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Philadelphia Consortium Projects - 2016

Maternal/Child & Women's Health

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Maternal and Infant Health in Philadelphia

Student Interns:
Kelsey Fleming, University of Pennsylvania, School of Social Policy & Practice
Jovilin Joe, Thomas Jefferson University, Jefferson College of Health Professions, Department of Occupational Therapy

Academic Preceptors:
Zvi Gellis, PhD, University of Pennsylvania, School of Social Policy & Practice
Caryn Johnson, MS, OTR/L, FAOTA, Thomas Jefferson University, Jefferson College of Health Professions, Department of Occupational Therapy

Community Preceptor:
Shauntay Murray, BS, CLC, Maternity Care Coalition

The Community Site:
Cribs for Kids, a component program of the Maternity Care Coalition, provides needy families in Philadelphia with cribs and education on safe sleeping environments. Cribs for Kids also provides education on how to reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). View Community Partner Web Site

BTG Focus Areas (adapted from Healthy People 2010 and 2020):
Access to Health Care; Educational Advancement/Literacy; Health Communication; Maternal, Infant and Child Health; Oral Health

The Project:
The Bridging the Gaps student interns at the Maternity Care Coalition worked with the Cribs for Kids program to provide safe sleeping education and distribute Graco Pack ’n Play cribs to eligible clients in the Philadelphia and Delaware County areas. Interns learned to assess clients for program eligibility, register them for educational workshops and navigate the online database for entering client information. The interns also assisted Cribs for Kids staff in coordinating and conducting workshops and home visits, during which clients receive important information on sudden infant death syndrome, breastfeeding and safe sleeping practices, before they receive their new crib. Interns also developed educational tools on oral health for infants and pregnant mothers, as well as on the importance of “tummy time,” and compiled a list of community resources and local activities to be disseminated at workshops. As the culmination of the summer, the interns coordinated a Sweet Beginnings community baby shower for new mothers, which included gifts, shower games, educational activities and food. The summer of 2016, Cribs for Kids expanded on the previous year’s community baby shower and plans to hold another larger community shower in October.

Personal Statements:
Jovilin said, “I am truly humbled by this experience and program. Cribs for Kids (C4K) helped me become more aware of the community resources that are available to new mothers, as well as the lack of resources for these families. C4K not only supplies cribs, but also the life-saving education that is often missing in our fast-paced medical system. As a future health care professional, I can continue to ensure that client education is accessible to all.” Kelsey said, “Working with Cribs for Kids has been an incredible experience and a great opportunity for me to work with a community with which I previously had little contact. As interns we were able to learn a great deal not only about safe sleeping techniques and sudden infant death syndrome, but also about community resources available to pregnant and parenting Philadelphians. We also gained experience in planning an event using primarily donations as we coordinated the community baby shower. I am sure that the experiences I have had this summer will continue to stay with me and inform my future practice as a social worker.”

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Smith Memorial Playground: Encouraging Imagination, Creativity and Free Play

Student Interns:
Kelsey Hayden, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine Program
Leyland Robinson, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine Program

Academic Preceptors:
Pat Anthony Lannutti, DO, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine

Community Preceptor:
Kate Zmich, Smith Memorial Playground & Playhouse

The Community Site:
Smith Memorial Playground was established in 1899. After the loss of their young son, Richard and Sarah Smith erected the playground in his memory, so that children would have a safe and inviting play space free of charge. Smith’s mission includes providing opportunities for unstructured creative play for children. Smith Memorial Playground offers 6.5 acres of play space, which includes a playhouse for indoor fun and a plethora of unique outdoor equipment for a variety of ages. One of the community’s favorites is the wooden slide, which has been around since the early 20th century and has captivated generations of children. View Community Partner Web Site

BTG Focus Areas (adapted from Healthy People 2010 and 2020):Environmental Health; Health Environmental Health; Heart Disease and Stroke; Injury and Violence Prevention; Maternal, Infant and Child Health; Physical Activity and Fitness

The Project:
The Bridging the Gaps student interns at Smith Memorial Playground encouraged free, unstructured play in order to assist in healthy development of imagination, creativity and motor skills. They did this through activities such as rock painting, drawing, fort building, water play, bubbles, play-dough making, drawing with sidewalk chalk and hiking. The interns were able to engage in community outreach for children in the North Philadelphia area. Through the work of the interns, the children gained a knowledge of and appreciation for the nature surrounding them and explored their imagination and creativity. The interns hope the skills will allow the children to see their worth within the community.

