BTG Hope

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

Philadelphia Consortium Projects

Adolescents & Young Adults

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Impact of HIV on Teens in the Allegheny West Community

Student Interns:
Vanessa Cardenas, Temple University, School of Podiatric Medicine
Sara Clements, Temple University, College of Health Professions and Social Work, Department of Occupational Therapy
Courtney Dominic, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine Program
Hussein Nasser, Temple University, School of Medicine
Kimberly Rarick, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine Program

Academic Preceptors:
Dianne Butera, MSW, Temple University, School of Medicine
Eugene Mochan, PhD, DO, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine

Community Preceptors:
Melanie Palmer, Allegheny West Foundation
Robin Torrence, MEd, Allegheny West Foundation

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

Bridging the Gaps Focus Areas Adopted From HP2010 and HP2020:
Access to Health Care; Health Communication; Heart Disease and Stroke; Physical Activity and Fitness; Responsible Sexual Behavior; Substance Abuse

The Project:
Courtney, Hussein, Kimberly, Sara and Vanessa worked with the Allegheny West Foundation in the Work Ready Program on a project that focused on the impact of HIV on teens in the community and in the Philadelphia area. Over a four-week period, the adolescents contributed to an informative pamphlet on HIV to be distributed in their communities. A group of 80 students who participated in this program were divided into four groups, with each group contributing a different topic to the pamphlet. Topics included general HIV background information, prevalence by Philadelphia zip code, the impact of HIV on teens, and testing and treatment centers. Each group assigned a leader, recorder and researcher to promote teamwork. The students also worked on their public speaking skills as they presented their final pamphlet to their peers, family and community. In addition to the HIV lessons, the students also participated in cardiovascular and oral health lessons as well as trips to the Franklin Institute, the Mütter Museum and Adventure Aquarium. Courtney said, “When I started working at the AWF I expected to learn how to work with adolescents, but by the end of the program, I also learned the importance of working as a team, as I had the opportunity to work with a staff and a diverse group of future health care professionals. I was constantly impressed by the level of engagement, creativity and curiosity of the youth, and I will never forget their stories.” Hussein commented, “Working with the AWF gave me a better understanding of community dynamics in the North Philadelphia region. Communicating health issues most relevant to the adolescents we worked with allowed me to engage with the students at our site, an experience I found both enjoyable and moving. Serving as a mediator of information to the students, I learned of the difficulty and reward of being an effective teacher and advocate of health care practices.” Kimberly stated, “As I started at AWF I had no idea the type of impact that it would have on me. I gained invaluable knowledge about the different challenges teenagers face in their communities, schools and personal lives. It was exciting to learn about their plans for college and see their determined attitude to become successful. The lessons I have learned while being a mentor and teacher to these students will be invaluable in my future practice of medicine, and I am truly thankful for that.” Sara noted, “The experience at AWF has made me aware that communication and teamwork among disciplines and site staff is the only way to accomplish tasks and reach goals. … Overall, it was exciting to hear the detailed plans some of the students had for their future regardless of their background stories.” Vanessa commented, “The impact that BTG CHIP has had in my personal and professional life has been profound. I have learned to appreciate the art of working with and for the community. I have learned the importance of dedicating my time to the growth of future generations by teaching them what I know and learning together every step of the way. Working in the AWF has taught me to have patience and develop a sense of working with the resources that are available to me.”

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“Workin’ It!” – The Attic Youth Center Work Ready Program

Student Interns:
Stacy Cooper, Drexel University, College of Nursing and Health Professions, Creative Arts in Therapy
Katelyn Inman, Drexel University, School of Public Health

Academic Preceptor:
Anthony Rodriguez, MD, Drexel University College of Medicine

Community Preceptor:
Jacinto J. Grant, MSW, The Attic Youth Center

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

Bridging the Gaps Focus Areas Adopted From HP2010 and HP2020:
HIV; Mental Health; Preparedness; Physical Activity and Fitness; Responsible Sexual Behavior

