Derexel University 2021 Summaries

Broad Street Ministry

 

More Than Just a Church: Community Work Within Philadelphia (click to view Poster)

 

Student Intern:

Jade Overton, Drexel University College of Medicine 

 

Academic Preceptor:

Annette B. Gadegbeku, MD, Drexel University College of Medicine

 

Community Preceptor:

Geremi James, MSW, LSW, Broad Street Ministry

 

Community Site:

The vision of Broad Street Ministry is that “every person will be seen, recognized and restored. We will all be well fed in every aspect of life, and we will be made whole — even for just a few pure and powerful moments. The simplest acts of kindness can soothe the afflicted and transform the fortunate.” BSM practices radical hospitality. It offers meals, clothing, mail service, and assistance with obtaining housing and legal and other benefits, and it hosts a weekly medical clinic through Philadelphia FIGHT. 

https://www.broadstreetministry.org

 

Project:

The Bridging the Gaps student intern assisted Broad Street Ministry as a concierge intern while also rotating through the different departments to provide help. She performed research in de-escalation, trauma and effective tactics to use during de-escalation. She acted as a member of the outreach team in the immediate Broad Street area, providing water and information to some of population who were without housing. She also assisted guests with concierge services such as SNAP applications, phone calls and assistance with other benefits.

 

Intern Statement:

Jade Overton: “My time at Broad Street seems to have gone by so fast, and yet I enjoyed everything I’ve learned and gained from this experience. My eyes have been opened to truly understand the process and steps that go into social work, and I can clearly see the connection to my future career in healthcare. I feel as though I’ve gained valuable insight into social services, and I’m so grateful I was able to learn from a place like Broad Street. From outreach to filling out SNAP applications, I’ve been immersed in the field, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.”

 

 

Center for Advocacy for the Rights & Interests of the Elderly (CARIE)

 

How Advocacy Can Make Your Voice Heard (click to view Poster)

 

Student Intern:

Ashli Malone, Drexel University, Thomas R. Kline School of Law

 

Academic Preceptor:

Susan L. Brooks, JD, Drexel University, Thomas R. Kline School of Law

 

Community Preceptor:

Lori Walsh, Center for Advocacy for the Rights & Interests of the Elderly 

 

Community Site:

The Center for Advocacy for the Rights & Interests of the Elderly (CARIE), located in Center City Philadelphia, serves older adults in Center City, South Philadelphia, Southwest Philadelphia, North Philadelphia and West Philadelphia. CARIE is an advocacy organization dedicated to promoting the well-being, rights and autonomy of older adults through advocacy, education and action. 

https://www.carie.org/ 

 

Project:

The Bridging the Gaps student intern assisted the long-term care Ombudsmen Program with the creation of a Consumer Advisory Council to engage nursing home consumers in making their voices heard through public policy advocacy. The intern also created a needs-based assessment to ascertain what barriers consumers may face when joining the council, so that they can receive technical support and training to reduce those barriers. 

 

Intern Statement:

Ashli Malone: “My time with CARIE and Bridging the Gaps has been so incredibly fulfilling. I had the opportunity to learn firsthand about the experiences of several of the nursing home residents during the COVID-19 pandemic and how it affected their mental and physical health. I was able to survey some of the residents who were happy to share their experiences over the past year and discuss their interests in advocacy. I was fortunate enough to work with an amazing team this summer and research the different ways that nursing home consumers can advocate for themselves. This experience has broadened my understanding of long-term care facilities as I had no prior knowledge before interning with CARIE.”

 

 

Center for Children and Youth with Special Healthcare Needs of St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children

 

St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children: Back to School Carnival  (click to view Poster)

 

Student Interns:

Vyshnavi Anandan, Drexel University College of Medicine

Erica Yi, Drexel University College of Medicine

 

Academic Preceptor:

Priya P. Patel, MD, St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children

 

Community Preceptor:

Renee Turchi, MD, MPH, FAAP, St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children, Drexel University College of Medicine 

 

Community Site:

The Center for Children and Youth with Special Healthcare Needs is located within St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children and provides complete, coordinated, family-centered care in a single place. 

