BTG Hope

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BTG Community Preceptor
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Philadelphia Consortium Projects

Community Health (including HIV/AIDS)

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Improving Access Through Advocacy and Outreach

Student Intern(s):
Julianne Gamino, University of Pennsylvania, School of Nursing
Scott Kim, University of Pennsylvania, School of Dental Medicine

Academic Preceptor(s):
Ann L. O’Sullivan, PhD, FAAN, CRNP, University of Pennsylvania, School of Nursing
Joan I. Gluch, PhD, RDH, University of Pennsylvania, School of Dental Medicine

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

The Community Site: 
Since 1980, Public Citizens for Children and Youth (PCCY) has worked to protect the best interests of all children in Southeastern Pennsylvania. PCCY works to improve the lives and opportunities of children through advocacy, including promoting public awareness, research and surveys, coalition-building, and project development. View Community Partner Web Site

Healthy People 2010:
Leading Health Indicators:  Access to Care; Mental Health; Environmental Quality
Focus Areas:  Access to Quality Health Service; Health Communication; Public Health Infrastructure; Mental Health and Mental Disorders; Oral Health; Maternal, Infant, and Child Health

The Project: 
Julianne and Scott assisted the Public Citizens for Children and Youth (PCCY) staff with several projects. Julianne researched and wrote a policy brief on churning, the phenomenon of children coming on and off government insurance plans at the time they need to renew their coverage. The brief is intended to inform legislators, government administrators and the public of the churning issue and to raise awareness and generate interest in policy changes that make it easier for families to stay enrolled in insurance coverage. The policy brief required Julianne to research data and analyze information from various reports and publications. In addition, Julianne made follow-up calls to families who had not completed their PCCY health insurance applications to help them obtain the information and documents still needed for their application forms. Scott worked on an analysis of dental screening data from the school-based oral health service providers within the School District of Philadelphia. After researching the national and state-level oral health status of children in various publications, he compared the findings with dental screening data obtained from the service providers. The analysis will be used to write a policy brief evaluating the current oral health status of children in Philadelphia and provide a direction for school-based oral health services. Julianne said, “My time at PCCY has taught me a lot about the health care system and how essential improving access to care is in promoting quality care. … It has broadened my perspective on what can impact preventative care and healing. I have realized that everyone has a responsibility to be an advocate, especially health care providers.” Scott noted, “The BTG program and PCCY have vastly improved my understanding of health insurance and the health care system, and how they impact access to health care. … My experience at PCCY has stimulated interest in advocacy and desire to participate in such coalitions in future.”

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Navigating the American Health Care System: The Recent Refugee’s Experience

Student Intern(s):
Sharon Young, Thomas Jefferson University, Jefferson Medical College
Chana-Rivka Foster, Thomas Jefferson University, Jefferson Medical College

Academic Preceptor(s):
Maria Hervada-Page, MSS, Thomas Jefferson University, Jefferson Medical College

Community Preceptor(s):
Juliane Ramic, MSW, Nationalities Service Center

The Community Site:
Nationalities Service Center (NSC), located in Center City, provides an array of resettlement services including housing, health care, and employment for immigrants and refugees in the Philadelphia area. Nationalities Service Center’s health clinic is a partnership with Jefferson University’s Family Medicine Department. View Community Partner Web Site

Healthy People 2010:
Leading Health Indicators:  Access to Health Care; Immunization; Mental Health
Focus Areas:  Access to Quality Health Services; Health Communication; Immunization and Infectious Diseases; Mental Health and Mental Disorders; Nutrition and Overweight

The Project: 
Sharon and Chana-Rivka worked on a variety of health promotion projects with the Nationalities Service Center. Chana-Rivka focused on home safety and nutrition by creating various educational handouts detailing proper home safety, designing a presentation on accessing proper nutrition for recent refugees and working to enroll a number of new families in Philadelphia’s WIC program. She also worked with the family of a young Nepali girl diagnosed with failure to thrive. She visited the home of this family twice a week to educate caregivers about proper nutrition for their underweight child. Sharon primarily worked on organizing the Refugee Health database and program assessment, which will help promote the accuracy with which the department functions. The data she compiled and interpreted was used to demonstrate health outcomes and can be used for proposals and grant applications. She also worked on a GIS mapping project that will aid clients in navigating their neighborhoods and their health care facilities more easily. Finally, both Sharon and Chana-Rivka escorted a number of clients to a variety of medical appointments. During these visits the interns helped clients access necessary transportation and fill out relevant medical paperwork, and provided whatever support was needed. Chana-Rivka reflected, “Working with a team of social workers at NSC has introduced me to the frustrations and hurdles that must be overcome in accessing reasonable, affordable and quality health care as a recent refugee. I can only imagine the overwhelming sense of isolation and defeat that comes with not being able to navigate new systems due to a lack of language and culture comprehension. However, I do find it heartening to learn that there are so many dedicated and capable individuals working to lessen the divide between recent refugees and access to the American health care system. I don’t know that it will ever be possible to eliminate all gaps in health care in America, but working with a team of individuals so truly committed to serving those underserved members of society has been both rewarding and uplifting.” Sharon commented, “This summer internship … has exposed me to the barriers and hardships refugees are confronted with. Constituting a tiny fraction of our city’s population, the needs of these individuals are easily overlooked. ... It was not until I was able to work one-to-one with these families that I recognized the overwhelming nature of barriers, not only in regards to access to health care, but also to housing, jobs, education, etc.”