The Project:
Stacy and Katelyn worked as group facilitators for the Summer Work Ready Program at The Attic Youth Center. As facilitators, they worked with several Attic employees to lead group activities for the youth. The summer was centered on a driving question: “How can we, as LGBTQ youth and youth allies, be more visible in our schools and communities so that we can support each other and create safer and more inclusive environments?” Each youth member participated in group activities from noon until 5 p.m. throughout the summer that were tailored to this issue in some way. Stacy worked in the Mural Arts group on Mondays, the Vision to Life on Tuesdays and the Fashion for Action group on Thursdays. Katelyn worked in the Research group on Mondays and the Public Performance group on Tuesdays and Thursdays. On Fridays, Stacy and Katelyn were both present at the center for drop-in hours, during which various youth from the community came to hang out together. This gave both of the interns an opportunity to really connect with both the staff and youth members of the center. Stacy stated, “Working at The Attic was a rewarding and educational experience. The youth and staff have taught me a lot about gay culture in Philadelphia. The Attic allowed me to observe how creative, unique and resilient the youth can be despite society’s challenges, and ways that the community can support this population. I have met some of the most brilliant people over the summer, and they have taught me life lessons that I will carry with me in both my professional and personal life.” Katelyn commented, “I came to The Attic ready to bring my skills to the table to help inspire the lives of the youth throughout the summer. As the weeks flew by, I began to realize that they were the ones impacting my summer and ultimately my life in so many ways. I have been able to observe and interact with these individuals on a day-to-day basis, which has allowed me to gain a greater understanding of the gay community in Philadelphia.”

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Fruitful Education of Southwest Philadelphia’s Youth

Student Interns:
Alison Jaworski, University of Pennsylvania, Perelman School of Medicine
Katherine Miller, Thomas Jefferson University, Jefferson Medical College

Academic Preceptors:
Maria Hervada-Page, MSS, Thomas Jefferson University, Jefferson Medical College
Anthony Rostain, MD, MA, University of Pennsylvania, Perelman School of Medicine

Community Preceptor:
Anthony Singleton, John Bartram High School, Summer Bridge Program

The Community Site:
John Bartram High School, located in Southwest Philadelphia, provides a Summer Bridge Program for incoming ninth-grade students. This program incorporates information about healthy lifestyles and wellness education into the curriculum. View Community Partner Web Site

Bridging the Gaps Focus Areas Adopted From HP2010 and HP2020:
Chronic Disease (Diabetes, Kidney Disease, Respiratory Diseases, etc.); Heart Disease and Stroke; Nutrition and Weight Status; Tobacco Use

The Project:
At John Bartram High School, Alison and Katherine assisted the staff in planning and instruction of the Summer Bridge Program, catering to the incoming freshman class. This program focused on healthy lifestyles, with particular attention to nutrition and exercise. The interns led short sessions each morning that focused on topics such as diabetes, heart disease and how to eat healthfully. They also assisted in running afternoon project learning sessions such as cooking healthy alternatives, exercising and creating a cookbook. “This summer opened my eyes to the true challenges that people face in trying to eat healthy,” Alison said. “Whether it be the expensive cost of better food, a culture that embraces soda and fast food, or a lack of understanding of how diet affects the body, the social factors that influence nutritional status are astounding. Although one can read about such challenges and talk about them in an academic setting, seeing them play out in the students we taught gave me a much deeper understanding—one which I will take with me in my future career in medicine.” Katherine noted, “My time at Bartram has been truly enlightening in terms of the barriers that adolescents face, not only in the tumultuous task of growing up, but also in achieving a healthy lifestyle. … This summer has provided a necessary, albeit brief, glimpse into this dangerous paradox faced by Philadelphia’s youth. As I continue with my education and work towards promoting health extending across all communities, I will reflect fondly on the invaluable time I spent with these amazing individuals, the true keepers of our society’s future.”

