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Philadelphia Consortium Projects - 2017

Maternal/Child & Women's Health

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Health Federation of Philadelphia: An Early Head Start Program

Student Interns:
Kara Silberthau, University of Pennsylvania, Perelman School of Medicine
Amy Yeh, University of Pennsylvania, School of Dental Medicine

Academic Preceptors:
Robin Canada, MD, University of Pennsylvania, Perelman School of Medicine
Joan I. Gluch, PhD, RDH, PHDHP, University of Pennsylvania, School of Dental Medicine

Community Preceptor:
Khadijah Muhammad, MSEd, MSW, Early Head Start, Health Federation of Philadelphia

The Community Site:
The Health Federation of Philadelphia Early Head Start (HFP-EHS) provides comprehensive services to meet the education, health, nutrition and social services needs of low-income pregnant women, infants and toddlers (from birth to 3 years old) and their families. The families we serve reside in North Philadelphia and Lower Northeast Philadelphia in the following zip codes: North Central Empowerment Zone: 19121, 19122, 19133; North: 19132; Lower Northeast: 19120, 19124; and Northwest: 19140, 19141, 19126. View Community Partner Web Site

BTG Focus Areas (adapted from Healthy People 2010 and 2020):
Health Communication; Maternal, Infant and Child Health; Nutrition and Weight Status; Oral Health; Physical Activity and Fitness

The Project:
The Bridging the Gaps student interns developed a multifaceted plan based on the identified needs of Health Federation of Philadelphia Early Head Start (HFP-EHS). They created three deliverables for sustainable use at the organization: 1) a socialization feedback form, 2) a food resource availability and accessibility map, 3) a phone application integration project. The purpose of the socialization feedback form was to assess the goals of the families attending HFP-EHS socializations and determine what could be improved to better serve them. The food resource availability and accessibility map aimed to provide staff and families with a visual representation of local healthy and affordable food options. For the phone application integration project, the interns identified three free phone applications to allow families to track their own progress and increase autonomy in three categories: heart health, food resources and child development. They also assisted and presented lesson plans on nutrition, oral health and cardiovascular activity at a heart health initiative (I am Moving, I am Learning), Daddy ’n’ Me groups and Temple dental screenings.

Personal Statements:
Kara said, “As a BTG intern at the Health Federation, I had the opportunity to learn about health and well-being from a community perspective. The team-based model at the Health Federation encourages collaboration among health workers, social workers and education specialists in order to best support each family’s needs. By observing this team, I saw the importance of strong communication, trust, patience and the meaning behind a phrase that many social workers repeated: meeting people where they’re at.” Amy said, “My main goal when coming into the BTG Program was to learn how to better work in an interdisciplinary setting and to get to know the people of Philadelphia in their daily lives. My experience at Health Federation of Philadelphia gave me just that. While highlighting the synergism of working in interprofessional teams including all fields of health care and social work, Health Federation also taught me to respect the fact that people are the experts of their own lives and that we must meet them wherever they are in their health and life journey to serve them best.”

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Safe Sleep Education in Philadelphia

Student Interns:
Dana Curtis, Thomas Jefferson University, Sidney Kimmel Medical College
Lauren Zelouf, University of Pennsylvania, School of Social Policy & Practice

Academic Preceptors:
Zvi Gellis, PhD, University of Pennsylvania, School of Social Policy & Practice
Maria Hervada-Page, MSS, Thomas Jefferson University, Sidney Kimmel Medical College

Community Preceptor:
Shauntay Murray, BS, CLC, Maternity Care Coalition, Cribs for Kids Program

The Community Site:
Cribs for Kids (C4K) is a part of the Maternity Care Coalition. This program provides low-income families in Philadelphia with Graco Pack ’n Play cribs and education on safe sleeping environments. C4K provides education on how to reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). C4K also serves clients who are involved with the Department of Human Services (DHS) and are in immediate need of a crib. View Community Partner Web Site