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Learning the Lingo – Culturally Sensitive Medical Interpretation

Student Intern(s):
Kuan-Lung Daniel Chen, Drexel University, School of Public Health
Christine Lam, Temple University, School of Pharmacy
Pauline Lui, Temple University, School of Podiatric Medicine
Xingluo (Ashley) Wang, Drexel University, School of Public Health
Henry Siem, Drexel University College of Medicine

Academic Preceptor(s):
Vincent Zarro, MD, PhD, Drexel University, College of Nursing and Health Professions

Community Preceptor(s):
Regina Linehan, RN, MS, CDE, Pennsylvania Hospital

The Community Site: 
The Newcomers’ Health Project (NHP) at the Chinatown Clinic was founded to provide health care for new immigrants to the Philadelphia area. It is now a partnership between Drexel University College of Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine; Holy Redeemer Church; and Community Legal Services (CLS). Through this partnership, NHP is able to hold weekly free clinics at the Holy Redeemer Church.

Healthy People 2010:
Leading Health Indicators:  Access to Health Care; Environmental Quality; Physical Activity
Focus Areas:  Diabetes; Health Communication; Access to Quality Health Services; Environmental Health; Physical Activity and Fitness

The Project:
Daniel, Christine, Pauline, Ashley and Henry focused on several projects at the Newcomers’ Health Project (NHP). One major project was medical interpretation training. The interns produced a short video covering important concepts in medical interpretation for use in training new interpreters for the Chinatown Clinic. The interns also introduced the concept of culturally sensitive medical interpretation to Drexel’s undergraduate pre-health students in a patient interview setting. The goals were to expose them to the different cultures they may encounter as professionals and to help them become sensitive to cultural aspects of the medical interview. In addition to coordinating the weekly Chinatown Clinic, the interns also created linguistically and culturally appropriate health-education pamphlets on diabetes medication management and foot care, both of which were translated into Chinese and Bahasa (Indonesian). The interns also reorganized and cleaned the clinic. In doing so they developed a new way to store and retrieve 2,000 patient charts based on name and date of birth. They also took inventory of the pharmacy and were able to free up an additional examination room that was being used as storage. Henry noted, “The largest impact BTG CHIP has had on me was learning from the workshops/lectures that we attended on Wednesdays. I learned a great many things about dealing with people of different backgrounds, such as … new ways to analyze health characteristics of neighborhoods … and mapping techniques. A few of the lectures directly related to work at the Chinatown Clinic. … I think what I value most is bringing more awareness to my way of thinking.” Ashley said, “I feel very lucky that I could join BTG and have this opportunity to know so many health care peers, and together help vulnerable people. I really learned a lot from this internship program. The two most impressive things are team spirit and communication skills.” Daniel said, “The opportunity to interact directly with patients was profound and invaluable, especially for a health policy student like me. Imprinting the faces of those among us with health care needs deep into my heart will help me to remember how real and how personal these needs are. … Communication is a key to achieve true access to health care.” Christine reflected, “This BTG internship has been an amazing experience. I had a chance to experience the rewarding feeling of working in a community setting by facilitating access to health care. I learned a lot about communicating with patients and being culturally sensitive while translating.” Pauline commented, “I am more aware of the many challenges faced by immigrants. I also learned how to utilize the resources in an organization with limited funds.”

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Coming to America: The Journey of Refugee Resettlement

Student Intern(s):
Mary Ebueku-Smith, Drexel University College of Medicine
Ted Oswald, Earle Mack School of Law at Drexel University
Chii Yu Matthew Sun, Earle Mack School of Law at Drexel University
Rahab “Mo” Wahome, Drexel University, School of Public Health

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

Community Preceptor(s):
Victoria Harris
, BSW, Lutheran Children and Family Service, Refugee Resettlement Program
Kadrie Haxhiu, MD, Lutheran Children and Family Service, Refugee Resettlement Program

The Community Site: 
The Lutheran Children and Family Service (LCFS) Refugee Resettlement Program, located in West Philadelphia, provides housing assistance, health care access, educational programs, counseling and a variety of other immigration-related services for refugees and asylees. View Community Partner Web Site

Healthy People 2010:
Leading Health Indicators:  Access to Health Care; Physical Activity; Substance Abuse
Focus Areas:  Access to Quality Health Services; Educational and Community-Based Programs; Health Communication; Nutrition and Overweight; Public Health Infrastructure

The Project: 
Mary and Mo assisted the Refugee Resettlement Program staff in the resettling of new refugees. Prior to refugees’ arrival, the interns set up initial medical appointments so that health problems could be identified and treated once clients arrived in the United States. They also taught health education in the program’s English as a Second Language classes and conducted a survey of clients regarding their opinions about the program’s services. Matt and Ted worked in the Lutheran Children and Family Service Immigration Unit, assisting clients with a variety of immigration needs, including the filing of applications for green cards or travel documents and the provision of referrals to other local legal aid organizations. Ted said, “Working at LCFS has provided keen insight into the hardships involved in leaving one’s home country and resettling in the U.S. I’ve grown in my ability to empathize with my clients while expanding my base of professional knowledge.” Mary noted, “The BTG internship … has highlighted the importance of partnership and working in an interdisciplinary team with members from different professional backgrounds.” Mo noted, “The BTG internship experience has been more than a learning experience for me. I have gained an understanding of how to work collectively with practitioners of different disciplines in addressing diverse social and health issues. The disparities we face today cannot be solved in isolation. There is a need to collaborate among different professions if we are to make significant changes.” Matt said, “I learned many things about the refugee and asylum process, and was able to have client interaction. … Working with refugees is very rewarding, and the knowledge I gained over the summer will help me in my future legal career.”

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El Corazon de la Comunidad: Community-Based Literacy and Health Education

Student Intern(s):
Nicole Fuerst, University of Pennsylvania, School of Medicine
Rena Kreimer, University of Pennsylvania, School of Social Policy and Practice
Whitney Potter, Temple University, School of Medicine

Academic Preceptor(s):
Iris Reyes, MD, University of Pennsylvania, School of Medicine
Jeffrey Draine, PhD, MSW, University of Pennsylvania, School of Social Policy and Practice
Diane Butera, MSW, Temple University, School of Medicine

Community Preceptor(s):
Sister Maria Lauren Donahue, MSBT, Archdiocese of Philadelphia, South Philadelphia Latino Outreach Ministry
Allison Sprague, MSW, Victim/Witness Services of South Philadelphia

The Community Sites: 
The South Philadelphia Latino Outreach Ministry provides social services, education, spiritual guidance and advocacy opportunities to the Latino community in South Philadelphia. Victim/Witness Services of South Philadelphia (V/WSSP) offers assistance and support to crime victims, witnesses and their families. Puentes de Salud uses a public health model of health promotion, disease prevention and education to build community power and provide direct health services, such as a walk-in free clinic.