 

Project:

Each year, the Center for Children and Youth with Special Healthcare Needs holds a back-to-school carnival to provide families with health resources and to help the children of the Philadelphia community get ready for the new school year  with backpacks filled with school supplies. This year, to keep the families safe, the carnival was held virtually, with a drive-through backpack giveaway two weeks prior to the carnival. To prepare for the backpack drive and carnival this year, the Bridging the Gaps student interns aided in fundraising, planning, and ordering the supplies for the backpacks. The main project the interns undertook was coordinating the stuffing and distribution of 10,000 backpacks. In addition, they were tasked with creating oral health materials, including experiments demonstrating the importance of proper oral care and instructional videos on how to properly brush and floss. 

 

Intern Statements:

Vyshnavi Anandan: “This summer I learned a lot more about social determinants of health and realized how something like not having basic school supplies can affect a child’s education, health and well-being. I am thankful to have had the opportunity to build resilience and confidence in children while also preparing them for the school year. I was also struck by just how much work goes into an endeavor like this. Over the course of the summer we worked with staff from all around the hospital, including from administration, shipping and receiving, marketing, volunteer services and janitorial services. I have a much stronger understanding and appreciation for all the amazing people required to keep the hospital running day to day. This is not something I’ve ever been able to see before, so I am thankful to have had the opportunity to do this through BTG.” 

 

Erica Yi: “While working on this project through the summer, I was struck by how many expenses there are just to prepare a child to be ready for school. I realized how privileged I was growing up, not having to worry about not having school supplies or a backpack each fall. I was exposed to the reality that was occurring just a few minutes down the street: parents unable to buy school supplies for their children, which deterred the children from attending school, leading to a number of consequences down the line. By distributing these stuffed backpacks, I was not only able to prepare these children for school but also build resilience in these children while becoming more aware of the disparities that exist in my community, stirring a desire to continue learning more and make a change.” 

 

 

Centro Nueva Creación, Goodlands Camp

 

Centro Nueva Creación: 2021 Summer Camp  (click to view Poster)

 

Student Interns:

Jorge Olan, Drexel University College of Medicine 

Cindy Silvero, Drexel University, College of Nursing and Health Professions, Creative Arts in Therapy

 

Academic Preceptor:

Jeremiah Goldstein, MD, St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children, Drexel University College of Medicine

 

Community Preceptor:

Maribel Lozada-Arzuaga, Centro Nueva Creación

 

Community Site:

Centro Nueva Creación is a nonprofit organization that aims to empower local youth through intentional and interactive programming that fosters a genuine love for learning. Further, Centro advocates for health and wellness in its education and promotes cultural awareness via exposure to Latinx foods, arts and culture.

 

Project:

The Bridging the Gaps student interns participated in lesson planning and instruction for the kindergarten students attending the after-school summer camp at Julia de Burgos school. Specifically, the interns focused on general topics in cardiovascular health and oral hygiene as well as the importance of exercise and nutrition using various models, coloring and storybooks, puppets and much more. Further, the BTG interns demonstrated the humility of social service by organizing a care package distribution drive for unsheltered individuals; each package included socks, food, water, masks and a positive message made by one of the kindergartners. 

 

Intern Statements:

Jorge Olan: “I was truly humbled and inspired by the strength in community that surrounds Centro Nueva Creación. I took great pride in seeing the children understand and absorb the intentionality behind our cardio and oral health sessions, and thanks to this I gained a more complete understanding of public health and its reach in the classroom. It’s crucial that our educators continue to advocate in the classroom on behalf of preventative care such that discussions surrounding nutrition, health and wellness become a norm in any child’s educational development. As for me, I gained a much deeper sense of the impact of effective communication in a team setting, which will come in handy not only in pediatrics but also in almost any other professional healthcare environment. However, more than anything else, it was seeing the children’s smiles and hearing their laughs that really lit the fire beneath me and pushed me to be the best version of myself day in and day out.”