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Healing Hurt People: A Trauma-Informed Approach to Violence

Student Intern:
Dominique R. Cross, Drexel University, School of Public Health

Academic Preceptor:
Rashida T. West, JD, Earle Mack School of Law at Drexel University

Community Preceptors:
Theodore Corbin, MD, MPP, Center for Non-Violence and Social Justice
Linda Rich, MA, Center for Non-Violence and Social Justice

The Community Site:
The Healing Hurt People (HHP) Program, located at Hahnemann University Hospital and St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children, is a trauma-informed, hospital-based violence intervention program. It is designed to intervene in the lives of injured patients after a violent and often life-changing moment. HHP is a community-focused program that seeks to reduce violence among individuals aged 8 to 30 through immediate and relevant opportunities for healing and connection. View Community Partner Web Site

Bridging the Gaps Focus Areas Adopted From HP2010 and HP2020:
Access to Health Care; Disabilities and Secondary Conditions; Injury and Violence Prevention; Mental Health; Preparedness

The Project:
Dominique worked with the staff of the Healing Hurt People (HHP) Program in both client-based and resource-based capacities. She accompanied the community intervention specialists to home visits, court dates, client appointments and weekly psycho-educational groups. She also linked clients to necessary resources, helped them apply for jobs, and assisted them in the GED and college application processes. Furthermore, she piloted the production of two maps to be used in the program: one of the social determinants of health in the city of Philadelphia and the other of the client resources available in the area immediately surrounding St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children. Dominique reflected, “Participating with HHP has given me a fresh perspective on violence intervention and a deeper understanding of how trauma affects one’s daily life. Trauma is actually much more than a bay in the Emergency Department—it has a biological basis that can tremendously change the course of one’s existence for a long time. Because the clients are all victims of violence and still living in their neighborhoods, it struck me how realistic and heartbreaking their stories are. In addition to getting through the trauma, there are insurance, financial and other logistical issues to deal with before services can actually benefit the client. This is why programs like HHP are so important and make a difference in the lives of victims.”

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Youth Philly at the Mütter Museum: Improving Health Literacy and Communication Among Philly High School Students

Student Interns:
Elizabeth Paganelli, University of Pennsylvania, School of Nursing
Alyssa Reyes, University of Pennsylvania, Perelman School of Medicine

Academic Preceptors:
Hillary R. Bogner, MD, MSCE, University of Pennsylvania, Perelman School of Medicine
Ann L. O’Sullivan, PhD, FAAN, CRNP, University of Pennsylvania, School of Nursing

Community Preceptors:
Jacqui Bowman, PhD, College of Physicians of Philadelphia
Jon Goff, College of Physicians of Philadelphia

The Community Site:
The College of Physicians of Philadelphia, located in Center City, is the oldest professional medical organization in the United States. Its mission is to advance the cause of health while upholding the ideals and heritage of medicine. Among its many outreach efforts are the Karabots Program and the Cephalon Program, both of which focus on the personal and professional development of Philadelphia high school students. View Community Partner Web Site

Bridging the Gaps Focus Areas Adopted From HP2010 and HP2020:
Health Communication; Mental Health; Nutrition and Weight Status; Oral Health; Substance Abuse

The Project:
Alyssa and Liz worked with the staff and youth participating in the Cephalon Program at the College of Physicians. This program focuses on improving the health literacy and communication skills of high school students. These adolescents were given the task of writing new content for YouthPhilly.org, which is a College of Physicians-sponsored Web site that aims to educate teens on health issues through articles and videos generated by their peers. Alyssa and Liz wrote modules for the Cephalon curriculum focusing on plagiarism (to aid the students in writing their health articles) and body image/gender roles (as a health topic for discussion). The interns also helped the youth choose topics, write scripts and film two public service announcements. The teens chose personal hygiene and mental health as they felt these were important issues that are overlooked in health education. Other student activities included writing and editing health articles for the Youth Philly Web site, doing museum lessons on body modification and forensic science, exploring urban ecology through a trip to the Wagner Institute, and learning about nutrition through a field trip to Marathon Farm. With these and other activities, the teens developed teamwork and communication skills while learning about health and community issues in Philadelphia. Alyssa noted, “Working with the Cephalon summer internship program at the College of Physicians has been a unique way to learn about adolescent health in Philadelphia through the eyes of 10 amazing high school students. They are an exceptional group of smart, funny, honest and creative students who brought a range of experiences and skills to the program and to each project that we completed together. While sharing my own knowledge of and enthusiasm for medicine and health care, I realized how much they could teach me and my fellow mentors about the health issues that are most important to Philadelphia teens and the ways in which they could educate their peers on these issues effectively. Thanks to this internship, I have a newfound passion for adolescent health and a greater understanding of public health and health literacy that I believe will have a profound impact on the rest of my medical education and career.” Liz reflected, “Working at the College of Physicians this summer as a part of the Cephalon internship program has given me the opportunity to explore public health education in a community setting by collaborating with high school students from the Philadelphia area. This program has allowed me to share my own knowledge of medicine and health care with an amazing group of students who amazed and inspired me every day with their boundless curiosity, vivacity and ingenuity in the planning and execution of each new project we gave them. In the weeks I worked with these high school students, I developed an understanding for what health issues really impact teenagers in Philadelphia today, as well as an ability to communicate with and relate to teenagers on a more personal level. Helping these kids realize their potential and work to create a Web site they are proud of has been an invaluable experience for me.”