Healthy People 2010:
Leading Health Indicators:  Access to Health Care; Overweight and Obesity; Physical Activity
Focus Areas:  Access to Quality Health Services; Educational and Community-Based Programs; Health Communication; Heart Disease and Stroke; Maternal, Infant, and Child Health; Physical Activity and Fitness

The Project: Working with the Latino Outreach Ministry staff, Nikki, Rena and Whitney taught English classes for Spanish-speaking adults and planned and presented workshops for family-night events. The family-night sessions focused on family health and community strengths. Topics included cardiovascular health, children’s health (facilitated by a pediatrician), bike safety and domestic violence. The interns also were involved with the children’s summer camp. They helped with medical interpretation and created a resource guide for community members to facilitate access to medical, dental and mental health care. In addition, Rena collaborated with the staff at Victim/Witness Services of South Philadelphia and assisted with the immigrant outreach program. She also participated in court observation and worked on the evaluation design of the violence prevention program. On Thursdays, Nikki worked with the Puentes clinic and assisted with the peer-to-peer health promotion program and the provision of clinical services. Rena noted, “The summer experience of BTG gave me the opportunity to work on cross-disciplinary, cross-cultural and cross-lingual communication. It also allowed me to spend time in a community in Philadelphia with which I had no prior experience. … [It] helped me recognize the possibilities for the incorporation of the social work strategies and values not only in social services, but also in other arenas such as medical care and education.” Nikki said, “Through planning various family health nights, including talks on mental, dental and cardiovascular health, the BTG CHIP internship has shown me the multifaceted nature of community health and the importance of a holistic approach to community development encompassing education, wellness and recreation. This summer has opened my eyes to the extreme barriers that many immigrants face in accessing health care and has allowed me to advocate for those who cannot advocate for themselves.” Whitney said, “I learned about both resourcefulness and the value of dedicated people to organizations. The community group with which we worked has few resources. However, a mix of motivated people, relationships with other organizations and out-of-the-box thinking effectively support the community from many angles. This summer truly showed me that people can be anyone’s greatest resource, which I hope to remember when distracted by the lack of other physical or monetary resources.”

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Celebrating Healthy and Active Living

Student Intern(s):
Brandon Bosque, Temple University, School of Podiatric Medicine
Jeffrey Shuster, Temple University, School of Medicine
Ru-Huey Yen, Temple University, School of Medicine

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

Community Preceptor(s):
Beth Galinsky, Temple University, Center for Minority Health and Health Disparities

The Community Site: 
The Temple University Center for Minority Health and Health Disparities partners with a range of researchers and program administrators within the university and throughout the community. The goal of the center is to strengthen and coordinate a multilevel approach to eliminate health care disparities while improving the access to health care for underserved communities. View Community Partner Web Site

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

The Project: 
Brandon, Jeff and Ru-Huey had a dynamic, multidimensional experience working for the Center for Minority Health and Health Disparities (CMHHD). The interns worked with other Temple health professional students as well as with leaders and activists, known as Community Ambassadors, in North Philadelphia. These Ambassadors have committed time and expertise to further strengthen the relationship between Temple University and its North Philadelphia neighbors and to provide insight into the health and social issues that affect the community. Through the CMHHD, the interns worked on various projects and issues, such as building a sustainable clinic at Hope Ministries (a Kensington Church of Christ homeless refuge) and working to maintain the Sun Circle Community Beautification Garden. The culmination of the interns’ summer experience was a Youth Day in which 200 Philadelphia youth and interns from BTG sites came to Temple University Medical School to participate in active, fun, educational workshops. These included boxercise, community activism, eating healthfully and locally, health education, and encouragement to seek a career in health care. Brandon noted, “The Youth Day and other projects we worked on were a great lesson in teamwork and work ethic needed to achieve a goal that’s greater than the group as a whole. I hope to keep in touch and continuously propel the Center for Minority Health and Health Disparities in any way I can in the future.” Jeff commented that this internship beautifully melded interdisciplinary collaboration and community engagement. He added, “My summer colleagues were a phenomenal group of proactive, compassionate and community-minded young professionals. … Beyond our group of students, we had the pleasure of working with some of North Philadelphia’s greatest community leaders (the Community Ambassadors), who offered amazing insights and resources.” Ru-Huey reflected, “I was deeply touched by the passion for community service and activism that was evident in the Community Ambassadors, administrators and students I worked with this summer. Listening to personal stories about Philadelphia’s past, and learning about all the current work that is being done … and after a year of going to school in North Philadelphia, it’s only now, after my BTG experience, that I see all the beauty, historical significance, love, respect and potential that is in existence in the community.”

