BTG Hope

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Philadelphia Consortium Projects - 2017

Adolescents & Young Adults

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Tools, Spaces and Partnerships: A Multi-Modal Approach to Sustainable Wellness

Student Interns:
Rachel LeMalefant, Drexel University College of Medicine
Samantha Tavlin, Drexel University, College of Nursing and Health Professions, Creative Arts in Therapy

Academic Preceptor:
Yasmine Awais, MAAT, ATR-BC, ATCS, LCAT, LPC, Drexel University, College of Nursing and Health Professions, Creative Arts in Therapy

Community Preceptors:
Rachel Compton, MSW, LCSW, Drexel University, Dornsife School of Public Health
Ted Corbin, MD, MPP, Drexel University, Dornsife School of Public Health
John Rich, MD, MPH, Drexel University, Dornsife School of Public Health

The Community Site:
The Healing Hurt People (HHP) program, which operates out of the Drexel University Center for Nonviolence and Social Justice, works with clients who are seen in the emergency department for intentional injuries (gunshot, stab or assault wounds). An interdisciplinary team consisting of an emergency physician, an internist, a psychiatrist, a social worker and a psychologist with extensive expertise in violence prevention and trauma conceived the program. HHP was designed to address the physical, emotional and social needs that victims of violence experience after they are released from the emergency department. HHP uses a trauma-informed approach, connecting the youth served to resources such as medical follow-up, emotional support for post-traumatic stress, mentoring, housing, substance abuse treatment, recreation, legal services, after-school program referrals, job training and placement, and parenting education and support. View Community Partner Web Site

BTG Focus Areas (adapted from Healthy People 2010 and 2020):
Access to Health Care; Injury and Violence Prevention; Mental Health

The Project:
The Bridging the Gaps student interns worked on developing tools, spaces and partnerships that will lead to sustainable wellness for the clients and staff at Healing Hurt People. The interns generated a training video for the mindfulness software HeartMath and created a wellness room for staff and clients to engage in wellness as their schedules permit. The interns also met with various community organizations to establish partnerships with those whose missions are similar to that of Healing Hurt People. The intent is to extend the trauma-informed care clients receive in their communities. The meetings resulted in various levels of partnership outlined through expectation agreements and referral information. To make the partnership effort sustainable, the interns worked on a protocol for building trauma-informed partnerships and created a brochure on the basics of trauma-informed care.

Personal Statements:
Rachel said, “While working with Healing Hurt People this summer, I have been completely overwhelmed by the compassion and the strength of the people in this office who make such an incredible difference in client lives. The resilience and kindness emanating from the staff here is then reflected in the clients they work with, and seeing the transformation in these young people who have experienced a lifetime of violence and adversity (even in just the short time I worked here) has truly been a privilege and an inspiration. Throughout my time here, I learned so much about trauma-informed care by going into the community and seeing the neighborhoods our clients live in. I also discovered a lot about my own implicit biases and how to navigate them. I am sad that this summer has come to an end, but I am so grateful for my time here and will carry my experience here with me into my future career!” Samantha said, “I will carry the knowledge and experiences I have gained from HHP with me through and beyond my career as an art therapist and counselor. Healing Hurt People revitalized my faith in the ability of helping organizations to embody trauma-informed care with complete integrity despite the challenges of health and social structures. I am inspired by HHP’s dedication to nullifying oppressive social forces, which it brings to every human interaction. This commitment to a lifelong practice of cultural humility and human empowerment has become more deeply integrated into my personal and professional identity. I am humbled and grateful to have had the opportunity to work with the incredible staff and clients at HHP.”

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Coping With Violence and Discovering Passions in STEM Careers

Student Interns:
Cynthia Clyburn, University of Pennsylvania, School of Social Policy & Practice
Anita Patel, University of Pennsylvania, School of Dental Medicine

Academic Preceptors:
Zvi D. Gellis, PhD, University of Pennsylvania, School of Social Policy & Practice
Joan I. Gluch, PhD, RDH, PHDHP, University of Pennsylvania, School of Dental Medicine

Community Preceptor:
Jacqui Bowman, PhD, Center for Education, The College of Physicians of Philadelphia

The Community Site:
The College of Physicians of Philadelphia, located in Center City, is the oldest professional medical organization in the United States. Its mission is to advance the cause of health while upholding the ideals and heritage of medicine. Among the College of Physicians’ many outreach efforts are the Karabots Program and the Teva Program, both of which focus on the personal and professional development of Philadelphia high school students. View Community Partner Web Site

BTG Focus Areas (adapted from Healthy People 2010 and 2020):
Access to Health Care; Educational Advancement/Literacy; Injury and Violence Prevention; Mental Health; Preparedness

The Project:
The Bridging the Gaps student interns worked with the Center for Education at the College of Physicians of Philadelphia to assist with the Teva Summer Program. The Teva Program has two main components. The first focuses on how to understand, handle and cope with community violence. This is accomplished by investigating the history of the city, holding discussions on social justice, practicing mindfulness and taking self-defense courses. The second objective is to expose students to various STEM careers. The BTG interns helped mentor the students throughout the program to encourage them to take advantage of the opportunities presented to them. The interns also helped by providing information on various careers and encouraging the students to apply to college.