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Curing Minds, Bodies and Hearts Through the Performing Arts

Student Interns:
Vincent Brinas, University of the Sciences, Samson College, Physical Therapy Department
Vanessa Pabon, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine Program

Academic Preceptors:
Eugene Mochan, PhD, DO, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine
Ruth L. Schemm, EdD, OTR/L, University of the Sciences, Mayes College of Healthcare Business and Policies, Department of Health Policy and Public Health

Community Preceptor:
Hugh Dixon, EducationWorks, Germantown High 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. EducationWorks provides a summer program for adolescents at Germantown High School. View Community Partner Web Site

Bridging the Gaps Focus Areas Adopted From HP2010 and HP2020:
Heart Disease and Stroke; Injury and Violence Prevention; Mental Health; Nutrition and Weight Status; Physical Activity and Fitness

The Project:
Vincent and Vanessa worked with the staff of EducationWorks in a performing arts center at Germantown High School. The high school youth participating in the program came from many neighborhoods of Philadelphia. The interns worked to incorporate a healthy-living component into the summer program, including sessions on calories and healthy nutrition practices and using poetry as a vehicle to discuss violence. In addition, cardiovascular health issues were integrated into the daily dance component of the program. The program culminated in an open mic night and expo at the Philadelphia Convention Center in which the students presented to the community and families. Vanessa noted, “My focus and excitement of the summer was definitely to work, teach and learn from youth. … During my encounter, I did learn about another community that neighbors me, and the stresses and pressures that these youth have to deal with on a daily basis.” Vincent commented, “I had a great time working with the kids at Germantown High School. … I enjoyed motivating the kids to dance and to write even though it was quite hot. Hopefully, they continue to perform once the program is over. I am glad to use my skills and talents to help out with the programs. No matter what setting, it has been my life’s mission to aid, teach, inspire and learn. I am going to miss the kids, but something tells me that I will see them again.”

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Extreme Health and Fitness

Student Interns:
Lindsay Dawson, University of Pennsylvania, Perelman School of Medicine
Kruti A. Patel, University of Pennsylvania, School of Dental Medicine

Academic Preceptors:
Joan I. Gluch, PhD, RDH, University of Pennsylvania, School of Dental Medicine
Raina Merchant, MD, MS, University of Pennsylvania, Perelman School of Medicine

Community Preceptors:
Michael Reid, EducationWorks, South Philadelphia High School Project
Eric Williamson, EducationWorks, South Philadelphia High School Project

The Community Site:
EducationWorks enriches the lives of children, youth 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

Bridging the Gaps Focus Areas Adopted From HP2010 and HP2020:
Chronic Disease (Diabetes, Kidney Disease, Respiratory Diseases, etc.); Heart Disease and Stroke; Nutrition and Weight Status; Oral Health; Physical Activity and Fitness

