Educational & Patient Outreach Opportunities

Perelman students volunteer with a number of organizations for underserved or vulnerable populations throughout Philadelphia. Their service provides support to communities that too often are left out of the health care system, while allowing students to learn valuable skills. 

Please click on each title to expand for more details.

Bridging the Gaps allows students in health and social service disciplines to broaden their training through interdisciplinary service to underserved communities. Students collaborate with nonprofit organizations throughout Philadelphia - location, patient population served, education and philosophy, vary by site. Components of this program include: a 7-week community health summer internship, attendance at a seminar series, and a clinical rotation in one of three community sites that provide health services to underserved populations.

For more information, please contact:
Ellen Martinak, Associate Director

Dance for Health hopes to increase physical activity through dance among children and their families. With line dance instruction by In the Dance, a team of volunteer medical students, nursing students, and faculty join community residents for a fun-filled fitness dance class. The volunteers monitor the weights, heights, heart rates, and pedometer steps of participants as they dance their way to a healthier lifestyle!

Dance classes are offered at two locations every week:

The Common Place
58th & Chester Avenue
Mondays, 6-7 pm

Sayre Recreation Center
58th & Spruce Streets
Thursdays, 5-7 pm

For more information, please contact:
Agnes Ezekwesili

Sarah Nesson

Through the Health Science Exploration Program (HSE), medical students, in collaboration with the University’s Netter Center for Community Partnerships, help 6th-8th graders interactively explore health topics relevant to their community. The mission of HSE is to:

  • To increase health knowledge and skills of middle school students through an engaging, interactive curriculum
  • To empower these students to share their knowledge and promote health within their community
  • To strengthen a collaborative, community-centered partnership between Southwest Philadelphia and Penn
  • To diminish education-related disparities by creating lessons that adhere to state standards and are delivered with respect and equity

Medical student volunteers develop and execute the health curriculum, lead small groups, keep students on task and facilitate activities to maximize engagement.

For more information, please contact:

Love Osunnuga

Layla Abdulla

The Nourish-Mantua healthy lifestyle program seeks to help overcome some of these barriers and improve life expectancy and quality of life in Mantua, by building on efficacious lifestyle modification interventions that have been implemented in resource-limited communities. Community residents learn how to prepare and eat foods in a healthy manner, taking into consideration their budget and health status. They also gather to listen to lectures, exercise, and connect with one another around healthy lunch.

For more information, please contact:

Established by Penn's Center for Public Health Initiatives in 2011, Service Link sends dedicated undergraduate, post-baccalaureate, medical, MPH, and law student volunteers to primary care and community sites in Philadelphia. Its mission is to improve the health of Philadelphians by linking them with public benefits and community resources that address their non-medical determinants of health.Volunteers work closely with patients to secure basic living and health needs including healthy food options, utility payments, prescription payments, employment assistance, and legal support.

For more information, please contact:

UpLIFT was created to create a more equitable medical workforce by providing prospective medical school applicants from Under-represented, Low Income, and First Time student backgrounds with free access to comprehensive, up-to-date information about successfully applying and matriculating into medical school. The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) has published that while 23% of medical school applicants come from the lowest quintile of household income, these applicants only make up only 5% of matriculating students. We believe this issue can be somewhat alleviated by providing lower-resourced applicants with a comprehensive, well-compiled, free resource that is tailored to their experience and the challenges they face.

For more information, please contact:

Charlotte Lee

WWAFD hosts health education sessions (e.g., about cardiovascular health or how to stay fit in the winter) followed by community walks that allow us to both exercise and get to know our neighbors in the West Philly community. During the height of the pandemic, we made exercise videos for the elderly congregants of a local church (Mount Zion Baptist Church). Although we now plan to resume our walks, we hope to continue strengthening this and other community partnerships.

  • Kingsessing Rec Center
  • 4901 Kingsessing Avenue
  • Every other Saturday, 9-10 am (Apr-Oct)

For More Information, please contacts:

Victor Ayeni

Bhavya Ancha

Mikhal Yudien