 

Cindy Silvero: “I believe that this has been an amazing experience filled with a lot of learning and practice for my future career in music therapy. I am glad that I had the opportunity to work with kids, since my past clinical experience was with inpatient psych for adults and seniors in a retirement center. Even though this summer experience was not solely focused on music therapy, I was still able to utilize my skills in organization, leading groups and adding my musical expertise into the lesson plans and activities with the children. I also really enjoyed teaching guitar to the kids. This was definitely the best part of my summer, and I could not be more thankful for this wonderful experience with Centro Nueva Creación.” 

 

 

Depaul House USA

 

Depaul USA: Homeless Services and Support (click to view Poster)

 

Student Interns:

Drew Davis, Drexel University College of Medicine

Chad Fanti, Drexel University College of Medicine

 

Academic Preceptor:

Esther Chernak, MD, Drexel University College of Medicine 

 

Community Preceptors: 

Tamara Coleman, St. Raymond’s House

Dana Ellis, MSW, DePaul House

Shahid Guyton, St. Joseph’s House

 

Community Site:

Depaul House USA opened its first program in Philadelphia in 2009 and currently operates five different programs, a medical respite and a social enterprise. Depaul USA provides comprehensive services to help individuals transition from homelessness to lives of greater stability and fulfillment.

Programs in Philadelphia provide various services to help individuals leave homelessness, including housing, case management, financial education and consumer-centered employment assistance. 

https://depaulusa.org/programs/philadelphia/

 

Project:

The Bridging the Gaps student interns supported the residents and staff at three transitional housing homes in North Philadelphia, providing health-focused social services. They held individual and group discussions on topics including exercise, nutrition and health literacy. In these sessions they helped residents develop tangible skills such as pulling information from nutrition labels, using breath-focused stress management exercises and tracking their blood pressure with automatic cuffs and personal health data tracking sheets. 

 

Intern Statements:

Drew Davis: “In this internship I spent a lot of time talking to people who had experienced homelessness and poverty and had serious medical issues. With time I began to understand specific reasons why they sometimes did not seek medical assistance and continued relying on ‘unhealthy’ habits, and I now see a clear way to help guide individuals with these backgrounds towards healthier futures: build a real connection and trust with them, then ask what their goals are and why they practice healthy or unhealthy habits, and then finally make a realistic plan to build momentum in a healthy direction.”

 

Chad Fanti: “Interning at Depaul USA, I gained a deeper understanding of the many situations that can lead to homelessness, and that homelessness can take many forms. I learned how powerful genuine human connection can be in helping someone in a different situation than myself. Throughout the summer, I also gained insight on myself as a caregiver and have grown in my ability to care for people in many different walks of life.”

 

 

Drexel Health Outreach Project Clinics

 

Brewing a Stronger HOP Future (click to view Poster)

 

Student Intern:

Mike Heller, Drexel University College of Medicine

 

Academic Preceptor:

Janet Cruz, MD, Drexel University College of Medicine

 

Community Preceptor:

Caitlin Croke, MA, Drexel University College of Medicine

 

Community Site:

Drexel University College of Medicine Health Outreach Project clinics (DUCOM HOP) consists of all the student-run clinics and health projects that serve Philadelphia’s under-resourced communities.

 

Project:

The Bridging the Gaps student intern’s main objective this summer was to help organize and reestablish connections within the community to increase volunteer opportunities for students as DUCOM transitions back to in-person this fall. The intern did independent research on nonprofit health organizations in Philadelphia and created a master Excel spreadsheet to be shared as a resource with everybody affiliated with HOPE. He also attended meetings with Drexel HOPE and the Mutual Aid Network in Manayunk to discuss ways that Drexel’s Narcan Outreach Project team could connect and provide harm reduction services for their communities. The intern also staffed tables at a couple of community events, including a free health fair/education event at the Arlen Specter U.S. Squash Center and a Narcan education and distribution event at the East Falls Farmers Market. 