The Project:
Kruti and Lindsay worked with the EducationWorks program at South Philadelphia High School assisting with the planning, organization and implementation of the Summer 2011 Health and Fitness program. The interns developed activities and presentations that helped the students participating in the program visualize their own eating and exercise habits and encouraged them to transition to a healthier lifestyle. Students participated in daily exercise regimens, including the P90X workout, yoga, football, dodgeball and two-mile runs/walks around the neighborhood. A subset of the students also raised money for the Philadelphia Diabetes Act Now Foundation by obtaining sponsorship for a 5K run in Fairmount Park. Furthermore, the interns guided the students in their research and presentation of various medical topics and conditions that affect Philadelphians, including oral health, diabetes, hypertension, heart attacks, fatty liver disease, asthma, osteoporosis, kidney stones and infection, and brain cancer. This work culminated in a teach-back community expo for the friends and families of the students. Kruti noted, “This summer I had the wonderful opportunity to help shape the lives of some of Philadelphia’s youth via BTG CHIP at EducationWorks at South Philadelphia High School. I have developed a new understanding and appreciation for working with youth. … As someone who wanted to run a nonprofit clinic, I have a new understanding of how a nonprofit organization works and how everyone in the organization, including students, staff and administrators, are accountable for the community site’s mission. I hope this experience will help me become a better health care provider.” Lindsay reflected, “It is said that working with adolescents is one of the most challenging yet rewarding experiences one will ever have; I can say that this has certainly been true of this summer. The students at South Philadelphia High School have taught me how to be patient and how to persevere even when it seems like you are running in place, but most importantly, they have taught me how good it feels when a young person remembers and passes on something you have taught them. It is my hope and expectation that my experience with BTG CHIP this summer will help me to become a more patient and understanding physician who is capable of teaching in addition to healing.”

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Atmospheric Investigators

Student Interns:
Erik Hofmann, Drexel University College of Medicine
Zena Yusuf, Drexel University, School of Public Health

Academic Preceptor:
Robert Chapman, PhD, Drexel University, Behavioral Health Counseling

Community Preceptor:
Tara Anastasi, Foundations, Inc., Seeds for Learning

The Community Site:
Seeds for Learning, located in West Oak Lane, collaborates with Martin Luther King High School to provide nontraditional educational opportunities and hands-on learning. The program’s three primary components equip students with practical knowledge primarily about food justice, as well as nutrition, science, finance and the environment. It also provides valuable experience in entrepreneurship, teamwork and communication. View Community Partner Web Site

Bridging the Gaps Focus Areas Adopted From HP2010 and HP2020:
Chronic Disease (Diabetes, Kidney Disease, Respiratory Diseases, etc.); Environmental Health; Heart Disease and Stroke; Nutrition and Weight Status; Physical Activity and Fitness

The Project:
Seeds for Learning involved a range of activities through which student farmers gained skills and knowledge in organic methods and growing food in small spaces. Erik and Zena worked alongside teens in the program performing day-to-day upkeep of the Seeds for Learning farm, including weeding, planting, watering and other necessary fieldwork to keep up the production of fruits and vegetables on the third-acre plot of land. In addition, the interns assisted with running the weekly farmers market, which sold fresh fruits and vegetables in a neighborhood where produce is not easily accessible. Finally, the interns prepared and led a summer camp teaching about environmental health. This included constructing an outdoor classroom for the camp, preparing activities to engage the kids, and serving as teachers for the camp itself. Additionally, the interns assisted with the weekly Community Lunch program. Open to the public, the Community Lunch involved lunch cooked by local chefs using locally grown produce. Student farmers collaborated with the chefs to create healthy meals for community members using produce from the farm. Zena shared, “Working at Seeds for Learning has taught me all the hard work that goes into food production. Now I can more fully appreciate the food label ‘organic,’ and I think twice about the foods I eat and where they came from. Additionally, this program has opened up my eyes to the idea of food sovereignty. I was unfamiliar with this concept of a community’s right to healthy and culturally appropriate food, and now I understand its importance.” Erik noted, “Working at Seeds for Learning has been a crash course in food justice and sustainability for me. I now understand the importance of providing not only healthy, chemical-free food options in underserved areas, but also the concept of providing culturally relevant produce that people feel comfortable using in their daily lives. It is vital that we, as leaders in the health profession, practice these principles and pass on our knowledge to the next generation of leaders. I know that my experience with Seeds for Learning will impact all aspects of my career as a physician, no matter what field I pursue.”

