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)

BTG CHIP 2017-18 Report

Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey Program Activities


Program Established: 2008.

Program Period: June 12 to July 28, 2017.

Students/Projects/Sites: 23 students worked on 13 projects at 13 community sites in Camden, New Brunswick, Newark, and Pennsauken, New Jersey.

Professional Disciplines: Medicine pharmacy, and public health.

Service Days: Students provided 606 days of health-related service.

Types of Sites Served: Community health centers, community organization offices, in the field/community, treatment centers (day or other), hospital clinics, day camps, geriatric facilities (activity or residential), and shelter (homeless or other).

Student Activities:* Research on health issues, development or administration of surveys, planning health activities, health-related client education, assessing community resources, evaluation of existing programs, client interviews, community outreach, community social activities, linking clients with health resources, oral health activities.

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:* Access to health care, diet and nutrition, mental health, exercise, insurance/social services, oral health, homelessness, personal hygiene.

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: Triple Aim – A view from the frontline; Mental Health and Stigma; Communities and Oral Health Needs; Homelessness in NJ; Walking Tour of New Brunswick; Social Determinants of Health; Understanding Disabilities; Cultural Humility; Refugee Health and Wellness; Child Immigration from Central America: A NJ Primary Care Perspective; The Opioid Crisis; Decarceration and Community Re-Entry.

Oral Health Activities:Yvonne Mikalopas, RDH, Central Region Coordinator for the New Jersey Children’s Oral Health Program/Zufall Health Center, provided a session for students on the importance of oral health and concerns around access to care. She 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 26, 2017, 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.


2017-18 Rutgers University Program Participants

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

Academic Preceptors
Mary Bridgeman, PharmD, BCPS, BCGP
Liesel Copeland, PhD
Stacy N. Davis, PhD, MPH
Germin Fahim, PharmD
Irina Grafova, PhD
William Halperin, DrPH, MD, MPH
Robert Laumbach, MD, MPH, CIH
Sonia Laumbach, MD
Karen Lin, MD
Megan Maroney, PharmD, BCPP
Matthew McQuillan, MS, PA-C
Qingyu Meng, PhD
Aubrey Olson, DO
Marian Passannante, PhD
Maria B. Pellerano, MA, MBA, MPH
Samantha M. Plasner, DO
Anita Siu, PharmD, BCPPS
David Swee, MD
Meagan W. Vermeulen, MD
Mary L. Wagner, PharmD, MS
Bernadette West, PhD, MA

Community Preceptors
Karen Benjamin, MPH
Douglass Bishop, MD
Ileen F. Bradley
Debra Brown-Ford
Natasha Dravid, MBA
Liza Gundell
Melissa Mascolo, MA
Yvette Molina
Rebecca Rhoads
Lisa Slater, MSN, RN
Adeola Sonaike, PhD, MPH
Susan Stephenson-Martin, MS, CD/N
Michael Swerdlow, PhD, MACHE
Roslyn Talley, MSW
Antonio Vega
Siomara Wedderburn, MSW


2017-18 Rutgers University Community Partners

For a complete alphabetical list of all 2017 BTG CHIP community partners and to view community project summaries by site, click here.

  • Amandla Crossing / Imani Park
  • Bridgeway Rehabilitation Services
  • Camden Coalition of Healthcare Providers
  • Covenant House Atlantic City
  • Damon House
  • Elijah’s Promise
  • Family Resource Network
  • Francis Parker Memorial Home
  • Ozanam Shelter
  • Prevent Child Abuse
  • New Jersey Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) - Education
  • UrbanPromise
  • Zufall

BTG 20 Years Video
BTG 20th Anniversary Tribute
“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
BTG 20 Years Video
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