Personal Statements:
Anita said, “Working at the College of Physicians exposed me to many professionals working in STEM careers that are dedicated to sharing their knowledge and mentoring local Philadelphia students. I was extremely impressed with the opportunities that these professionals presented to the students, and it showed me how easy and impactful programs like Teva can be in shaping the future of these kids’ lives.” Cynthia said, “It has been an honor to work at the College of Physicians this summer, an organization that goes above and beyond for the community of Philadelphia, especially youth. This experience was my first time working with adolescents, and I was surprised by their maturity, especially when discussing difficult topics such as violence, mental health stigmas and social justice issues. The interns of the Teva Program were eager to participate in each activity and showed each presenter and guest the utmost respect. They had diverse interests in STEM careers, and all of them are driven to find a career path that fulfills their passions.”

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Opportunities for Learning, Skills for Life

Student Interns:
Florina Gabriela Kraiter, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine Program
John Lozowski, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine Program

Academic Preceptors:
Denise Curran, MS, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine
Pat A. Lannutti, DO, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine

Community Preceptors:
Jacquie Patterson, MPA, EducationWorks
Tiffaney Waters, MA, Ed, EducationWorks

The Community Site:
EducationWorks enriches the lives of children and families by providing educational programs and services in communities confronting high rates of poverty and other barriers to educational achievement. EducationWorks provides a specialized summer program for adolescents, preparing them for and exposing them to possible career options. View Community Partner Web Site

BTG Focus Areas (adapted from Healthy People 2010 and 2020):
Chronic Disease (Diabetes, Kidney Disease, Respiratory Diseases, etc.); Educational Advancement/Literacy; Heart Disease and Stroke; Nutrition and Weight Status; Oral Health

The Project:
The Bridging the Gaps student interns worked with the EducationWorks Summer Program to provide academic enrichment and recreational programming to campers. They developed educational presentations on cardiovascular health, nutrition and oral hygiene, and followed these sessions with interactive activities, such as playing Jeopardy and preparing nutritious snacks, that reinforced the topics. The interns also led preventive-health and community-focused discussions with high school students, to help guide and support them as they developed community advocacy projects.

Personal Statements:
Gabriela said, “Through my Bridging the Gaps internship, I had a unique opportunity to connect with underserved communities in the Greater Philadelphia region. It truly gave me a better understanding of the lives, challenges and needs facing the patients I will one day serve and showed me the impact that community outreach and health education has on empowering patients to take an active role in caring for their health. It was refreshing to take the concepts I had been studying in medical school and apply them through health education. The students we worked with were curious and excited to learn, and I am very grateful for the opportunity to be part of their summer growth experience and share my passion with them.” John said, “This summer was a fantastic experience for me. I learned so much about the culture that I’ll be working in and the issues that the local communities face, both social and health related. I have learned that education is the most important factor in our nation’s future development, and that the public must be educated about their health, or the obesity, diabetes and heart disease epidemic that we are seeing will continue to rise. In addition to my eyes being opened about the health issues in the community, I had been reminded of the importance of culture in medicine. As a future physician, I want to strive to learn the cultures of the communities I’ll be serving and be sensitive to differences that may exist between theirs and mine.”

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Fostering Philadelphia Futures’ Best Dance Crew

Student Interns:
Chihyang Lin, Drexel University College of Medicine
Maria Phillips, Drexel University, College of Nursing and Health Professions, Creative Arts in Therapy
Nathaniel Pyzik, Drexel University, College of Nursing and Health Professions, Creative Arts in Therapy
Deeksha Sarma, Drexel University College of Medicine

Academic Preceptor:
Blair Dickinson, MD, MS, FAAP, Drexel University College of Medicine, St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children

Community Preceptors:
Jonathan Edwards, Philadelphia Futures
Helena Miller, MPA, Philadelphia Futures

The Community Site:
Philadelphia Futures provides academic and social resources for high-potential, economically disadvantaged, college-bound students in the Philadelphia school district. It provides low-income students who will be the first generation in their families to attend college with rigorous academic programs and resources to support them through high school and college. View Community Partner Web Site

BTG Focus Areas (adapted from Healthy People 2010 and 2020):
Educational Advancement/Literacy; Heart Disease and Stroke; Mental Health; Physical Activity and Fitness; Preparedness

The Project:
The Bridging the Gaps student interns enhanced the high school education of Philadelphia Futures scholars by providing administrative and logistical support for courses such as Career Research and Exploration and History and Human Behavior. Interns also assisted students and staff with major projects such as the summer college marathon, helping students apply to and prepare for college. In addition, the interns assisted with administrative tasks as needed.