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In West Philadelphia Born and Raised: Giving Children a Rewarding Summer Is How We Spent Most of Our Days

Student Interns:
Nathan Dincher, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine Program
Danielle LaSalle, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine Program

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

Community Preceptor:
Patricia Dawley, MSW, Haddington Townhouses, Summer Youth Program

The Community Site:
Haddington Townhouses, located in West Philadelphia, offers a Youth Summer Enrichment Program for children aged 7 to 14. The program is mainly for children who reside in the townhouses, but also includes children from the surrounding neighborhood.

Bridging the Gaps Focus Areas Adopted From HP2010 and HP2020:
Access to Health Care; Health Communication; Maternal, Infant and Child Health; Nutrition and Weight Status; Oral Health; Physical Activity and Fitness

The Project:
Nate and Danielle’s project at Haddington focused on integrating health-related discussions into the camp schedule and planning fun and educational field trips for the children in the Summer Enrichment Program. The goal of the summer program was to expand the reality known to the children to include an understanding of the educational experiences and healthy lifestyle choices available to them both within and outside of their West Philadelphia neighborhood. This was achieved through trips to places such as the Franklin Institute, Adventure Aquarium and the Mütter Museum. In addition, these themes were reiterated through children-centered activities focusing on health topics such as nutrition and oral care. Nathan stated, “Working in an underserved community allowed me to gain a completely new perspective on what children in West Philadelphia experience on a day-to-day basis. This summer has taught me the value of and need for education. … This experience has been very gratifying for me and has reinforced my goal of one day serving others as a physician.” Danielle noted, “During my work this summer with the children at Haddington, I have realized that the medical knowledge we learn during the school year is only a small part of what it means to be a doctor. BTG is like a Patient Perspective to the extreme. This experience has expanded my understanding of the many different life experiences that each of our patients will have. I was so fortunate to be able to share this summer with the kids here. I hope that they remember some of our trips for years to come, because I know that I certainly will.”

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Making Summer Work for the Future

Student Interns: 
Reinaldo Garcia, Temple University, School of Medicine
Martina Randall, Temple University, School of Podiatric Medicine

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

Community Preceptors:
Jon Scott, Temple University, Fox School of Business
Nancy Shaw, Temple University

The Community Site:
The goal of Philadelphia Futures Entrepreneurship/Business Planning Internship is to improve the quality of education for high school students in Philadelphia. By playing a major part in the students’ lives they hope to break down economic and social barriers to their education success. The Entrepreneurship/Business Planning Internship assists students in developing a business mind-set and allows them to develop a business plan. View Community Partner Web Site

Bridging the Gaps Focus Areas Adopted From HP2010 and HP2020:
Environmental Health; Health Communication; Nutrition and Weight Status; Preparedness; Physical Activity and Fitness

The Project:
Reinaldo and Martina worked with the staff of Philadelphia Futures to implement a program for a select group of high school juniors. Following Philadelphia Futures guidelines the interns assisted the youth in the development of business innovations along with business ideas/plans. In addition, the interns also were involved in the writing enhancement portion of the program. By participating in both components of the education process they were able to see the students grow in two ways. The final presentations were a remarkable experience; seeing the students as poised public speakers was something to be truly proud of. Reinaldo said, “BTG has provided me with an experience that I would not have gotten anywhere else this summer. I was able to meet with Philadelphia youth. … I have seen these students mature and grow in ways that make me proud to be a part of the program. I would not have traded this summer for any other experience, and I feel that I am a better person due to it.” Martina noted, “Participating in BTG has been a more rewarding experience then I ever imagined. Getting the chance to engage and interact with the different personalities was challenging at times, but allowed for growth. … I feel very fortunate that I was able to play a role in their lives, as they made a difference in mine.”

