BTG Hope

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BTG Community Preceptor

Philadelphia Consortium Projects - 2018

Maternal/Child & Women's Health

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Maternal and Child Health Preparedness: A Summer at Health Federation Early Head Start

Student Interns:
Lyda Hartness, University of Pennsylvania, School of Social Policy & Practice
Stephanie Mark, University of Pennsylvania, School of Dental Medicine

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

Community Preceptors:
Sara Fleming-Donley, BS, NDTR, Health Federation Early Head Start
Khadijah Muhammad, MSEd, MSW, Health Federation Early Head Start

The Community Site:
The Health Federation Early Head Start (EHS) program is a federally funded program tailored to assist pregnant women and families with children aged 3 and younger. Through EHS’ home-based program, teachers and social workers provide families with childhood education, health, nutrition, oral health and family support services. The program currently serves approximately 180 families in nine zip codes in Philadelphia. The overall goals of the Early Head Start program are to assist families with the growth and development of their young children, to connect families with community resources that will help them become self-sufficient, and to provide parents and children with important health information. View Community Partner Web Site

BTG Focus Areas (adapted from Healthy People 2010 and 2020):
Access to Health Care; Health-Related Quality of Life and Well-Being; Maternal, Infant and Child Health; Nutrition and Weight Status; Preparedness.

The Project:
The Bridging the Gaps student interns focused on developing portable, easily accessible health education materials for the agency to distribute to clients. The interns also updated and organized the agency’s resource database used by social workers and developed a mobile application that provides information regarding child development and common child illnesses, space to record child symptoms, a guide for things to ask during a child’s wellness visit and links to online resources. The interns also developed a compact guide with similar information for parents to keep in their wallets or bags in case they have limited access to the electronic resources. The interns hope that these three deliverables will be valuable resources for current and future Early Head Start families.

Intern Statements:
Lyda Hartness: “BTG and Health Federation have provided me with an invaluable experience working on an interdisciplinary team. As a result of interning with BTG this summer, I feel more comfortable working alongside professionals from other disciplines, and have seen how impactful and important it is to examine public health from a variety of perspectives. By being placed with my site partner, Stephanie, I learned about environmental factors that can lead to oral health challenges in women and their children. This summer provided me with a learning experience that I could not have received from my social work program alone.”

Stephanie Mark: “Interning with the Health Federation’s Early Head Start program was a wonderful opportunity that allowed me to work directly with a population I had not previously been able to interact with: mothers and young children. It’s been great seeing how this program is striving to better the lives of these families to help ensure healthy and bright futures for them. I really enjoyed working on an interdisciplinary team with social workers, including my site partner, Lyda, teachers and nutritionists.”

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Sleeping Safely and Living Well

Student Interns:
Juliette Mann, University of Pennsylvania, School of Dental Medicine
Caitlin Weiss, Thomas Jefferson University, Sidney Kimmel Medical College

Academic Preceptors:
Joan Gluch, PhD, RDH, PHDHP, University of Pennsylvania, School of Dental Medicine
Maria Hervada-Page, MSS, Thomas Jefferson University, Sidney Kimmel Medical College

Community Preceptor:
Shauntay Murray, MS, CLC, Maternity Care Coalition

The Community Site:
Cribs for Kids, a component program of the Maternity Care Coalition, provides low-income families in Philadelphia with cribs and education on safe sleeping environments. Cribs for Kids also provides education on how to reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). View Community Partner Web Site

BTG Focus Areas (adapted from Healthy People 2010 and 2020):
Access to Health Care; Educational and Community-Based Programs; Health Communication; Maternal, Infant and Child Health; Oral Health; Sleep Health.

The Project:
The Bridging the Gaps student interns at the Maternity Care Coalition worked with the Cribs for Kids program to provide safe sleeping education and distribute Graco Pack 'n Play cribs to eligible clients in the Philadelphia and Delaware County areas. Interns learned to assess clients for program eligibility, register them for educational workshops and navigate the online database for entering client information. The interns also assisted Cribs for Kids staff in coordinating and conducting workshops and home visits, during which clients receive important information on sudden infant death syndrome, breastfeeding and safe sleeping practices before they receive their new cribs.