Personal Statements:
Chihyang said, “The combination of my experiences working at Philadelphia Futures and hearing from guest lecturers talk about various social disparities has been eye-opening. Through Philadelphia Futures, I interacted with some of the most intelligent, driven kids, all of whom come from a low-income background and some from immigrant groups. They’ve taught me that almost anybody with the drive to succeed can do it, given the chance, environment and right resources. The guest lecturers helped “bridge the gap” in understanding for me about various groups such as the LGBTQ community, immigrant groups and those living in poverty. My exposures through BTG CHIP will help me become a more understanding, compassionate physician who can accept various perspectives and effectively communicate with patients from all walks of life so I will be able to heal them to the best of my ability.” Maria said, “Through BTG CHIP and my experience at Philadelphia Futures, I observed and learned the importance of providing academic and social resources for high school students coming from low-income backgrounds. The staff members and teachers at Philadelphia Futures challenge their students and provide unconditional support. It was exciting to see the students’ energy and desire to succeed and learn about their individual interest. As I continue my education to become an art therapist, I hope to mirror this supportive environment by fostering resilience and motivating others to achieve their goals.” Nate said, “I learned a lot this summer about health disparities and the adolescent population. The transition from high school to college is an important time in the lives of our teens. It was an extremely important time in my life that redefined who I was as a person, student and emerging adult. I drew upon my experiences in working with the students at Philadelphia Futures. I promoted healthy relationships and academic success in the classroom and in one-on-one tutoring sessions. I learned a lot about different cultural identities and lived experiences of the youth in Philadelphia. The work I did at this internship will help inform my work as a dance/movement therapist and counselor. I hope to give adolescents and young adults the curiosity to explore their futures and the motivation to see it through.” Deeksha said, “This summer’s internship at Philadelphia Futures was fulfilling in ways that I did not expect. Though we focused on reading and writing skills throughout the course, I was most fascinated by the students’ motivation to achieve success in their education, despite their backgrounds. Though the students come from underprivileged schools and families, their constant and unrelenting drive to succeed and persevere is truly inspiring. As a future physician, this experience will further my communication skills and ability to form connections and bonds with populations other than my own, in order to best serve my community.”

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Inspiring, Guiding and Achieving with Upward Bound

Student Interns:
Sheila Achayo, Temple University, School of Pharmacy
Yao-Chieh Cheng, Temple University, Lewis Katz School of Medicine
Meron Woger, Temple University, School of Pharmacy

Academic Preceptor:
Tariem A. Burroughs, MSEd, MSODL, Temple University, Lewis Katz School of Medicine

Community Preceptor:
Tyra Madison, MA, Temple University Upward Bound, College of Education

The Community Site:
The Temple University Upward Bound Program prepares Philadelphia public and charter high school students for admission to institutions of higher learning and success in the collegiate environment through intense academic enrichment, a summer college immersion experience, enhanced cognitive and critical thinking, and extensive interpersonal development through positive social interactions. The programs enable students to set attainable goals and build self-awareness; respect for diversity; and healthy relationships with peers, staff and professionals from industry and the community. View Community Partner Web Site

BTG Focus Areas (adapted from Healthy People 2010 and 2020):
Educational Advancement/Literacy; Health Communication; Mental Health; Nutrition and Weight Status; Oral Health

The Project:
Upward Bound and Math/Science Upward Bound help high school students in the Philadelphia school system achieve their goals of going to college. These programs provide students with college and SAT prep, financial aid and scholarship information, college tours, tutoring and mentoring, and a six-week summer residential experience. During the summer program, the Bridging the Gaps student interns taught science classes, gave healthy literacy workshops every Friday, guided students in their science projects and presentations, helped to organize the science symposium and assisted with various administrative tasks. They also mentored students and organized activities and events outside of class hours.

Personal Statements:
Sheila said, “The past seven weeks at BTG have been a very informative and humbling experience. I enjoyed every aspect of it, from interacting with the staff and the kids in the program to interacting with fellow professional health students on didactic Wednesdays. BTG helped me learn about community health in a way that cannot be taught in class, and I definitely believe I will be an outstanding pharmacist because of this experience; thus, I am very glad and lucky I was a part of BTG this summer.” Yao-Chieh said, “Although Upward Bound wasn’t a medically related program, teaching is similar in the sense that you have a focused goal that you want to get done in a set time. A student falling asleep in class may not be a bad student; he or she might be helping support his household and might not be able to get enough sleep because of it. My BTG experience with Upward Bound has served as a reminder to think outside of medicine when talking to a patient. I will consistently remind myself that not everyone has the singular story that I encountered.” Meron said, “Spending the past seven weeks in the Bridging the Gaps program was the most rewarding and eye-opening experience. I have learned many things that affect community health and also ways that I can be a better pharmacist in the future. Some of the lessons that I will take with me while moving forward are to be an open-minded person, create a welcoming environment to make my patient comfortable, and also to always consider different factors that affect people’s health and not to judge anyone based on our expectation how someone should act and/or behave.”

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