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The Privilege of Listening: A Digital Storytelling Project

Student Interns:
Amanda Chenault, Drexel University, College of Nursing and Health Professionals, Creative Arts in Therapy
Carly Linder, Drexel University, School of Public Health

Academic Preceptor:
Priscilla Killian, MSN, RN, MHPNP, Drexel University, College of Nursing and Health Professions

Community Preceptor:
Mark Lyons, PA-C, MPH, Philadelphia Futures, Philadelphia Storytelling Project

The Community Site:
The Philadelphia Storytelling Project, a Philadelphia Futures program, is located at Drexel University’s Main Campus. The project gives adolescents the experience of writing personal stories; interviewing a community leader; and recording, editing and mixing their stories. A new addition to this year’s program was a student production of Complaint Choirs. View Community Partner Web Site

Bridging the Gaps Focus Areas Adopted From HP2010 and HP2020:
Disabilities and Secondary Conditions; Health Communication; Injury and Violence Prevention; Mental Health; Nutrition and Weight Status

The Project:
Amanda and Carly worked with the Digital Storytelling Project (DSP), a literacy-building program designed for the Rising Sophomores of the Philadelphia Futures Program for their summer engagement. The project aims to foster the development of skills necessary in both the academic and professional realms, including unmasking personal challenges, team building, Internet research, interviewing, scriptwriting, audio recording, computer skills and manipulation of audio with the Audacity computer program. An addition to this year’s DSP was the development and production of Complaint Choirs, where students put everyday nuisances into a song meant to channel energies in a more positive manner. Amanda and Carly supported implementation and advancement of the teaching tools and methods used in previous years of the project and led small groups in production work. Amanda mentioned, “In the Digital Storytelling Project, I have gained knowledge from two different sources: the technology staff and the high school students. Both my community preceptor and the staff from the IRT department taught me a great deal about recording, the Audacity program and computer literacy. The high school students taught me about motivation, trust and sincerity. Because of experiences with them, I feel more adept at interacting and communicating with adolescents.” Carly stated, “In all of my professional endeavors thus far, there is the consistent experience that perspective can always be gained through thoughtful interaction with other human beings. Whether with persons older, younger, of the same age, or of a different culture or race, allowing the self to be open to listen to the stories of others allows for growth of the human perspective that ultimately enriches both lives involved. What I provided to the Philadelphia Futures students this summer is far outweighed by what I gained from the privilege of hearing the stories each student felt he or she could share with me.”

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Promoting Health Through Skill Development and Physical Examinations

Student Interns:
Evan Bilheimer, Thomas Jefferson University, Jefferson Medical College
Emily Livingston, Thomas Jefferson University, Jefferson College of Health Professions, Department of Occupational Therapy

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

Community Preceptor:
Kimberly Daye-Hardy, MEd, 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 15. View Community Partner Web Site

Bridging the Gaps Focus Areas Adopted From HP2010 and HP2020:
Access to Health Care; Health Communication; Injury and Violence Prevention; Physical Activity and Fitness; Responsible Sexual Behavior

The Project:
At The Den, Evan and Emily 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, cyber-bullying, cardiovascular health, and respect for self and others. The interns used group discussions, arts and crafts, culinary arts, dance, computer programming and field trips in their health promotion activities. Evan and Emily created a checklist to document the recruitment efforts undertaken by the staff to ensure that every child has the mandated physical examination. They also developed a physical examination information form to be distributed to the children and their families. This information form provided community members with valuable information regarding the importance of a physical examination as well as provider resources. Emily stated, “By being a BTG student intern at the Club Den I had the opportunity to learn about the unique life experiences of youth within the community of North Philadelphia. At Club Den the youth participated in a variety of activities to promote overall health. Through BTG I was able to improve upon my skills in both developing a therapeutic relationship with clients and working with other health care professionals to promote client health.” Evan said, “My time with BTG has truly been a rewarding experience. Working with youth in the urban underserved community of North Philadelphia has provided me with a foundation of knowledge that I will continue to use throughout my career. The relationships I have developed with the kids are something I will always cherish, and I hope they have learned as much from me as I have from them.”

