BTG Hope

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BTG Community Preceptor
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New Jersey Projects - 2012

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High Risk, High Reward: Finding and Advocating for Camden’s Vulnerable Populations

Student Interns:
Jamie Flynn, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, School of Osteopathic Medicine
Eric Murch, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, School of Osteopathic Medicine
Stephen Renz, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, School of Public Health

Academic Preceptors:
Millicent King Channell, DO, MA, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, School of Osteopathic Medicine
Danielle Cooley, DO, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, School of Osteopathic Medicine
Bernadette West, PhD, MA, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, School of Public Health

Community Preceptors:
Kelly Craig, MSW, Camden Coalition of Healthcare Providers
Josh Wheeling, MPA, CamConnect

The Community Site:
The Camden Coalition of Healthcare Providers (CCHP) attempts to bend the health care cost curve in Camden by working with patients who are the highest utilizers of the city’s emergency departments. CCHP’s analysis of real-time information from three Camden hospitals identifies patients with both high utilization and high risk for readmission. After placing patients in one of its two care models, CCHP provides appropriate follow-up care, such as locating stable food and housing, coordinating medical procedures and visits, and helping patients with applications and other paperwork. View Community Partner Web Site

CamConnect is an independent data intermediary and data warehouse housed within the CCHP. As a member-supported organization, it helps Camden residents and stakeholders understand local issues and make informed decisions through access to data. Its services include data analysis, research, GIS mapping, report creation, technical assistance, program evaluation, survey design, data management and an online public document library.

BTG Focus Areas Adopted From HP2010 and HP2020:
Access to Health Care; Health Communication; Nutrition and Weight Status

The Project:
Eric and Jamie acted as health coaches for a roster of patients selected by the Camden Coalition of Healthcare Providers Care Management and Care Transitions teams. The interns’ goal was to help patients with complex medical conditions make the health care system work in their favor and decrease their inpatient hospital admissions. To prepare patients to navigate the health care system on their own, Eric and Jamie focused on care coordination and basic patient education. For example, they scheduled medical appointments, arranged for patients’ transportation to appointments, and accompanied them for reinforcement and support. Eric and Jamie also provided social support for patients through home visits and empowered patients by helping them devise their own health care agendas. Stephen researched data on crime, violence, and education and prepared documents for CamConnect members. Stephen, Eric and Jamie also participated in CamConnect’s Camden Community Abandoned Properties Survey to record the number, location and extent of abandoned properties throughout Camden. For this survey, CamConnect partnered with community organizations, residents, volunteers and students. Stephen, Eric and Jamie surveyed several Camden neighborhoods one to two times a week, walking from door to door and noting vacant houses as well as talking to members of the community to make them aware of the purpose and goals of the survey. Although each property in the city will be surveyed, the survey team is collecting detailed information only on abandoned and vacant properties. Ultimately, this will allow CamConnect and its partners to better understand the problem of abandoned properties within Camden and then to properly address it.

Jamie noted, “Working as a health coach with the Camden Coalition of Healthcare Providers this summer allowed me to develop into an effective patient advocate. Through this internship I became more intimately acquainted with the perceptions and realities that underserved persons (in this case, Camden residents) battle while trying to obtain adequate long-term care and, most importantly, a better quality of life. Working with high-utilizing, high-risk patients has given me experience that will continue to influence my thoughts and actions throughout my clinical career so that I may better educate, advocate for and coordinate the care my future patients receive with competency and compassion.” Eric commented, “This internship has afforded me the opportunity to simultaneously help high-risk patients navigate a complex health care system and be on the cutting edge of a revolution in cost-efficient care delivery. Working as a health coach allowed me to witness how difficult it can be to get necessary prescriptions, referrals and appointments while battling other life hardships like unreliable housing, inconsistent food stability and addiction. While in this supporting role, I was a part of an evidence-based intervention attempting to bend the cost-curve in health care by focusing resources on the people with the highest inpatient use, helping them achieve better health outcomes and in the end decreasing overall spending systemically. If we as a society truly want better, more responsible care for our most vulnerable citizens it will come from dedicated people at organizations like the Camden Coalition of Healthcare Providers. I will take my experiences of this summer with me throughout my clinical career.” Stephen stated, “This summer experience has helped me more personally than professionally in that it has helped me work towards my goal of helping any way I can to improve the lives and health of the citizens of Camden. Many residents inquire about what we are doing in their neighborhood, and upon divulging our goals and offering contact information for the organization, the majority of residents responded in a very positive manner. I think that interaction with residents and their inclusion in the project goes a long way towards collaboratively improving the city.”