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Promoting Health Literacy in a North Philadelphia Community

Student Intern(s):
William Jens, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine Program
James Wilson, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine Program
Gregory Yugov, University of the Sciences in Philadelphia, Philadelphia College of Pharmacy

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):
Ronald Allen, Cambria Healthcare Center

The Community Site: 
The Cambria Healthcare Center, located in North Philadelphia, provides family medicine, gynecology, pediatrics, podiatry, dermatology, nephrology and rheumatology services, along with a pharmacy. In addition, the center provides health education and promotion activities to individuals and organizations in the community. 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; Educational and Community-Based Programs; Health Communication; Heart Disease and Stroke; Nutrition and Overweight

The Project: 
Will, James and Greg worked with the Cambria Healthcare Center to organize various events centered on the health of the local community. The interns provided classes and workshops covering topics such as heart health, diabetes, oral heath, literacy, cancer and nutrition to community organizations that had established links with the center, including Dobbins High School, Precious Babies Daycare and Deliverance Church. In addition, James and Greg provided patients with information on prescription drugs and facilitated the Reach Out and Read program, distributing books and reading to children in the waiting room. They also organized a short series of seminars for the surrounding community on topics ranging from mental health to weight loss and nutrition. James said, “Seeing the Wednesday speakers was an opportunity I wouldn’t have gotten most places. The diverse topics included interesting and useful material from researchers, community health workers and civic leaders. Building projects from the ground up at our site gave me clearer perspective on the complexity of most community health issues.” Will said, “BTG taught me a lot about the different cultures my patients will be coming from and how it affects their health. I feel that learning about my patients’ communities will really help me. … This program also taught me just how difficult organizing community activities can be.” Greg said, “BTG allowed me to expand my view of health care by interacting with people of different health care professions, both at my community site and at Wednesday educational sessions. When I now deal with patients, I will not just assess their medication therapy needs, but I will also consider the bigger picture of their overall health.”

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Assessing Access: Ensuring Quality Health Care Service for the LGBT Community

Student Intern(s):
Wendy Dalton, Thomas Jefferson University, Jefferson School of Nursing
Lael Greenstein, Thomas Jefferson University, Jefferson Medical College

Academic Preceptor(s):
Robert Winn, MD, AAHIVMS, Thomas Jefferson University, Jefferson Medical College

Community Preceptor(s):
Virginia Austin, Mazzoni Center, Community Health Center

The Community Site: 
The Mazzoni Family and Community Health Center, located in Center City Philadelphia, provides compassionate, comprehensive primary health care services focusing on the needs of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals. View Community Partner Web Site

Healthy People 2010:
Leading Health Indicators:  Access to Health Care; Environmental Quality; Responsible Sexual Behavior
Focus Areas:  Access to Quality Health Services; HIV; Sexually Transmitted Diseases; Immunization and Infectious Disease, Health Communication

The Project: 
Wendy and Lael assisted the Mazzoni Center staff in several projects to improve and standardize the care provided to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) patients at the Community Health Center. The interns performed an intensive patient satisfaction survey of 120 patients, asking questions pertaining to all aspects of their experience at the Mazzoni Center, and generated a report that was presented to the medical director and practice manager of the Health Center. The information was gathered to help Mazzoni staff identify and focus on areas where they could improve their service and patient care, and to ensure that Mazzoni met the specific needs of the LGBT population. The information will also be included in the agency’s annual report and presented to the board of directors. In addition, Wendy and Lael created a patient-focused pamphlet specific to Mazzoni Health Center for the purpose of helping patients learn about its services and policies. Lael noted, “Every day I spend at the Mazzoni Center pushes me to challenge stereotypes and learned concepts of gender and what it means to be fully open-minded. The Mazzoni Center has contributed far more to my education as a medical student and as an individual than I contributed this summer to its success as an organization.” Wendy commented, “My internship at the Mazzoni Center has provided me with a great experience working at a community clinic and realizing that there are specific needs in the LGBT community. This experience has helped mold me to become the nurse that I need to be.”

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Promoting Healthy Lifestyles Within a Day Program for Homeless Veterans

Student Intern(s):
Waleed Abdul-Badee, University of the Sciences in Philadelphia, Mayes College of Health Policy, Master’s in Public Health Program
Kevin J. McCahan, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine Program

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):
Angela Libby, MA, Philadelphia Veterans Multi-Service and Education Center, Perimeter Day Program

The Community Site: 
The Philadelphia Veterans Multi-Service and Education Center, located in Center City, is dedicated to assisting our nation’s honorably discharged veterans. The center’s mission is to provide employment, training, related educational services, social and human services counseling, and referrals to less fortunate veterans experiencing barriers in finding their way back into the mainstream of society. View Community Partner Web Site

Healthy People 2010:
Leading Health Indicators:  Access to Healthcare; Substance Abuse; Physical Activity
Focus Areas:  Access to Quality Health Services; Diabetes; Educational and Community-Based Programs; Nutrition and Overweight; Oral Health

The Project: 
Kevin and Waleed’s project centered on a series of educational discussions with the veterans at the Philadelphia Veterans Multi-Service and Education Center. The weekly health topics included a heart-healthy lifestyle, oral health and hygiene. Some of the leading health indicators for Healthy People 2010 were incorporated into these sessions, along with other information relevant for the veterans. The interns also worked to integrate recreational activities that promoted physical wellness and social interaction into the sessions. These included chess and spades card game tournaments, and trips to the Philadelphia African American Museum and the Philadelphia Art Museum. Kevin said, “The BTG internship has truly been an amazing experience. It has given me the opportunity to work with and understand the daily struggles of many disadvantaged populations. It was particularly eye-opening to work with homeless veterans of the U.S. military. The time spent serving and working with the homeless veterans was extremely fulfilling.” Waleed noted, “When I first started BTG, I was not aware of what to expect. I don’t think there were many things that could have prepared me for the broad range of people, experiences and challenges that I faced throughout the seven weeks. … The veterans showed me that homelessness is a vulnerability to which we are all susceptible; as such, it is a challenge we should all address collectively. Ultimately, what I gained from the experience is that homelessness does not equal helplessness.”