Intern Statements:
Juliette Mann: “Cribs for Kids is an amazing program. I’ve loved seeing what an incredible impact it has on the community and realizing just how many families in our city we’ve been able to reach. It’s fascinating to work on a project at the ground level, going from door to door and speaking with clients face to face, and I’m so glad to have been able to do that with Cribs for Kids.”

Caitlin Weiss: “I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to work with the Cribs for Kids program this summer! This experience taught me so much about safe sleep education, community engagement and the resources available to new parents in Philadelphia, all of which I will absolutely utilize in my future work as a healthcare professional.”

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Empowering Clients Through Community Action Day

Student Interns:
Lauren Clark, Thomas Jefferson University, College of Nursing
Rebecca Schuck, Thomas Jefferson University, Jefferson College of Rehabilitation Sciences, Department of Occupational Therapy

Academic Preceptors:
Susan Egger, PhD, MSN, RN, Thomas Jefferson University, College of Nursing
Caryn Johnson, MS, OTR/L, FAOTA, Thomas Jefferson University, Jefferson College of Rehabilitation Sciences, Department of Occupational Therapy

Community Preceptors:
Amanda DeVilliers, MS, Nurse-Family Partnership and Mabel Morris Family Home Visit Program
Aly Keefer, MS, 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 prenatal care through the child’s second birthday (for the Nurse-Family Partnership) 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):
Health Communication; Health-Related Quality of Life and Well-Being; Maternal, Infant and Child Health; Mental Health; Oral Health.

The Project:
The Bridging the Gaps student interns organized Community Action Day, an annual event at which clients and families of the Nurse-Family Partnership and Mabel Morris Home Visit Program are connected to local resources and provided with a platform to express their concerns about issues that affect their community. The interns developed a telephone-administered needs assessment to ensure that the community partners present at Community Action Day aligned with clients’ needs. Based on these results, resources at the event included women’s health education, oral health activities and supplies, city government resources, and information about free events for families and children. Additionally, the interns observed the nurse-client relationship during home visits. These visits modeled client-centered care in the community setting and the role of public health nurses in addressing the social determinants of health.

Intern Statements:
Lauren Clark: “Interning at the Philadelphia Nurse-Family Partnership and Mabel Morris Family Home Visit Program allowed me to see a side of nursing that I haven’t experienced in a clinical setting. I developed a deeper understanding of the obstacles that women in low-income communities may face during pregnancy, and I gained further insight into how nurses can help clients navigate these complex issues. I am inspired by how significant an impact nurses can make on a systemic level when advocating for clients and their families.”

Rebecca Schuck: “Working at the Nurse-Family Partnership was a truly inspiring experience. The structure of the program allows nurses to go beyond clients’ immediate needs to address the underlying social determinants of health, which is not something you get to see as often in traditional settings. Moreover, they have incredibly strong results that have been replicated time and time again. As someone who wants to work in early intervention in the community setting, I was truly inspired by this group of women, and I hope to bring as much passion and intention to my own work as an OT.”

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YOU GO, People's Emergency Center!

Student Interns:
Ian Tolmie, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine Program
Lisa Wallace, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine Program

Academic Preceptor: 
Pat Lannutti, DO, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine

Community Preceptors:
Cassandra Green, Community Outreach, People’s Emergency Center
Zahraa Greenidge, People’s Emergency Center

The Community Site:
The People’s Emergency Center began as a shelter directly providing for and accommodating homeless young mothers and their children. As time went on, the program site grew to include more community outreach. It currently functions as a community development corporation (CDC) providing community outreach ventures, including a food cupboard program, uGO (children’s activity organization), environmental services, Action for Early Learning and digital media. View Community Partner Web Site

BTG Focus Areas (adapted from Healthy People 2010 and 2020):
Health Communication; Health-Related Quality of Life and Well-Being; Mental Health; Nutrition and Weight Status; Physical Activity and Fitness.