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Inspiring Health Through Creative Teachings

Student Interns:
Stephen Klepner, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, School of Osteopathic Medicine
Mutiat Otunba, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, School of Public Health
Seema Sahdev, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, School of Public Health and Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences

Academic Preceptors:
Millicent King Channell, DO, MA, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, School of Osteopathic Medicine
Carl Hock, PhD, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, School of Osteopathic Medicine and Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences
Marcia Sass, ScD, MSN, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, School of Public Health

Community Preceptor:
Cynthia Primas, MEd, IDEA Performing Arts Center

The Community Site:
IDEA is a creative learning organization that exists to create better futures for youth in Camden and throughout southern New Jersey through arts education, by tapping into their creative spirit to inspire and give power to their dreams and aspirations. View Community Partner Web Site

BTG Focus Areas Adopted From HP2010 and HP2020:
Injury and Violence Prevention; Nutrition and Weight Status; Oral Health; Physical Activity and Fitness

The Project:
Stephen, Mutiat and Seema spent the summer working on various health promotion projects involving Camden’s youth. Since their main task was to help with the implementation of the health segment on IDEA’s video magazine (a “kid fit talk show”), they researched health topics that related to the children in the community and brainstormed creative ideas to keep them engaged in their health. The interns chose to focus on the issues of nutrition/exercise, bullying and tobacco/alcohol use. Using their research for these health segments, they created nutrition and anti-bullying sessions for IDEA’s day camp. For the anti-bullying presentation, Stephen, Seema and Mutiat developed an interactive session about the negative effects of bullying and what students should do when confronted with a bully. For the nutrition and physical activity session, they educated children on healthy food alternatives, the importance of physical activity, how sugar turns into fat, and the negative outcomes associated with unhealthy eating. They also discussed how their daily camp activities, such as yoga and African dance, were a great form of physical activity, and taught the youth how to make a healthy snack of yogurt parfait, which they really enjoyed.

Stephen said, “I found my experience at the IDEA Performing Arts Center to be inspiring. I was very impressed with the kids that were a part of IDEA’s programs. They ranged from 7 to 14 and were smart, and all had aspirations. Some of them lacked a male role model in their lives, and, although I was only there for a short time, I’d like to think the part I played at IDEA helped steer these children in the right direction towards leading a successful life. I am very happy that I was able to work with such a great organization like IDEA, and I hope I will be able to find the time to work with them again in the future.” Mutiat reflected, “Working with BTG this summer was a life-changing experience. It has been a wonderful journey getting to know the youth of Camden and knowing that we are making a difference in their lives. It was a great experience taking the concepts we learned in school and applying them in a practical sense. Every person we came in contact with at IDEA Performing Arts Center taught me invaluable lessons that I will cherish forever.” Seema commented, “Being a part of BTG at IDEA Performing Arts has been invaluable. It was inspiring to see how many successful people came back to Camden to ensure the kids knew that the community cared about them and their future. These included news anchors, musicians, actors and volunteers who all encouraged and instilled in the kids that they can do anything they set their minds to. Educating the youth is always a humbling experience since we have just as much to learn from them as we have to teach. It has been a pleasure and privilege to be in the presence of these creative, young and nimble minds.”