Personal Statements:
Kelsey said, “Over this summer I have learned that play is an absolutely necessary part of healthy growth and development for children. I have thoroughly enjoyed engaging with the kids and reminding myself of the clients I will one day serve. This experience has made me aware of my own privileges and emphasized that we all have our own unique stories.” Leyland said, “This summer has been less about diversifying myself in preparation for my future patients, but more about enlightening the youth on their possibilities for their own future. Coming from a low-income community, I have heard a lot of how we ‘can’t’ do something and how the obstacles were too high and difficult to overcome. I used my past experiences to help elevate the children we worked with so they could move past their own obstacles. I hope during this summer, I was able to impact at least one child in seeing that they can do anything if they put their mind to it.”

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Turning Points for Children, Community Umbrella Agency 9

Student Intern:
Maretta Fan, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine Program

Academic Preceptor:
Pat Anthony Lannutti, DO, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine

Community Preceptors:
Emily Labree, LSW, Community Umbrella Agency 9
Lilly Lugo, Community Umbrella Agency 9

The Community Site:
Turning Points is the leading social service agency in Philadelphia, supporting the needs of more than 9,000 men, women and children throughout the city. It offers programs that help families raise safe, healthy, educated, strong children by partnering with caregivers to develop and strengthen protective qualities and by offering them the tools, skills and resources needed to ensure their children’s optimal development.  View Community Partner Web Site

BTG Focus Areas (adapted from Healthy People 2010 and 2020):
Access to Health Care; Health-Related Quality of Life and Well-Being; Injury and Violence Prevention; Maternal, Infant and Child Health; Mental Health

The Project:
The Bridging the Gaps student intern worked with a well-being specialist to track the medical histories of children in the welfare system. The intern’s responsibilities included requesting medical records, receiving and uploading records to the electronic case management system and reconciling missing records. In addition, the intern scheduled medical appointments for case children and tracked the progression of their medical treatment. The student intern also developed a training guide for future interns.

Personal Statement:
Maretta said, “My time at Turning Points for Children has been challenging, eye-opening and rewarding. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to learn about the health care system from a social work perspective. I am humbled and motivated by Turning Points for Children’s tremendous dedication to empowering families and nurturing our city’s most vulnerable children. I have also gained a deeper understanding of the challenges that many families face in navigating the health care system and optimizing their resources in order to provide the best care for their children. As a student physician who hopes to enter the field of primary care, this experience has compelled me to consider the ways in which I can effectively address the unique needs of children and youth in the welfare system.”

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The Best Community Food Pantry in Northeast Philly

Student Interns:
Melissa Acosta, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, School of Psychology
Matthew Beck, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine Program

Academic Preceptor:
Pat Anthony Lannutti, DO, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine

Community Preceptors:
Laura Crandall, Food and Wellness Network
Kelly Sanford, BSW, Food and Wellness Network

The Community Site:
Turning Points is the leading social service agency in Philadelphia, supporting the needs of more than 9,000 men, women and children throughout the city. It offers programs that help families raise safe, healthy, educated, strong children by partnering with caregivers to develop and strengthen protective qualities and by offering them the tools, skills and resources needed to ensure their children’s optimal development. Food and Wellness Network (FAWN) is a community-based food pantry offering food, infant formula, diapers and nutrition education resources. View Community Partner Web Site

BTG Focus Areas (adapted from Healthy People 2010 and 2020):
Access to Health Care; Educational Advancement/Literacy; Mental Health; Nutrition and Weight Status; Substance Abuse

The Project:
Although the primary purpose of Turning Points for Children’s Food and Wellness Network (FAWN) is to act as a community-based food pantry that offers free food, infant formula and diapers to individuals and families, there is so much more to this site. The Bridging the Gaps student interns at FAWN were provided opportunities to engage and communicate with the members of a unique neighborhood of Northeast Philadelphia. Through these encounters, they could educate, teach and work with individuals and groups of people to provide information and resources about the topics in which they truly had an interest. FAWN provided the interns with the freedom to both research and create an educational series for the members of the community of Frankford.

Personal Statements:
Matthew said, “Spending seven weeks at FAWN has been an immensely valuable and eye-opening experience. Growing up an hour north of Philadelphia has kept me sheltered from so many aspects of both the city of Philadelphia and urban living in general. Getting the exposure that I have this summer to Frankford and Philadelphia and meeting the people that we have at the pantry is something that I will never forget. I learned more about Philly in my seven weeks at Frankford than I had in 23 years of living in the suburbs. I definitely plan on using what I have learned about underserved communities as I go through my career and on to practice medicine.” Melissa said, “In all honesty, I was really nervous about my first week at the Food and Wellness Network. … Even though I was nervous, my experience at FAWN went better than I anticipated. I feel as though we quickly assimilated ourselves into the environment. The volunteers and community are truly amazing, and people are very grateful for FAWN. We conducted an interest survey to see what people in the community were interested in learning about, and we found that many people were interested in learning about nutrition education, healthy eating and mental health.”

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