BTG Focus Areas (adapted from Healthy People 2010 and 2020):
Access to Health Care; Environmental Health; Health Communication; Maternal, Infant and Child Health; Preparedness

The Project:
The Bridging the Gaps student interns at the Maternity Care Coalition’s Cribs for Kids Program completed prenatal and postpartum assessments over the phone with clients and scheduled them for education and Pack ’n Play delivery. They co-facilitated safe-sleep education workshops for expectant and new mothers focusing on SIDS awareness and prevention, including putting babies on their back to sleep, overheating, tummy time, pacifier use, room sharing, baby well visits, third-hand smoke and breastfeeding. They conducted one-on-one home and office visits with clients. They also planned and hosted the Cribs for Kids baby shower for clients who had successfully completed the program.

Personal Statements:
Dana said: “Working with Cribs for Kids has given me the opportunity to be involved with providing safe-sleep education for new mothers as well as allowed me to gain a greater understanding of the other resources that are available to the women who are involved with Maternity Care Coalition. I have developed a deep appreciation for the work that Cribs for Kids does. I have seen how providing SIDS prevention classes and a crib to new mothers can aid in creating a healthy environment for their infants.” Lauren said: “My experience at Cribs for Kids this summer has been enlightening. Entering this internship, I had little exposure to maternal and infant health issues, nor was I aware of SIDS prevention. It was beneficial to learn about the resources and programs Maternity Care Coalition can offer to low-income families in Philadelphia. I found the safe-sleep education workshops to be valuable for not only the mothers we were serving but also for myself. My placement at Cribs for Kids was a great learning experience, and I hope to continue spreading information on safe-sleep education to new mothers and friends.”

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Empowering Mothers and Families Through Community Action Day

Student Interns:
Florylene Capulong, University of Pennsylvania, School of Nursing
Nisha Hodge, Thomas Jefferson University, College of Population Health
Jennifer Merz, Thomas Jefferson University, College of Health Professions, Department of Occupational Therapy

Academic Preceptors: 
Rosie Frasso, PhD, MSc, MSc, CPH, Thomas Jefferson University, College of Population Health
Caryn Johnson, MS, OTR/L, FAOTA, Thomas Jefferson University, College of Health Professions, Department of Occupational Therapy
Ann L. O’Sullivan, PhD, FAAN, CPNP, University of Pennsylvania, School of Nursing
Robert Simmons, DrPH, MPH, CHES, CPH, Thomas Jefferson University, College of Population Health

Community Preceptors:
Amanda DeVilliers, MS, Nurse-Family Partnership and Mabel Morris Family Home Visit Program
Aly Keefer, BA, Nurse-Family Partnership and Mabel Morris Family Home Visit Program
Katherine Kinsey, PhD, RN, FAAN, Nurse-Family Partnership and Mabel Morris Family Home Visit Program

The Community Site:
The Nurse-Family Partnership and the Mabel Morris Family Home Visit Program are two home-visiting programs based in the Fishtown neighborhood of Philadelphia. Using the Parents as Teachers evidence-based home-visiting model, nurses are paired with low-income first-time mothers (for the Nurse-Family Partnership) for prenatal care through the child’s second birthday and with low-income parents raising children under 5 (for the Mabel Morris Family Home Visit Program). Nurses visit with families regularly, providing support, encouragement and information about development, well-being and parent-child interaction. View Community Partner Web Site

BTG Focus Areas (adapted from Healthy People 2010 and 2020):
Access to Health Care; Educational Advancement/Literacy; Environmental Health; Maternal, Infant and Child Health; Nutrition and Weight Status

The Project:
The Bridging the Gaps student interns at the Nurse-Family Partnership (NFP) created child development activities to be used on home visits with the nurses and program participants. During home visits, they led interactive educational games for infants and toddlers. In addition, the interns organized NFP’s second annual Community Action Day, which is framed around the idea of hearing from NFP’s clients and other members of the community about their vision for their community—where the community is strong, where support is needed, and what resources are available to support this vision. The interns conducted phone interviews with each person who signed up for the event to gather perspectives on what the participants thought was important. Interns then reached out to community partners and resources that participants could use to become involved in their communities. The interns also designed and implemented a photo-voice project to share eventually with community legislators, with the end goal of creating a more open dialogue between the community and its lawmakers.