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Promoting Health of Youth in Camden, New Jersey

Student Interns:
Jihaan Mutasim, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, School of Public Health
Rose A. Parks, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, School of Osteopathic Medicine

Academic Preceptors:
Joshua A. Coren, DO, MBA, FACOFP, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, School of Osteopathic Medicine
Pamela A. Ohman Strickland, PhD, MS, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, School of Public Health

Community Preceptor:
Andy Joshua, UrbanPromise

The Community Site:
UrbanPromise was founded by Dr. Bruce Main in 1988 as an outreach program for children and teens in Camden as a summer camp, which later expanded into multiple summer camps and after-school programs. Today UrbanPromise has its own school, and it has expanded internationally to Africa and Canada. View Community Partner Web Site

BTG Focus Areas Adopted From HP2010 and HP2020:
Nutrition and Weight Status; Oral Health; Physical Activity and Fitness

The Project:
Jihaan and Rose focused on youth health promotion in the areas of physical activity, nutrition and oral hygiene. After planning and developing nutrition and oral health education classes, they trained assistant team leaders and their helpers to implement the health education classes for the younger children at the seven camp sites around Camden. Every week, they traveled to the different camp sites and facilitated the classes taught by the assistant team leaders and helpers. The nutrition classes focused on healthy eating and the different food groups of “MyPlate”; the oral health classes educated children on good oral hygiene. Jihaan and Rose also organized a Zumba class to promote physical fitness. With feedback from UrbanPromise administration and staff, classes were continually improved.

Jihaan noted, “Working with youth was the major highlight of this internship. At UrbanPromise I went through different stages while working with the assistant team leaders and helpers. It was a challenge to make the assistant team leaders and helpers listen to me during the nutrition class, while it was very pleasant to share stories, laugh and bond with them during the fitness class and outside any classes. This internship experience has taught me how to evaluate and solve issues in the community as a future public health worker.” Rose said, “This internship has provided me the opportunity to really ‘learn’ Camden, NJ. Touring the city, assessing the different needs of the youth and identifying the various built environmental barriers to health of this community has not only given me a better understanding of the overall health status, but has also reshaped how I view Camden. The efforts that UrbanPromise Ministries are taking to improve the education, health and general life skills of the youth in Camden have inspired me to do the same. In only seven short weeks, I have been transformed from a Camden community intern into a Camden community ambassador!”

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Development of Healthy Behavior Curriculum Resource for Low-Income and At-Risk Youth

Student Interns:
Onenu Egbelo, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, School of Public Health
Robert Grembowitz, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, School of Public Health
Jennifer Mari Wright, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, School of Public Health

Academic Preceptors:
Lois Grau, PhD, MS, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, School of Public Health
Stephan K. Schwander, MD, PhD, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, School of Public Health
Pauline Thomas, MD, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, New Jersey Medical School and School of Public Health

Community Preceptor:
Wendy Cubano, YouthBuild Newark, Inc.

The Community Site:
YouthBuild Newark is a youth and community development agency that serves at-risk young adults aged 16 to 24, most of whom are out of school and re-entry or gang-affiliated. Through rigorous academic instruction and vocational training, YouthBuild Newark has established itself as one of the most effective youth development programs in the greater Newark area and the state of New Jersey. The effectiveness of YouthBuild has garnered local, state and federal support. View Community Partner Web Site

BTG Focus Areas Adopted From HP2010 and HP2020:
Health Communication; Injury and Violence Prevention; Mental Health; Responsible Sexual Behavior; Substance Abuse

The Project:
Onenu, Robert, and Jennifer developed a curriculum resource for YouthBuild case managers to conduct health education workshops. The covered topics included sexual and reproductive health, substance abuse, and mental health. The interns also developed a framework for the creation and implementation of a comprehensive substance abuse policy at YouthBuild Newark. In addition, the team provided academic instruction to students preparing for the General Educational Development (GED) test.

Onenu stated, “The BTG experience has helped me realize that public health is not only about building healthy communities, but also encompasses empowering people with tools to help them make better choices in all aspects of life. Working with the students at YouthBuild Newark demonstrated that tackling the social, political, economic and educational inequities within our communities is just as important as addressing the health disparities that contribute to negative health outcomes. It was a fulfilling experience that I am truly grateful to have been a part of.” Robert said, “My experience with the BTG internship has been both revealing and unforgettable. Working with YouthBuild has provided me with both unique experiences and firsthand accounts of the health, economic, and educational inequities that affect underprivileged communities. I consider the time that I spent with the BTG program and YouthBuild invaluable. The knowledge I have gained from this internship with remain with me throughout my career.” Jennifer noted, “Overall the experience with YouthBuild Newark was challenging, enlightening and unforgettable. Working with the students allowed me to put a face on the outcomes of an unsupportive educational and social system in Newark. The most fulfilling aspect of the program was providing academic instruction in such a way that allowed the students to be comfortable with their learning ‘quirks,’ as I see it, enabling them to comprehend the material that makes sense to them.”