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Strengthening Community Engagement: Evaluating Barriers to Care at Philadelphia FIGHT

Student Intern(s):
Jungmin Allison Cho, University of Pennsylvania, School of Dental Medicine
Julia Gotlieb, Bryn Mawr College, Graduate School of Social Work and Social Research
Andrew J. Migliaccio, University of Pennsylvania, School of Medicine
Casey Roeder, Thomas Jefferson University, Jefferson Medical College

Academic Preceptor(s):
Joan I. Gluch, PhD, RDH, University of Pennsylvania, School of Dental Medicine
Helen Koenig, MD, University of Pennsylvania, School of Medicine
Maria Hervada-Page, MSS, Thomas Jefferson University, Jefferson Medical College

Community Preceptor(s): 
Terry Trudeau, MEd, Philadelphia FIGHT

The Community Site: 
Philadelphia FIGHT is a comprehensive AIDS service organization providing primary care, consumer education, advocacy, and research on potential treatments and vaccines. FIGHT was formed as a partnership of individuals living with HIV/AIDS and clinicians, who joined together to improve the lives of people living with the disease. View Community Partner Web Site

Healthy People 2010:
Leading Health Indicators:  Mental Health; Responsible Sexual Behavior; Substance Abuse
Focus Areas:  Educational and Community-Based Programs; HIV; Mental Health and Mental Disorders; Public Health Infrastructure; Substance Abuse

The Project: 
Allison, Julia, Andrew and Casey developed several strategies to elicit client feedback regarding various services available at FIGHT. A Committee on the Evaluation of Client Services (CECS) was established by gathering nominations, screening potential candidates and offering membership to those committed to providing feedback for the improvement of services. The interns also conducted phone surveys with patients of the Lax Center as part of a long-term project to determine whether this additional communication changes adherence to follow-up appointments and treatment. In addition, the interns created a poster to inform patients of annual tests and screenings that are important for maintaining health. Julia noted, “Interning at Philadelphia FIGHT has been a rewarding experience. Listening to patients’ and clients’ personal accounts of living with HIV/AIDS has shown me such strong examples of wisdom and resiliency. It has been an honor to work with FIGHT.” Andrew commented, “My internship at FIGHT has afforded me the rare opportunity to listen to the incredible and inspiring stories of people whose lives have been impacted by HIV/AIDS. I have also been fortunate to learn about and witness firsthand the dedication, compassion and tireless energy with which the leaders of this organization fight for health and social justice on behalf of their clients and their community as a whole. This experience is one that will undoubtedly shape my future work both as a physician and patient advocate.” Allison said, “I was able to learn about various aspects of HIV/AIDS and its impact on individuals, society and the world. I was also greatly impressed by the members of our community who passionately work towards improving the health care delivery and social perception of this disease.” Casey said, “Spending seven weeks with an organization as well established and storied as Philadelphia FIGHT began as, and in many ways remains, an intimidating experience. … We as interns played a very small role in the overall mission of the organization, but consistently felt part of something invaluable. So much more goes into health care than visits to the clinic, and FIGHT understands and applies this comprehensive approach with inspiring relish.”

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Toward an Engaged Campus: Assessing Temple’s Community-Based Curriculum and Outreach in North Philadelphia

Student Intern(s):
Devin Oller, Temple University, School of Medicine

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

Community Preceptor(s):
Michael Norton, Temple University, Community Learning Network

The Community Site:
The Temple University Community Learning Network is a university-wide initiative created to advance and support civic engagement in learning and research in academic programs. It also serves as a central resource for local community groups seeking partnerships with Temple University. View Community Partner Web Site

Healthy People 2010:
Leading Health Indicators:  Access to Health Care; Environmental Quality; Overweight and Obesity
Focus Areas:  Educational and Community-Based Programs; Environmental Health; Health Communication; Maternal, Infant, and Child Health; Public Health Infrastructure

The Project: 
Devin worked with the Community Learning Network staff on a variety of projects. Through a series of one-to-one interviews, department surveys and community discussions, Devin created a picture of Temple’s ongoing service efforts in North Philadelphia, which are complex and imperfect, but ultimately ambitious in their mission and scope. Recording community members’ ideas about service and detailing the outreach projects of Temple faculty and students allowed Devin to prepare an accreditation application to the Carnegie Foundation that will certify the university as an Engaged Campus. Devin assisted in creating an interactive Health Sciences Student Service Map and a report on the community-based learning courses and outreach projects of the College of Health Sciences and Social Work. Devin said, “A common fallacy in the institutional coordination of community-based learning and outreach is the idea that assessment is a substitute for communication.”

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Skills to Ad-MYER: Health and Safety Education in a Day Camp Setting

Student Intern(s):
Julie Bharucha
, University of Pennsylvania, School of Dental Medicine
Benjamin Goodrum, University of Pennsylvania, School of Nursing
Joshua Kiss, University of Pennsylvania, School of Medicine

Academic Preceptor(s):
Joan I. Gluch, PhD, RDH, University of Pennsylvania, School of Dental Medicine
Ann L. O’Sullivan, PhD, FAAN, CRNP, University of Pennsylvania, School of Nursing
Noel Rosales, MD, University of Pennsylvania, School of Medicine

Community Preceptor(s):
Lorraine Thomas, Family Practice and Counseling Network, The Health Annex
Sharon McCollum, Family Practice and Counseling Network, The Health Annex

The Community Site: 
The Health Annex, a Family Practice and Counseling Network program, provides primary medical, dental, behavioral health and prenatal care, as well as social services to members of the Southwest Philadelphia community. The Francis J. Myers Recreation Center in Southwest Philadelphia provides a summer day camp for community children aged 2 to 17 and after school services throughout the year. View Community Partner Web Site

Healthy People 2010:
Leading Health Indicators:  Injury and Violence; Responsible Sexual Behavior; Tobacco Use
Focus Areas:  Family Planning; Immunization and Infectious Diseases; Injury and Violence Prevention; Oral Health; Sexually Transmitted Diseases