Personal Statements:
Florylene said, “My experiences at the Nurse Family-Partnership have exposed me to the importance of nursing outside of the clinical setting. For me, this summer emphasized the power behind being able to meet people as they are: to come into their lives and their experiences in order to love unconditionally and to advocate for them relentlessly such that these extraordinary lives can grow in extraordinary circumstances. The unwavering devotion and love that these nurses have for their families is truly inspiring, and I hope to carry this similar passion for people into my career as a nurse.” Nisha said, “Working at the Nurse-Family Partnership this summer was an amazing experience. It showed me the extent of the reach and impact public health organizations such as NFP/MM can have on the community. True health care should not only be limited to clinical care but also social partnership, and NFP/MM embodies that notion. The Nurse-Family Partnership/Mabel Morris is an invaluable program that truly bridges the gap in health, information and resources for the mothers and families that they serve. It’s much more than a home visiting program. It is creating a family and illustrating that it does in fact take a village to raise a child. This experience has only further cemented my desire to work with underserved populations in the field as a public health practitioner.” Jennifer said, “Interning at the Nurse-Family Partnership/Mabel Morris Family Home Visit Program allowed me to interact with students from other health professions, which was a great experience for my future career as an occupational therapist. Although I would have liked to have had more direct experience with the clients that this organization serves, through planning Community Action Day I was exposed to a variety of community resources and organizations that I was not previously aware of. Having knowledge of the resources that our community has to provide is super important, and will allow me to advocate for my patients in the future as an OT.”

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Fostering Health and Wellness in Philadelphia Families

Student Intern:
Taylor Anspach, 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:
Emily Labree, LSW, Community Umbrella Agency 9, Turning Points for Children
Lilly Lugo, Community Umbrella Agency 9, Turning Points for Children

The Community Site:
As the Community Umbrella Agency (CUA) for West/Southwest Philadelphia (CUA 9), Turning Points for Children provides a continuum of care for children and families, including services preventing child abuse and neglect, in-home services for families at risk, and foster care services aimed at reunifying families and assuring permanency for children. An affiliate of Public Health Management Corporation (PHMC), Turning Points for Children is able to access a strong continuum of services to connect children and their caregivers in the areas of primary care, behavioral health, financial services, parenting programs, workforce readiness and early childhood education. Turning Points for Children is committed to providing a holistic, client-centered approach to delivering services by a team of care experts who customize care around clients’ needs. View Community Partner Web Site

BTG Focus Areas (adapted from Healthy People 2010 and 2020):
Access to Health Care; Health­Related Quality of Life and Well-Being; Injury and Violence Prevention; Maternal, Infant and Child Health; Oral Health

The Project:
The Bridging the Gaps student intern at Turning Points for Children worked with a well-being specialist to track the medical histories of children in the welfare system. The intern’s responsibilities included requesting medical records, receiving and uploading records to the electronic case management system and reconciling missing records. In addition, the intern called foster parents to find records and schedule medical appointments for case children. The intern then tracked the progression of their medical treatment.

Personal Statement:
Taylor said, “My time at Turning Points for Children has been eye-opening, challenging, but most importantly, it has been rewarding. I worked with a very dedicated team that was passionate about making the city’s most vulnerable children’s lives better. The amount of children that are in need of services is astounding, but I feel optimistic about the future knowing that there are devoted people working tirelessly to improve the system. This experience has given me a greater understanding of the welfare system and the struggles families go through to be able to provide adequate health care to their children. I will keep this experience in my mind as I become a physician. It will guide me, so I can do my part in providing children the proper care.”

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