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The Impact of a Text Messaging Campaign on the Dietary Behavior and Physical Activity Levels of Mothers in Newark, New Jersey

Student Interns:
Ijeoma Love Nwafor, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, School of Public Health
Jermey Taylor, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, School of Public Health

Academic Preceptors:
Irina Grafova, PhD, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, School of Public Health
Rita Hindin, PhD, MPH, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, New Jersey Medical School

Community Preceptors:
Renee Kee, MS, Greater Newark Conservancy
Michele Robinson, Greater Newark Conservancy

The Community Site:
The Greater Newark Conservancy promotes environmental stewardship to improve the quality of life in New Jersey’s urban communities through community gardening, beautification of neighborhoods, job training opportunities, environmental justice advocacy and environmental education. Emphasis is placed on partnerships with urban schools, community and civic groups, youth organizations, senior citizens, intergenerational groups and adolescent youth. The conservancy’s guiding principles are to foster a lifelong appreciation of our natural world and to encourage and highlight community pride, empowerment and self-sufficiency. View Community Partner Web Site

BTG Focus Areas Adopted From HP2010 and HP2020:
Maternal and Infant Child Health; Nutrition and Weight Status; Physical Activity and Fitness

The Project:
At the Greater Newark Conservancy, under the guidance of the nutritional director, Ijeoma and Jermey developed a project in which they explored how a text messaging campaign designed to educate, encourage and remind participants about ways to maintain a healthy lifestyle could affect behavior in the face of barriers to healthy eating and physical activity. Their literature review highlighted a close relationship between maternal dietary behavior and childhood health. In light of the nation’s growing health campaign to end childhood obesity, and given the time limit they had to develop and implement the project and to help reduce the possibility of having high attrition, they targeted mothers with children between the ages of 2 and 18 who were also Newark residents. To assess whether the text messaging campaign influenced maternal dietary behavior around meal planning and physical activity, a pre- and post-survey were given to each of the 20 participants, including a nutrition assessment; a physical assessment; and questions that asked mothers to weigh the importance of individual environmental, social, psychological and physical barriers. The text messages were sent out after all pre-surveys were administered, completed and returned. Two texts were sent to the participants’ mobile phones, once before lunch, at 12 p.m., and once just before dinner, at 5 p.m. This lasted two weeks. To thank participants, Jermey and Ijeoma developed Meal on a Budget, a food manual that includes prices and recipes to create healthy and cost-efficient meals, nutritional information on food groups, and visual guidelines for discerning appropriate portion and serving sizes.

Jermey said, “I thoroughly enjoyed the BTG experience. I’ve been trying to find my niche in public health, and this opportunity helped me with that. I found ways in which I was able to use my interests to help influence the health and wellness of individuals in the community. I also gained experience in the field and built connections with individuals at my site.” Ijeoma noted, “Given the length of the program, I was a bit skeptical of how significantly we could impact our community sites, but my experience has far exceeded the expectations I had for this internship. With BTG, there is great liberty in how students can collaborate with their sites, and personally, this unraveled a treasure box of possibilities. Combined with the unlimited, unbridled and unmatched support of our academic and site preceptors, program assistant and program director, BTG became a creative outlet where we were engaged. In the process, I believe my passion for service was further solidified, and with every smile we encountered, public health turned from a career choice to a life calling.”

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Addressing Food Insecurities in New Brunswick, New Jersey

Student Interns:
Alexsandra Apostolico, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, School of Public Health
John Azer, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School
Daniel McGruther, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, School of Health Related Professions

Academic Preceptors:
Sheryl Geisler, MS, PA-C, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, School of Health Related Professions
Sonia Garcia Laumbach, MD, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School
Bernadette West, PhD, MA, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, School of Public Health

Community Preceptor:
Lisanne Finston, MDiv, MSW, Elijah’s Promise

The Community Site:
Elijah’s Promise began as a volunteer-run soup kitchen serving the hungry in New Brunswick, New Jersey, and has since expanded into a social enterprise, providing jobs and training opportunities for impoverished and underrepresented people. Elijah’s Promise prepares thousands of delicious, nutritious meals each year and provides the hungry with access to fresh, quality food—because all people should have access to good food. View Community Partner Web Site