The Project: 
During the first few weeks of the summer, Josh, Ben and Julie worked with the outreach team at the Health Annex to plan and organize the annual Southwest Family Day Festival Health and Safety Fair and March for Peace. This event brings health resources, health education and access to providers to the Southwest Philadelphia community. A community march against violence was a new element added to the fair and festivities this year. For the majority of the summer, Josh, Ben and Julie worked at the Francis J. Myers Recreation Center Summer Day Camp. Using interactive songs, games, projects and lessons, the interns provided health education for children aged 2 to 17. The sessions covered diverse subjects including nutrition, smoking and substance abuse, oral health, safety and injury prevention, cardiovascular health, bullying and conflict resolution, sexual health, hygiene, and a number of science topics. Josh noted, “I learned a great deal about a community very different than my own, was inspired to ask questions, and gained insight into the effect a background of poverty, drugs, and violence can have on a community and on individuals. … In the setting of adorable and surprisingly engaged children, I have been forced to be independent, self-motivated, resourceful, flexible and creative in order to reach kids of very diverse ages and abilities. It has been truly exciting to see what lessons have taken hold and what concepts have inspired them.” Julie said, “I participated in the BTG Program to learn about the community that will be my home for the next three years. It surpassed all of my expectations and has given me perspective about my community, education and the opportunities that are available for myself and others. Teaching the students has given us a better sense of the community we are working for and provides us with the confidence and inspiration to come to the recreation center each day and make as much of a difference in these students’ lives as we can.” Ben reflected, “How will we measure our success when all is said and done? If we were able to adapt our goals to the needs of the children, I’ll know we did something right. If the campers felt that someone besides the people closest to them cares about their well-being, we did something right. If the campers felt even an iota of the satisfaction that we did … I believe that we did something right. If I learned how to be a better listener and empowered youth to take care of themselves, I’ll know that time was well spent.”

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Oral Health Project

Student Intern(s):
Laura Kessler, University of Pennsylvania, School of Social Policy and Practice
Rayna Strong, 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):
Afua “Effie” Richardson, DDS, Family Practice and Counseling Network, The Health Annex Dental Department

The Community Site: 
The Health Annex, part of the Family Practice and Counseling Network, provides primary, dental and behavioral health care, prenatal care and social services. The dental department provides quality dental care and a dental home to the Southwest Philadelphia community. View Community Partner Web Site

Healthy People 2010:
Leading Health Indicators:  Access to Health Care; Overweight and Obesity; Tobacco Use
Focus Areas:  Diabetes; Educational and Community-Based Programs; Health Communication; Maternal, Infant and Child Health; Oral Health

The Project: 
Laura and Rayna worked with staff of the Health Annex Dental Office to assess the community’s oral health needs and create appropriate activities to address these needs. A survey was distributed to the clients of the Health Annex in order to identify patients’ needs, resources and learning styles. The interns used the results to create brochures tailored to the community’s needs. Due to the high incidence of diabetes and oral health complications in the community, the first brochure focused on diabetes and oral health. Laura and Rayna also attended a weekly group for newly diagnosed diabetes clients where oral health issues were discussed along with other facets of living with diabetes. The second brochure gave parents and guardians relevant information about promoting children’s oral health. In addition, Rayna and Laura helped facilitate a prenatal group that covered oral health specifically related to infants. They also provided oral health education at the Southwest Philadelphia Family Day Festival. Laura said, “This project has been informative for me as a social work student to gain an understanding of oral health issues, particularly in the Southwest Philadelphia community. … This experience has further shaped my development as a social worker and has strengthened my conviction that working in health care settings in a non-medical capacity has value.” Rayna noted, “The combined expertise of a social worker and dental student was perfect for this project. A seemingly simple task like creating oral health pamphlets became a multifaceted project in which we faced challenges of community assessment and health communication strategies. After working at the Health Annex Dental Office as part of a holistic community health center, I truly understand the value and necessity of an interdisciplinary approach to community health.”

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O.U.T.R.E.A.C.H.: Organizing Unique and Trusting Relationships to Educate About Community Health

Student Intern(s):
Jennifer Hillman, University of Pennsylvania, School of Medicine
Jeremy Olen, University of Pennsylvania, School of Dental Medicine

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

Community Preceptor(s):
Gillian Bazelon, PhD, Sayre Health Center

The Community Site: 
The Sayre Health Center (SHC) provides clinical services to residents of the surrounding community and educational opportunities for high school, undergraduate and graduate students. The SHC is a cooperative effort of the University of Pennsylvania, Sayre High School (located at 58th and Walnut Streets) and the West Philadelphia community surrounding the school, including students and their families, and other community members of all ages. View Community Partner Web Site

Healthy People 2010:
Leading Health Indicators:  Access to Health Care; Mental Health; Responsible Sexual Behavior
Focus Areas:  Access to Quality Health Services; Educational and Community-Based Programs; Maternal, Infant and Child Health; Mental Health and Mental Disorders; Oral Health

The Project: 
Jen and Jeremy worked with Sayre Health Center (SHC) staff to create and implement a groundbreaking outreach initiative to foster health promotion and perform an informal health needs assessment. Working with high school and post-baccalaureate students, the interns canvassed a two-block radius around the health center to speak with residents about health care issues and listen to ideas on how to create a more cohesive community. Jen and Jeremy also identified a patient base with oral needs and developed parenting and adult education classes. To address mental health issues, Jen and Jeremy facilitated a lunchtime book club discussion of Steve Lopez’s book “The Soloist” with all interns, physicians and staff. Jen also spent one day a week at Dr. Ludmir’s Pennsylvania Hospital clinic, where she explored Latina perceptions of prenatal diagnosis and the impact of these perceptions on medical decision making. Jeremy said, “The undertaking of the Sayre Health Center’s projects and goals has given me an opportunity to enhance my communication skills and open my eyes to the health needs of West Philadelphia. It has helped me with talking to residents of the community in a ‘doctor-patient relationship’ way that will certainly benefit me in my professional career. The outreach initiative showed me many health issues that residents of the community have and educated me on how to prevent them.” Jen reflected, “My BTG experience provided the integrated hands-on experience I needed to truly understand community health. … I was fortunate to spend one afternoon a week in clinic with Dr. Ludmir. The time I spent at this clinic was invaluable to my education in learning about the Latina maternal community as well as cultural aspects to medical decision making. I don’t think there was a better way to round out my first year of medical school than with my BTG summer experience.”