 

Intern Statement:

Mike Heller: “My site experience at BTG was something different than I have ever experienced before. It involved a lot of behind-the-scenes work which demanded an ability to plan for the future and think about how we want things to look for HOP, not necessarily right now, but for this upcoming fall. My experience this summer has given me greater appreciation for the entire process of setting up and reestablishing community connections for healthcare organizations. I hope that the work we have done for the past seven weeks will put the entire HOP organization in a more comfortable position to have

 

 

Drexel HOPE (Health, Outreach, Partnership, Empowerment)

 

Utilizing Blood Pressure Screenings to Introduce Harm Reduction in the Community (click to view Poster)

 

Student Intern:

Erica Crawford, Drexel University College of Medicine

 

Academic Preceptor:

Janet Cruz, MD, Drexel University College of Medicine

 

Community Preceptor:

Zsofia Szep, MD, MSCE, Drexel University College of Medicine

 

Community Site:

Drexel HOPE (Health, Outreach, Partnership, Empowerment) is a linkage program with a goal of starting African American and Hispanic individuals with opioid use disorder (MOUD) on medication and linking them to care. Based on opioid overdose death data from the city of Philadelphia, Drexel HOPE has been operating in West and South Philadelphia. 

https://drexelmedicine.org/patient-services/partnership-comprehensive-care-practice/drexel-hope/

 

Project:

The Bridging the Gaps student intern at Drexel HOPE offered harm reduction education, including providing resources such as intranasal naloxone and fentanyl testing strips, and conducted blood pressure screenings with the mobile medication for opioid use disorder van to destigmatize opioid use disorder in the community. An additional component of this project included creating educational materials on high blood pressure/hypertension and a sodium nutrition guide that were straightforward and accessible. The intern also completed various online trainings and webinars on topics pertaining to the treatment of those with opioid use disorder, including a DEA X-Waiver training in order to be eligible to apply for a waiver to prescribe buprenorphine. Finally, the intern attended weekly HOPE staff meetings and set up meetings with BTG interns at other sites to help facilitate connections and partnerships to promote Drexel HOPE’s services.

 

Intern Statement:

Erica Crawford: “Participating in the BTG CHIP this summer has been a thoroughly fruitful and enjoyable experience. I have learned a great deal about the impact of the opioid epidemic in the Philadelphia community and now recognize the importance of screening for substance use disorder and offering harm reduction education as part of routine care of patients. These are lessons that I think anyone in the medical field could benefit from, and I will be sure to apply my newfound knowledge from this summer to my future work as a physician.” 

 

 

Food Moxie

 

Providing Space, Gardening in Germantown (click to view Poster)

 

Student Interns:

Danny Joseph, Drexel University, College of Nursing and Health Professions, Creative Arts in Therapy

Kevin Yu, Drexel University College of Medicine

 

Academic Preceptor:

Maya Bass, MD, Family Physician, Drexel University College of Medicine

 

Community Preceptor:

Lisa Mosca, MS, Food Moxie

 

Community Site:

Food Moxie is a nonprofit organization that promotes gardening and healthy food access in the city. It functions in a few locations in Philadelphia, including at a space behind the Stenton Family Manor in Germantown. Food Moxie runs gardening programs with the manor’s residents and other local organizations, allowing participants of all ages to engage with gardening and locally grown food. These programs help impart valuable skills and provide space for individuals to connect with the community.
http://www.foodmoxie.org 

 

Project:

The Bridging the Gaps student interns helped Food Moxie run community programs, specifically Garden Club and Sprouts, for the children at the Stenton Family Manor in Germantown. They helped oversee and direct these camps, devising activities for the children’s engagement. They also assisted with day-to-day work in the gardens at Food Moxie and at the nearby Awbury Arboretum Community Garden. The interns also collected narratives from local community members describing the impact Food Moxie and gardening have on the local community. 