BTG Focus Areas Adopted From HP2010 and HP2020:
Chronic Disease (Diabetes, Kidney Disease, Respiratory Diseases, etc.); Nutrition and Weight Status

The Project:
John, Dan and Alexsandra worked on three projects with different approaches to improve the eating habits and nutrition of New Brunswick residents. First, they worked with site staff to develop and pilot a program evaluation framework for weekly cooking classes; second, they scripted and produced video clips on food preparation and safety; and third, they redesigned lunch menus for area charter schools. With the first project, the interns evaluated the effectiveness of the four-week “Let’s Cook” cooking class program that educates low-income families about healthy eating on a budget. They surveyed current and previous participants, observed current classes and interviewed program chefs. They then compiled a list of findings and recommendations to guide the staff in future program development and ongoing evaluation. For the second project, building on feedback on the “Let’s Cook” program, the interns developed and produced educational video clips to complement and reinforce in-class lessons. Topics included how to choose in-season produce and how to read nutrition labels. Videos are posted online for access by both class participants and the general public. With the third project, the interns worked with site catering staff to reformulate school lunch menus for area charter schools. The catering staff had to review and redesign menus to meet new USDA regulations improving school lunch nutrition, while serving enjoyable food and keeping costs low. The interns analyzed the new regulations and developed a 14-day cycle menu that can be used as a starting point for catering staff to test and implement meals that fit USDA criteria.

John said, “As an aspiring physician, I feel it is important to learn how to reach out to underserved and disadvantaged communities. I learned a lot about the importance of healthy eating and living, something that has definitely been lacking in my own life. By realizing its lack of definition in my own life, I used the program to my own benefit as I attempted to improve my own eating habits. By improving my own eating habits, I hope I can serve my future patients more effectively as I will be a witness to what it means to live healthily.” Alexsandra noted, “This internship served me in ways quite unexpected. In addition to giving me an opportunity to expand my knowledge and to learn new skills, as most internships might, I have come away from this experience with a greater appreciation for a very basic human need—food. By working through Elijah’s Promise and its many facets, I have developed a greater understanding of the difficulties and obstacles people in our community face every day. As an aspiring public health professional, an understanding of health disparities of all sorts—including those that create hunger—is essential. This internship allowed me to gain valuable insight about the many determinants of hunger. An understanding of these variables is paramount when envisioning a comprehensive solution for widespread hunger and, consequently, vital to all public health professionals. I appreciate the contribution this internship made to my personal and professional development.” Daniel stated, “Working with Elijah’s Promise this summer provided me with opportunities not only to contribute to my community but also to interact and work with other health care, social service and community advocacy professionals. As a future physician assistant, learning to work as part of a team to promote the holistic health of patients is crucial. Working closely with a public health student and a medical student, as well as the Elijah’s Promise staff, provided me with countless opportunities to better understand collaboration between other professional disciplines and my own, as well as the forum to develop and contribute to interdisciplinary approaches to providing for the most basic of human needs.”

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Assessment of Adult Day Programs in and Around New Brunswick, New Jersey

Student Interns:
Jamie Moy, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, School of Osteopathic Medicine
Katie Weindler, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School

Academic Preceptors:
Joshua A. Coren, DO, MBA, FACOFP, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, School of Osteopathic Medicine
Sonia Garcia Laumbach, MD, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School

Community Preceptors:
Anita Franzione, DrPH, MPA, The Francis E. Parker Memorial Home
Lisa Slater, RN, BS, The Francis E. Parker Memorial Home

The Community Site:
The Francis E. Parker Memorial Home provides transformative and charitable long-term care services in home-like settings while advancing learning opportunities for nurses, other health care professionals and caregivers. Adult day programs provide this same care on a day-to-day basis and provide family members and caregivers with a respite from constant care. View Community Partner Web Site

BTG Focus Areas Adopted From HP2010 and HP2020:
Access to Health Care; Elder Health and Senior Quality of Life