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St. Columba’s, a Project H.O.M.E. Community: Empowering Men by Recognizing Human Dignity and Providing Opportunity

Student Intern(s):            
Christopher Miller, Temple University, School of Medicine
Richard Miller, Temple University, Kornberg School of Dentistry

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

Community Preceptor(s):
Sarah Erdo, Project H.O.M.E., St. Columba’s Safe Haven

The Community Site: 
St. Columba’s, a component program of Project H.O.M.E.’s continuum of services, is located in West Philadelphia and serves chronically homeless men who also suffer from serious mental illnesses and some co-occurring drug use disorders. The smaller size of this 25-resident safe haven sets it apart from larger shelters and encourages a sense of community among residents and case managers that helps to fight the degradation and isolation associated with homelessness. View Community Partner Web Site

Healthy People 2010:           
Leading Health Indicators:  Mental Health; Substance Abuse; Access to Health Care
Focus Areas:  Mental Health and Mental Disorders; Substance Abuse; Access to Quality Health Services; Disability and Secondary Conditions; Educational and Community-Based Programs

The Project: 
In keeping with the safe-haven vision and mission, Chris and Rich worked to build relationships that allowed them to recognize the individual needs and goals of each resident of St. Columba’s. This philosophy led the interns to use simple and powerful methods: playing games, sharing stories and listening. Other tasks included providing preventive dentistry supplies and educational materials, familiarizing residents with the available local library resources, providing transportation to health and fitness centers, and helping staff with day-to-day operations. Chris commented, “I am grateful for the opportunities St. Columba’s provided to get to know members of the homeless community. These personal connections allowed me to move past the negative societal stereotypes regarding this marginalized population.” Rich noted, “This summer has greatly changed my perspective of what homelessness truly is. … I am sincerely thankful for the opportunity this program has provided me and for the greater respect and understanding it has given me for those living in poverty.”

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Kairos House

Student Intern(s):
Elisheva Niedelman, Temple University, Kornberg School of Dentistry
Nithya Chalikonda, Temple University, Kornberg School of Dentistry

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

Community Preceptor(s):
Carolyn Crouch, MBA, Project H.O.M.E., Kairos House

The Community Site: 
Kairos House, a component program of Project H.O.M.E.’s continuum of services, is a progressive-demand residence for men and women with a primary diagnosis of mental illness. The goal of this transitional housing program is to help and encourage residents to eventually move to more independent housing. Kairos House’s around-the-clock staff support includes case management, medication monitoring, financial management assistance and recreational activities. 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; Diabetes; Disability and Secondary Conditions; Mental Health and Mental Disorders; Nutrition and Overweight

The Project: 
Nithya and Elisheva worked with the staff at Kairos House to help the residents with their daily activities and medical needs. The interns assisted the residents in scheduling doctor’s appointments and applying for health insurance and welfare benefits, and served as advocates by accompanying residents to appointments. Nithya and Elisheva also helped residents apply for housing, and organized tours of various facilities where the residents could see firsthand what it would be like to be on their own. The interns also served as resources for the residents, providing information and answering health-related questions or just providing companionship during downtime. Aside from serving the residents’ needs, Nithya and Elisheva also helped the case managers and staff with research and logistics and collected statistical data regarding medications and their distribution at Kairos House. Elisheva reflected, “Working at Kairos House with a population with physical as well as severe mental disabilities has exposed me to a world that was virtually unknown to me. Professionally I have become more aware of the needs of a population which I will be serving in the future. … Emotionally, this experience taught me to appreciate the beauty in all beings and how things which we take for granted are in reality immeasurable blessings.” Nithya commented, “Having the opportunity to work at Kairos House has opened my eyes to the issues of homelessness and access to health care. … These past seven weeks have allowed me to assist, befriend and advocate for some wonderful and inspiring people, and I have gained knowledge and insight.”

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Summer at a Safe Haven

Student Intern(s):
Jessica Majewski, Temple University, School of Medicine
Joanna Ferrari, Temple University, School of Health Professions, Department of Nursing

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

Community Preceptor(s):
Robin Bonfield, MSW, Project H.O.M.E., Women of Change

The Community Site: 
Women of Change, a component program of Project H.O.M.E.’s continuum of services, is a 25-bed safe haven in Center City Philadelphia for homeless women with mental illness. It is an alternative to traditional city shelters for women who are chronically homeless or have health problems that require more assistance. The women are given three meals a day and have social workers who encourage them and help them with their daily tasks. View Community Partner Web Site

Healthy People 2010:
Leading Health Indicators:  Access to Health Care; Mental Health; Substance Abuse
Focus Areas:  Access to Quality Health Services; Disability and Secondary Conditions; Mental Health and Mental Disorders; Public Health Infrastructure; Substance Abuse

The Project: 
Jess and Joanna assisted Women of Change staff with a variety of tasks. The interns helped to prepare and serve meals, escorted residents to appointments, acted as advocates when necessary, helped residents to obtain photo ID, and provided recreational activities and tutoring services. The interns also spent time talking with residents, listening to their stories and engaging them in conversation. Joanna noted, “Professionally, I was able to work with the medically underserved population of the chronically homeless as well as those living with mental illness. By attending various appointments I was able to witness the barriers to medical care and ways it may be improved. The ability to work side by side with a medical student also offered a different perspective for the situations that arose.” Jessica said, “I entered the BTG internship with so many ideas for activities and health seminars, and when I actually arrived, I found the importance of flexibility in a setting where plans and deadlines simply do not fit. I also came to realize how important honest communication is for people coming directly off the street: Before we were able to assist with anything we had to establish trusting relationships and show that we would be there on a consistent basis.”

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Are You Ready?