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Answering Nature’s Call

Student Interns:
Peri Alpay, Drexel University, School of Public Health
Ashley Landicho, Drexel University College of Medicine
John Nguyen, Drexel University, School of Public Health
Jay Sahgal, Drexel University College of Medicine

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

Community Preceptors:
Eric Dolaway, Urban Blazers
Danielle Stollak, Urban Blazers

The Community Site:
Urban Blazers is an innovative agency that uses primary, active experience to stimulate youth to become responsible for their development in education, leadership and relationships. The experiential education program uses socially motivated volunteers to meaningfully impact youth from under-resourced communities in Philadelphia. Programs are typically delivered through outdoor activities that serve as hands-on learning environments. View Community Partner Web Site

Bridging the Gaps Focus Areas Adopted From HP2010 and HP2020:
Environmental Health; Health Communication; Injury and Violence Prevention; Nutrition and Weight Status; Physical Activity and Fitness

The Project:
Ashley, John, Jay and Peri worked alongside the Urban Blazers staff to provide youth from surrounding urban communities with opportunities to explore various outdoor activities. The interns helped lead and support groups of adolescents on several hikes and team-building activities throughout the Fairmount Park system and the Wissahickon Valley. In conjunction with Urban Blazers’ mission, the interns helped advocate for more healthy and active lifestyles while working to instill a deeper appreciation for environmental science within the youth. By serving as positive role models, all four interns were able to promote healthy relationship- and leadership-building throughout the process. Ashley noted, “This experience was completely out of my element, and that’s what I loved most about it. By taking the interns and students out of their comfort zones, Urban Blazers was able to create a very rich environment, which facilitated team bonding, self-discovery and a novel appreciation for nature’s wonders. I see this interactive program driving sustainable personal change not only within the kids, but the interns as well.” John reflected, “We are often reminded that when working to improve health or any type of outcomes in a community, it is vital to consider and respond to the needs perceived by the community. In working with the youth, we have been given a better appreciation of the myriad of need and struggle that a number of urban families endure. As we further our education in our professions, the experiences gained from Urban Blazers will only make us more sensitive and cognizant of the not-so-obvious issues underlying health problems.” Peri said, “I have gained many valuable experiences though my summer with Urban Blazers, but most importantly I have learned about the importance of truly understanding the community you are trying to serve. Through working with the children, I discovered what topics are of importance to them, and what they would like to see more of in their community. Additionally, it was very exciting to watch the kids’ personal growth throughout the summer. By taking them completely out of their element, we were able to help them change their own preconceived notions of themselves. We were able to break them out of the box in which they placed themselves, and create an entire new perspective on how they see the world.” Jay stated, “Urban Blazers gave us a unique mix of opportunities. We were able to learn about and serve a particular community while also enriching ourselves mentally and physically. In helping kids explore the world and themselves beyond their perceived limitations, we found ourselves doing the same. This, more than any of the skills we developed, will be a positive influence on our lives as we pursue our educational and professional goals.”

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Medical Case Management and Resiliency Promotion of At-Risk Adolescents in Temporary Shelter Settings

Student Interns:
Danielle H. Dang, Thomas Jefferson University, Jefferson Medical College
Matthew E. Enriquez, Thomas Jefferson University, Jefferson Medical College

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

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

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

Bridging the Gaps Focus Areas Adopted From HP2010 and HP2020:
Access to Health Care; Mental Health; Nutrition and Weight Status; Physical Activity and Fitness; Responsible Sexual Behavior

The Project:
For their summer at Youth Emergency Service (YES), Matt and Danielle worked to promote positive lifestyle choices in areas ranging from sexual and mental health to nutrition and physical activity among adolescents living at a temporary shelter. Additionally, they worked with YES social workers to advocate for and ensure adequate follow-up for all medical needs, as identified by visiting physicians. Danielle noted, “My summer at YES exposed me to both the successes and shortcomings of community-based advocacy and case management in at-risk youth. … BTG further allowed me to experience the day-to-day life of these at-risk adolescents and gain a true understanding of the obstacles they face. I hope to carry the lessons I have learned from working with both clients and staff at YES with me through the remainder of my medical education, as they will certainly inform the choices I make as a practicing physician.” Matt stated, “This summer helped me to understand the problems that at-risk adolescents face on a daily basis and healthy ways to cope with these problems. I learned more about the system, how to access medical care, and how to talk to kids about health. It was also just enjoyable to hang out with and mentor the kids all summer and to learn about their lives. I am certain that these experiences will influence my career as a doctor.”

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