The Project:
The Bridging the Gaps student interns working at the People’s Emergency Center focused their efforts on the uGo program, a children’s community wellness program. Each week they visited elementary school students attending summer camp at Martha Washington Elementary School and Mill Creek Recreation Center. The interns organized and led group physical activities and correlated educational discussions commonly focused on cardiovascular health. In addition, they helped mentor high school students in the WorkReady program, helping to develop their professional and leadership skills.

Intern Statements:
Ian Tolmie: “My time at People’s Emergency Center was personally enriching and enlightening. Not only did I gain insight into the noticeable social, political, economic and health disparities that underlie the physical landscape of the West Philadelphia neighborhoods that PEC serves, but I also experienced the strong sense of community pride that those at the organization possess. I was able to work alongside passionate and caring people, which allowed me to gain an appreciation for the level of commitment and determination necessary to cultivate change at the community level. This opportunity has inspired me to continue striving to be a more compassionate and understanding person and future medical professional.”

Lisa Wallace: “There is no better way to get to know a community than to immerse yourself in it. I joined the Bridging the Gaps program for the unique opportunity to gain insight into a potential patient population. I gained not only that but also a personal understanding of the gap in academic and social resources available in underserved communities. I am leaving this program with a level of awareness that I hope will shape my future interactions and motivate me to give back more, whether it be through education, healthcare or simply just lending my time and a hand to those in need.”

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Finding a Needle in a Haystack: Tracking Well-Being for Foster Children

Student Interns:
Nicolette Alberti, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine Program
Nuha Fariha, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine Program

Academic Preceptor:
Pat Anthony Lannutti, DO, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine

Community Preceptor:
Lidis Lugo, Turning Points for Children, Community Umbrella Agency 9

The Community Site:
Turning Points is the leading social service agency in Philadelphia, supporting the needs of more than 9,000 men, women and children throughout the city. It offers programs that help families raise safe, healthy and educated children by partnering with caregivers to develop and strengthen protective qualities and offering them the tools, skills and resources needed to ensure their children’s optimal development. View Community Partner Web Site

BTG Focus Areas (adapted from Healthy People 2010 and 2020):
Access to Health Care; Educational Advancement/Literacy; Health Communication; Health-Related Quality of Life and Well-Being; Maternal, Infant and Child Health.

The Project:
The Bridging the Gaps student interns at Turning Points for Children, Community Umbrella Agency 9, worked with the well-being specialist team to track the medical histories of children in child welfare system. The interns’ responsibilities included contacting foster parents, requesting medical records, receiving and uploading records to the electronic case management system and reconciling missing records. In addition, the interns created a streamlined, up-to-date spreadsheet on Google Docs to create a more collaborative, user-friendly system. The interns also created a smoking cessation brochure to remind foster parents that smoking is prohibited in foster care homes.

Intern Statements:
Nikki Alberti: “Public health, an area of healthcare that focuses on prevention and the social determinants of health, although important, is often an element of health mostly ignored within our medical education. Factors such as low socioeconomic status, childhood trauma and high levels of stress have been shown time and time again to lead to ill health both currently and long-term. Working with Turning Points for Children has opened my eyes to the system that these children are placed in and has made me consider how this turbulence in their formative years will affect their lives down the road. This summer has reinforced my belief in the importance of remembering and participating in public health activities and also to consider my future patients’ beginnings in treatment throughout their lives.”

Nuha Fariha: “Working at Turning Points for Children has taught me a lot about the grit and resilience of the people of Philadelphia. Children in the foster care system have to endure so much, from unstable family lives to unreliable-resource parents. The lack of knowledge about basic medical information compounds the problems that already exist between trying to track data between different medical systems. Doing the work that well-being specialists do every day made me realize how truly difficult it is to navigate the healthcare industry in America. This internship made me realize that small changes are not enough. There needs to be a major overhaul of the healthcare system. There is so much more work to be done dismantling and reconstructing the current healthcare system into a better, more efficient machine, and I am inspired to do it.”

