Project:
Jesse worked as a facilitator for the Attic young people who participated in the Philadelphia Youth Network’s B.E.S.T. (Businesses Educating Students for Tomorrow) Internship Program. Facilitation consisted of attending Philadelphia Youth Network’s (PYN) training session and leading a four-hour class for six Fridays with the goal of building portfolios for the youth to support their future career endeavors. In addition, Jesse led a group activity every Tuesday called “Express Yourself”—a creative writing group focused on expressing emotion about being an LGBTQ youth. The hope is to create a book from these writings to sell at LGBTQ events such as Outfest and Pride. 

Jesse commented, “The Attic youth are remarkable, amazing, hilarious, and gifted. Their stories have solidified and further inspired my passion toward pursuing a career in health care for the underserved and marginalized.  Words cannot do justice to explain how this experience and the youth affected my professional and personal development. I can only take the experience and the indefinable emotions and passion that grew in me, and use what I learned for my future career.”

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Exploring Health Careers

Student Intern(s):
Salini Mohanty, Thomas Jefferson University, Jefferson School of Population Health
Erin Phillips, Thomas Jefferson University, Jefferson Medical College

Academic Preceptor(s):
Rob Simmons, DrPh, MPh, CHES, Thomas Jefferson University, Jefferson School of Population Health

Community Preceptor(s):
Neva White, MSN, CRNP, CDE, Thomas Jefferson University, Department of Community Health

The Community Site:
Exploring Health Careers, Thomas Jefferson Community Health Department, is an adolescent “train the trainer” program, where teen trainers participate in health education sessions and share this health-related information with younger community members. View Community Partner Web Site

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

The Project:
Salini and Erin created a program designed to address specific training and skills needed by adolescent community health trainers. The interns engaged the teens in educational sessions and program planning focused on various health issues relevant to young and older community members. Topics included hypertension, nutrition, exercise and reducing screen time. The program included a weekly book discussion and activities that exposed the adolescents to various health careers and opportunities. 

Salini said, “This experience has allowed me to use the skills I have learned in my public health education and apply them in the community.” 

Erin said, “My experience working at our BTG site has taught me a lot about techniques to make learning about health both fun and interesting for people of all ages.”

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Jumpstarting the Careers of Philadelphia’s Youth of Tomorrow

Student Intern(s):      
Jonathan Weber, Temple University, School of Medicine
Melissa Domis, Temple University, School of Medicine
Nazia Moinuddin, Temple University, College of Health Professions, Department of Physical Therapy
Patricia Rekawek, Temple University, School of Medicine

Academic Preceptor(s):
Amy E. Heath, PT, DPT, OCS, Temple University, College of Health Professions

Community Preceptor(s): 
Jacques Louis, Allegheny West Foundation, Work Ready Philadelphia Program

The Community Site:
The mission of Allegheny West Foundation (AWF) is to improve the quality of life in the Allegheny West community by providing resources to the neighborhood, specifically youth education and employment. View Community Partner Web Site

Healthy People 2010: 
Leading Health Indicators:  Environmental Quality, Overweight and Obesity, Physical Activity
Focus Areas:  Cancer, Education and Community-Based Programs, Health Communication, Heart Disease and Stroke, Nutrition and Overweight

The Project:
The task of the Bridging the Gaps interns in the Allegheny West Foundation’s Work Ready Philadelphia Program was to provide 14- to 18-year-olds with professional skills for the future and to supervise the completion of a community clean up and mural painting project. To build their professional skills, participating students were given mock interviews and graded on presentations. They worked in small groups to research their careers of interest. Jonathan, Melissa, Nazia and Patricia also used this opportunity to educate the group of teenagers about a variety of health conditions. The main focus of these health talks was to address preventative measures, such as proper nutrition, exercise and smoking cessation.

Jonathan noted, “Working at the AWF has given me a firsthand experience working within the community. Seeing things firsthand gives you a totally different perspective on your patients’ lives.”  

Melissa commented, “Despite the obstacles, the youth manage to maintain optimism and hope for the future that I find inspiring. It was a privilege to work with the teens, helping them to believe in their abilities and to build the professional skills needed to attain their dreams.” 

Nazia stated, “My BTG experience has influenced my personal beliefs and values and helped to change the way I perceive things. These children truly do go through the hardships that we see as fiction and amaze me with the ways they learn to cope and continue on determined with their lives.” 

Patricia said, “Working with the teenagers at the AWF has allowed me to realize that along with instilling career skills and educating the youth about various health concerns, the biggest achievement I made was being a mentor. In order to better our community, we must start with the youth, in a way that includes caring and nurturing, as well as by providing resources to succeed in the working world.”

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Project-Based Learning

Student Intern(s):
Amanda Parezo, Thomas Jefferson University, Jefferson College of Health Professions, Department of Occupational Therapy
Kate McGrath, Thomas Jefferson University, Jefferson Medical College
Kim Gana, Thomas Jefferson University, Jefferson College of Health Professions, Department of Occupational Therapy

Academic Preceptor(s):
Caryn Johnson, MS, OTR/L, FAOTA, Thomas Jefferson University, College of Health Professions, Department of Occupational Therapy

Community Preceptor(s):
Tiaisha Dandy, To Our Children’s Future with Health: The Den

The Community Site:
Located in North Philadelphia, To Our Children’s Future with Health’s The Den provides an enriching, fun and educational summer program for children aged 10 to 14. View Community Partner Web Site

Healthy People 2010: 
Leading Health Indicators:  Overweight and Obesity; Responsible Sexual Behavior; Substance Abuse
Focus Areas:  Food Safety; Injury and Violence Prevention; Nutrition and Overweight; Oral Health; Substance Abuse

The Project:
Kate, Amanda and Kim developed project-based learning activities for children involved in The Den summer camp. The interns facilitated lessons and engaged the children in games and recreational activities. Health topics addressed through prepared presentations and spur-of-the-moment conversations included nutrition, abstinence, cardiovascular health and respect for self and others. The interns utilized group discussions, arts and crafts, culinary arts, computer programming, and field trips. 

Kate commented, “BTG gave me the opportunity to engage with a group of bright, funny and eager kids … I have had the privilege of beginning to see the world through the eyes of the youth.” 

Amanda reflected, “Being a BTG intern has been a rewarding experience. I learned a lot about myself and the population I interacted with at The Den.” 

Kim said, “Working in such an unfamiliar territory … humbled me and reminded me that the youth are layered with complexities and experiences beyond my comprehension and are much, much more than the tough act they put on.”

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