BTG Hope

“It is obvious that with the Bridging the Gaps Program our community and the academic education of LECOM students are brought together in a very unique and rewarding way … The Northwest Pennsylvania Area Health Education Center (NW PA AHEC) is pleased to support the Bridging the Gaps Program. We hope that each year will be a continued success for the Erie community as well as all the other Pennsylvania communities honored to have this type of relationship with medical schools and their students.”
Jane A. Mullinax, MEd Director of Career Development,
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BTG CHIP 2015-16 Report

Lehigh Valley Program Activities

Program Established: 2010.

Program Period: June 22 to August 7, 2015.

Students/Projects/Sites: 12 students worked on 6 projects at 6 community sites in Allentown, Pennsylvania.

Professional Disciplines: Nursing, physician assistant, and medicine.

Service Days: Students provided 336 days of health-related service.

Participating Institutions: DeSales University and The Commonwealth Medical College.

Types of Sites Served: Community organization offices, community health center, in the field/community, recreation centers, day camps, school, shelters, and treatment centers.  

Student Activities:* Community outreach, research on health issues, health related client education, community social activities, oral health activities, planning health activities, assessing community resources, evaluation of existing programs, advocacy activities, development or administration of surveys, literacy activities, and linking clients with health resources.

Population Demographics: Mixture of females and males; all ages except newborn; mixture of race/ethnicities; both English speaking and non-English speaking.

Community Health Issues:* Oral health, cardiovascular health, diet and nutrition, exercise, homelessness, communication, poverty, access to health care, insurance/social services, mental health, substance abuse, child care, diabetes, personal hygiene, and transportation.

Didactic Sessions: Lehigh Valley students joined the Wednesday core didactic sessions of the Philadelphia Consortium program. Starting on July 8, they attended Lehigh Valley component program sessions on Wednesday afternoons.

Oral Health Activities: The Philadelphia dental mentor and registered dental hygienist from the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine offered information and resources to Lehigh Valley students so they could conduct oral health education activities at their sites, if appropriate. All of Lehigh Valley’s community sites engaged in oral health activities. According to student estimates, 155 children (aged 13 and under), 22 youth/young adults (aged 14 to 20), and 111 adults received oral health education.

Symposium: The Lehigh Valley Students presented at the BTG 25th Anniversary Symposium, which took place on October 9, 2015, at Congregation Rodeph Shalom. Lehigh Valley Health Network also hosted a local symposium to highlight the Lehigh Valley BTG program on September 30, 2015, at the Gambet Center at DeSales University.

*The information provided here reflects only those categories reported by 40% or more of students participating at this BTG program location.

2015-16 Lehigh Valley Program Participants

Program Staff and Faculty
Mary Ellen Miller PhD, RN, APHN-BC, Program Director
Maggie Hadinger, EdD, MS
Abby S. Letcher, MD
Lissette Ortiz

Academic Preceptor
Mary Ellen Miller, PhD, RN, APHN-BC

Community Preceptors
Tina Amato, MS, RD, LDN
Hasshan Batts, MSW
Jonathan Copeland
Brett Feldman, PA-C
Abby Letcher, MD
Anthony Strobel, MEd
Paul Tomlin

2015-16 Lehigh Valley Community Partners

For a complete alphabetical list of all 2015 BTG CHIP community partners and to view community project summaries by site, click here.

  • AIDS Activities Office
  • Alliance Hall
  • Casa Guadalupe
  • Lehigh Valley Health Network Street Medicine
  • Neighborhood Health Centers of the Lehigh Valley
  • Sixth Street Shelter

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“As a future physician, I have come to learn that health, especially in geriatrics, is not only what the labs and x-rays tell you, but for a majority, it is the interaction and communication with their loved ones.”
Filip Moshkovsky
Lake Erie College of
Osteopathic Medicine
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