The Project:
Jamie and Katie’s project assessed the resources available to older adults living in the greater New Brunswick area, including Edison, Highland Park, Perth Amboy, Princeton, North Brunswick and Sayreville. To identify these adult day health and social programs, the interns created a survey template with Natalie Macaro, director of Parker Home’s adult day program. During their site visits, they toured the facilities and interviewed staff members. The project focused on comparing and contrasting the various programs, highlighting their strengths and weaknesses and listing what participants would be best suited for each program based on ethnicity, cognitive skill level and need for assistance with activities of daily living. The programs differ greatly, but all make a difference within their communities in caring for the elderly. The survey results will be shared with all of the sites so they can benefit from the project.

Jamie noted, “The BTG internship has demonstrated to me how health professionals of different backgrounds can effectively communicate as a team to achieve the best level of care for their clients. As a medical student, this is a valuable lesson that will ultimately benefit future patients. I have also had the unique opportunity to explore adult day programs within the area and learn from an incredible array of people, the most influential of which are the day program staff and the participants they care for. Through them, I have come to understand the value of adult day programs in both the continuum of elderly care and the prevention of extra hospitalizations. This is particularly important for seniors with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia and their families, who benefit greatly from the structure, socialization and peace of mind. With increased funding and awareness, adult day programs have the opportunity to fill a great need in senior care throughout the nation.” Katie commented, “Elder care is becoming such a pressing issue in this country. I have seen the importance of having a positive environment, like the Parker Home, for the elderly in New Brunswick. Visiting different adult day programs has also given me the exposure to the resources that are available to the elderly in my community. The BTG internship has given me a great opportunity in working with caregivers of all different backgrounds as well as students in different disciplines. I have really cherished my time at BTG and the Parker Home.”

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Community Outreach and Connecting Organizations to Provide Resources to Underserved Populations

Student Interns:
Kristen Rienstra, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, School of Health Related Professions
Jeanette Taveras, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, School of Osteopathic Medicine

Academic Preceptors:
Danielle Cooley, DO, University of Medicine and Dentistry, School of Osteopathic Medicine
Jill Reichman, MPH, PA-C, University of Medicine and Dentistry, School of Health Related Professions

Community Preceptor:
James Comstock, LCSW, ACSW, Project H.O.P.E.

The Community Site:
Project H.O.P.E. is an organization in the city of Camden that provides services to improve the health and well-being of the homeless and those in situations of unstable housing. Both insured and uninsured individuals are welcome and can obtain primary health care as well as other preventive services. View Community Partner Web Site

BTG Focus Areas Adopted From HP2010 and HP2020:
Access to Health Care; Chronic Disease (Diabetes, Kidney Disease, Respiratory Diseases, etc.); Health Communication; Mental Health; Nutrition and Weight Status

The Project:
At Project H.O.P.E., Kristen and Jeanette worked on health communication projects, performed community outreach and assessed clinic patients’ flow time. They created a children’s book to explain unstable housing and developed health education presentations on blood pressure control, heat safety, and nutrition and diabetes. The interns then conducted health workshops at various community outreach sites and participated in health fairs with the mobile health van. When patients came in for blood pressure and glucose screenings, they would learn more about the clinic and its services. In addition, Kristen and Jeanette met many prospective clients at the farmers market at the Walter Rand Transportation Center. To find a way to decrease patient flow time, the interns observed the different time intervals spent by patients during their office visits and then analyzed such patient characteristics as insurance status. At an office case management meeting, they presented their findings and highlighted potential system improvements. This information will assist in future changes within the clinic.

Kristen commented, “This internship has had a profound impact on the way I view people in situations of unstable housing as well as people in the underserved community. I have learned to communicate with individuals who face difficult challenges, as well as collaborate with other organizations to best meet the needs of these clients. Project H.O.P.E. has opened my eyes to working with this population and ways that I can make a difference in the future.” Jeanette said, “Project H.O.P.E. has strengthened my desire to work in an underserved community and allowed me to experience firsthand the different situations that those with unstable housing face. I have learned how important it is for the community that these organizations work together for the well-being of their clients, and that it is imperative for health care providers to be aware of all the psychosocial factors that can be an obstacle to successful treatment.”

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"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."
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