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Turning Points for Children, Food and Wellness Network (FAWN)

Student Intern:
Vatsal Gandhi, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine Program

Academic Preceptor:
Pat Anthony Lannutti, DO, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine

Community Preceptor:
Amanda Johnson, BS, Community Engagement Coordinator, Turning Points for Children, FAWN

The Community Site:
Turning Points is the leading social service agency in Philadelphia, supporting the needs of more than 9,000 men, women and children throughout the city. It offers programs that help families raise safe, healthy, educated, strong childrenby partnering with caregivers to develop and strengthen protective qualities and by offering them the tools, skills and resources needed to ensure their children’s optimal development. Food and Wellness Network (FAWN) is a community-based food pantry offering food, infant formula, diapers and nutrition education resources. View Community Partner Web Site

BTG Focus Areas (adapted from Healthy People 2010 and 2020):
Educational Advancement/Literacy; Heart Disease and Stroke; Injury and Violence Prevention; Maternal, Infant and Child Health; Nutrition and Weight Status.

The Project:
The Bridging the Gaps student intern at Turning Points for Children’s Food and Wellness Network put together a yoga/mindfulness class along with an educational program called Healthy Foods for Healthy Hearts. The yoga/mindfulness class taught clients how to use methods such as the 5-4-3-2-1 Coping Technique to deal with stressful situations and how to maintain inner peace. Healthy Foods for Healthy Hearts comprised a brochure and poster teaching clients how to read food labels along with sections of healthy food options on each shelf of the food pantry to guide clients toward healthier options.

Intern Statement:
Vatsal Gandhi: “During my time at FAWN, I learned that a positive mind-set and attitude can change how you perceive the world and how the world perceives you. Working with the fellow interns, it was clear to see how much of an impact a group of individuals who care can make. It showed that it does not take an extraordinary person to make a difference, but simply passion for making an impact that changes the world around you.”

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Surviving With the Young Survivors

Student Interns:
Sabrina Billings, Drexel University College of Medicine
Elizabeth Shemory, Drexel University, College of Nursing and Health Professions, Creative Arts in Therapy

Academic Preceptor:
Florence Ierardi, MM, MT-BC, LPC, Drexel University, College of Nursing and Health Professions, Creative Arts in Therapy

Community Preceptors:
Arlene Malcolm-Bell, PhD, Women Against Abuse
Maria Tate, BA, Women Against Abuse

The Community Site:
Women Against Abuse provides services to victims of domestic violence, including emergency housing for battered women and their children, legal services, hotline counseling, education and training, and advocacy. View Community Partner Web Site

BTG Focus Areas (adapted from Healthy People 2010 and 2020):
Heart Disease and Stroke; Nutrition and Weight Status; Oral Health; Physical Activity and Fitness; Tobacco Use.

The Project:
The Bridging the Gaps student interns worked with the children at Women Against Abuse (WAA) during their eight-week summer camp, called Fun, Fitness and Active Learning. WAA is an emergency and transitional housing program that assists mothers and their children. The interns planned and executed various health lessons and activities weekly, including lessons on oral health, cardiovascular health, nutrition, physical activity and the different body systems. The interns also incorporated their disciplines by planning a trip in which the children could understand the life of a doctor as the doctor diagnosed and treated a patient and by creating an environment for the children to express themselves through creative arts therapy. The interns worked closely with the staff at WAA to assist with the daily activities while building bonds and connections with the children. Overall, the goal was to teach the children about the many different components of their health and to help them be excited and hopeful about their futures.

Intern Statements:
Sabrina Billings: “My time with the children at Women Against Abuse will be unforgettable. I had the opportunity to share my knowledge with them. They amazed me with their resilience as they continued to stay positive and open to the different activities that my co-intern and I had planned for them. My experience with my BTG site has made me more aware of the different types of issues people can be going through and how their behaviors or actions can be attributed to those difficulties. In my future career as a physician, I aspire to apply these lessons I have learned, so I can be a more understanding and sympathizing doctor.”

Elizabeth Shemory: “My time at Women Against Abuse this summer was a chance to gain valuable experience and insight into working with kids. I found it easy to get to know most of the kids, but sometimes challenging in ways I didn’t expect. I will carry this experience with me in my future career as a therapist and continue to work with and advocate for those who are less privileged than myself and who have overcome adverse experiences. I enjoyed getting to see each kid’s gifts and strengths, which is something I hope to continue looking out for in every individual that I work with in the future.”

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