Student Intern(s):
Rebecca Wetzler, University of Pennsylvania, School of Design

Academic Preceptor(s):
Amy Hillier, PhD, University of Pennsylvania, School of Design

Community Preceptor(s):
Chad Thomas, MPH, Philadelphia Department of Public Health, Bioterrorism and Public Health Preparedness Program

The Community Site: 
The Philadelphia Department of Public Health (PDPH) Bioterrorism and Public Health Preparedness Outreach Program focuses on efforts to incorporate vulnerable populations and community engagement in emergency planning. View Community Partner Web Site

Healthy People 2010:
Leading Health Indicators:  Access to Health Care; Immunizations; Mental Health; Obesity
Focus Areas:  Access to Quality Health Services; Diabetes; Disability and Secondary Conditions; Health Communication; Public Health Infrastructure

The Project: 
Over the course of seven weeks, Rebecca worked with the Philadelphia Department of Public Health (PDPH) Bioterrorism and Public Health Preparedness Outreach Program and community-based organizations (CBOs) in the Philadelphia area. Rebecca interviewed the CBOs to identify the functional needs their communities might have in an emergency, and then she used that information to tailor preparedness training to address the community-specific emergency preparedness needs. The CBOs were varied, including the Association for the Blind, the Philadelphia Senior Center-Tioga Branch, the Nicetown Community Development Corporation, Muhammad Mosque #12 and many others. Rebecca commented, “Though the CBOs were diverse, almost all listed diabetes as one of the prominent illnesses affecting their populations. The best emergency planning for these communities consists of preventing vulnerability at the outset. I am amazed at the need for city planning in terms of fresh and affordable produce and public space access. I’m also inspired by the extent that the PDPH is inclusively planning for disasters.”

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Patient Assistance Program

Student Intern(s):
Jennifer Awakuni, Drexel University, School of Public Health
Richard Beckett, Thomas Jefferson University, Jefferson School of Nursing
Adjoa Boateng, Drexel University, School of Public Health
Gloria Espinosa, Temple University, School of Pharmacy
Xiao Linda Kang, University of Pennsylvania, School of Nursing
Lukman Lawal, Drexel University, School of Public Health
Ngoc Thien Nguyen, Drexel University, School of Public Health
Cymara Tolbert, Drexel University, School of Public Health

Academic Preceptor(s):
Dianne Butera, MSW, Temple University, School of Medicine
Neal Handly, MD, Drexel University College of Medicine
Ann L. O’Sullivan, PhD, FAAN, CRNP, University of Pennsylvania, School of Nursing
Molly Rose, PhD, CRNP, RN, Thomas Jefferson University, Jefferson School of Nursing

Community Preceptor(s):
Sara Enes, MSW, Philadelphia Department of Public Health

The Community Site: 
The Philadelphia Department of Public Health operates eight health centers located in neighborhoods throughout the city. It is the mission of the health centers to provide high-quality, comprehensive health care to all Philadelphians, regardless of their insurance status. The services provided by the health centers include primary and preventive care for adults and children, along with key public health services. The Philadelphia Department of Public Health aims to protect and promote the health of all Philadelphians through the delivery of services at the health centers. View Community Partner Web Site

Healthy People 2010:
Leading Health Indicators:  Access to Health Care; Overweight and Obesity; Mental Health
Focus Areas:  Access to Quality Health Services; Diabetes; Heart Disease and Stroke; Public Health Infrastructure; Respiratory Diseases

The Project: 
A BTG intern was assigned to each of the eight Department of Public Health’s Community Health Centers to work in the Patient Assistance Program (PAP) office. The demographics and work environment at the centers differed, but the role of the BTG interns and the PAP process was the same for all. Patients are referred to PAP when doctors prescribe a medicine that is not available in the health center pharmacies. The patient advocate then helps the patient complete an application for the medication. Documentation for each pharmaceutical company application varies, but most often a proof of income is required to start the application process. After an application is submitted, the patient advocate tracks its status and makes phone calls or sends follow-up letters when needed. When medications arrive at the PAP office they must be tracked and properly distributed. Jennifer commented, “This experience was very rewarding. Witnessing the gratitude that patients have when you are able to give them the medications that they depend on is unlike any other experience that I’ve had thus far. It has made me realize the challenges that individuals, even those with insurance, face, and has motivated me to brainstorm ways in which I can help with my public health degree.” Richard said, “The BTG program was enlightening for me. The problems with the facilitation of health care in the city of Philadelphia became very clear. It was a great experience. It will help me be more empathetic and mindful of the lives of people that I come into contact with in my career as a health professional. The people that I have had a chance to meet and lives that this program touches are great in number.” Adjoa said, “Working at Strawberry Mansion elucidated how a true advocate has an understanding of patients beyond their illness. It has been very rewarding to develop relationships with the patients and gain their trust by assisting them with prescription programs. I’ve truly enjoyed getting to know pieces of their upbringings, histories and families.” Gloria commented, “BTG gave me the opportunity to interact with patients to ensure they received medications they would otherwise not have access to. Talking to the patients and working with the doctors has been an exciting experience that would not have happened during the school year.” Linda said, “This experience has taught me how to interact with patients and other health care professionals in a community setting and gave me a deeper understanding of the challenges the people in the community face every day. The program also has helped me to be more organized and appreciate the little details that make the difference in people’s lives.” Lukman noted, “It provided me an opportunity to learn about issues in far greater perspective than I could have ever hoped to understand within the confines of a classroom. In fact, I can’t imagine myself without BTG and the PAP experience.” Ngoc commented, “Working with the PAP has exposed me to dedicated professionals who are completely invested in the health of their patients. Although there have been overwhelming and frustrating moments, it is worth it to hear patients express their gratitude for our services.” Cymara said, “BTG provided me with the opportunity to have a more hands-on experience in my future field. It also gave me a broader view of the many aspects that make up public health. BTG gave me a chance to give back to my community, and I truly enjoyed my summer!”

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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
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