BTG Hope

“Not only was it rewarding to have two outstanding students in our agency for six weeks, but it helped to broaden the real understanding of public health in an inner-city environment ... They [the interns] left recognizing the ‘gaps’ that affect the work that is done each day and the need for quality public health services. We were honored to be part of the program this summer and look forward to another opportunity to participate.”
Carol Wolff
Executive Director
Camden Area Health Education Center (AHEC)
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BTG CHIP 2015-16 Report

Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey Program Activities

Program Established: 2008.

Program Period: June 15 to July 31, 2015.

Students/Projects/Sites: 16 students worked on 8 projects at 8 community sites in Camden, New Brunswick, Newark, and Pennsauken, New Jersey.

Professional Disciplines: Medicine, physician assistant, and public health.

Service Days: Students provided 436 days of health-related service.

Types of Sites Served: Community organization offices, in the field/community, community health clinics, treatment centers (day or other), recreation centers, and shelters (homeless or other).

Student Activities:* Research on health issues, planning health activities, community outreach, evaluation of existing programs, health-related client education, community social activities, development or administration of surveys, oral health activities, assessing community resources, and teaching living skills.

Population Demographics: Mixture of females and males; All ages except newborns; Mixture of races/ethnicities; both English speaking and non-English speaking.

Community Health Issues:* Diet and nutrition, homelessness, oral health, HIV/AIDS, personal hygiene, poverty, STDs, access to health care, sexual questions/issues, cultural beliefs/practices, mental health, communication, and obesity.

Didactic Sessions: Students attended seven weekly sessions. The New Jersey BTG Program held its didactic sessions on Wednesdays from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. at the Rutgers School of Public Health. Speakers included faculty and staff from Rutgers School of Public Health, as well as from relevant health and social service agencies in Camden, New Brunswick, and Newark. The sessions included the following: Orientation and Healthy People 2010; The Importance of Oral Health in the Context of General Health and Poverty; The Three-Legged Stool of Successful Reentry: Readiness, Resources, and Relationships; Understanding the Intersection of Intimate Partner Violence and Child Welfare; Assessing the Health of Urban Neighborhoods: Fairmont Park, NJ; Diabetes and Poverty; What Will it Take to End Homelessness in New Jersey?; and Urban Agriculture and Food Systems.

Oral Health Activities: For the Rutgers program, Dr. Sam Wakim, DMD, MPH, Chief Dental Officer for Zufall Health Center, provided a session for students on the importance of oral health and concerns around access to care. He also provided a workshop with students about teaching proper oral hygiene. Selected literature and dental materials were distributed to students.

Symposium:  The Rutgers BTG Symposium was held on July 29, 2015, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Rutgers School of Public Health. Approximately 75 people attended the session, including students, faculty, staff, and community and academic preceptors. 

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

2015-16 Rutgers University Program Participants

Program Staff and Faculty
Bernadette West, PhD, MA, Program Director

Academic Preceptors
Linda Boyd, DO
Ping Chen, PhD
Sonia Garcia-Laumbach, MD
Irina Grafova, PhD
Bernadette Callahan Hohl, MPH, PhD
Teri Lassiter, PhD, MPH
Quingyu Meng, PhD, MS
Pamela Ohman-Strickland, PhD
Marian Passannante, PhD
Jill Reichman, DMH, MPH, PA-C
George Rhoads, MD
Marcia M. Sass, ScD
Bernadette West, PhD

Community Preceptors
Melissa Buckley, MA
Yvette Molina, BA
Jodi Riccardi, MPH
Cindy Sickora, DNP, RN
Michael Swerdlow, PhD
Summer Tatum
Karleen Yapp, PhD

2015-16 Rutgers University Community Partners

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

  • Bridgeway Rehabilitation Services
  • Camden Area Health Education Center
  • Camden Coalition of Healthcare Providers
  • Elijah’s Promise
  • Hyacinth AIDS Foundation
  • Jordan and Harris Community Health Center
  • Making it Possible to End Homelessness, Amandla Crossing
  • Making It Possible to End Homelessness, Imani Park

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“Anyone considering a career involving community health should have a hands-on experience like this. No textbook can convey the full reality of the hardships faced by residents in some needy communities, and no lecture can prepare you for the situations you encounter … I feel more strongly than ever that I’ve chosen the right career path.”
Raina Brown
University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey
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