 

Intern Statements:

Danny Joseph: “My experiences at Food Moxie helped reveal to me the realities of access to healthy food in Philadelphia. Not only does the organization provide access to healthy food to those in need, but they provide engaging and educational programming about gardening to children and their families, which in turn helps to build community amongst participants. From a clinical perspective and as a student of music therapy, it was rewarding for me to begin to perceive gardening as part of developing holistic health. Like learning an instrument, growing a garden takes patience, persistence, creativity, and care. Like creating music, gardening can provide us with a sense of reward, a sense of having cultivated something novel, and a feeling of connection to something larger than us.”

 

Kevin Yu: “Working at Food Moxie helped me understand the importance of connecting with the communities we try to serve. After speaking to the staff and the participants at Food Moxie, I began to understand that one of the most valuable things the organization provides is a space for people to come and connect with each other and with the earth, sharing knowledge, experiences and cultures. It was a unique and enriching experience to come out and enter a space that I had little experience with prior, and I think broadening my worldview can only be beneficial as I continue on my career path of becoming a physician, where I will be treating patients of all demographics and backgrounds.”

 

 

Legacy Youth Tennis and Education

 

Legacy Tennis: Serving a Purpose in the Community (click to view Poster)

 

Student Interns:

Andrew Chiu, Drexel University College of Medicine

Alissa Klammer, Drexel University College of Medicine

Nathaniel Park, Drexel University College of Medicine

 

Academic Preceptor: 

Daniel Taylor, DO, FAAP, FACOP, Drexel University College of Medicine, St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children

 

Community Preceptors: 

Joni Helton, Legacy Youth Tennis and Education

Josh Irving, Legacy Youth Tennis and Education

Denard McLendon, Legacy Youth Tennis and Education

 

Community Site:

Legacy Youth Tennis and Education offers free and low-cost community-based tennis programs for children throughout Philadelphia. Legacy strives to prepare children for success through inclusive community, serving more than 3,500 children a year through educational, fitness and character development programs. Legacy’s OST (Out of School Time) Program partners with local Philadelphia schools to provide safe and enriching childcare throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, in the summer months and after school.
https://www.legacyyte.org/ 

 

Project:

The Bridging the Gaps student interns were assigned to various Community Summer Tennis Camp sites throughout Greater Philadelphia, where they collaborated with site directors and junior instructors to deliver tennis-centered programming. This included running drills and teaching proper technique, working with campers individually and in small groups. In addition, they also assisted with administrative and organizational tasks at the Legacy center, focusing on supporting the Out-of-School Time (OST) Program. OST programs support working parents and benefit children’s academic, social and personal development through athletics, the arts and STEM education.

 

Intern Statements:

Andrew Chiu: “Working with Legacy this summer has been a fantastic opportunity to learn about different communities around Philadelphia and explore how tennis can bring them together. The structure and exercise habits instilled through tennis promote development of greater self-esteem and discipline that will pay dividends beyond the end of camp. Having come into this experience with no tennis background, I am grateful for the staff and campers at Legacy for being incredibly welcoming and enthusiastic and helping me step outside my comfort zone during my time as a BTG CHIP intern.”

 

Alissa Klammer: “Bridging the Gaps provided the opportunity to reconnect with the Philadelphia community after a year spent in pandemic isolation. It was so fulfilling to work closely with children and watch them slowly transform into more confident tennis players and more thoughtful human beings. I’m thankful for the opportunity to serve as a role model for the campers at such a pivotal point in their growth and development. Working with Legacy was such a valuable experience that allowed me to expand my interpersonal and leadership skills to form successful relationships with children.”

 

Nathaniel Park: “Serving at Legacy has been a refreshing experience for me during the summer. Being able to be active, play tennis and interact with dozens of kids has been a great change of pace coming out of this past pandemic year. I found that something as simple and, as I found out, complex as tennis can be a great way to reach out to the community, encouraging young students in Philadelphia to achieve greatness and stay active throughout their lives.”

 

 

Mighty Writers

 

A Mighty Community: An Experience in the Good and Bad of Philadelphia Communities (click to view Poster)

 

Student Intern:

Hannah Cherusseril, Drexel University College of Medicine

 

Academic Preceptor:

Emily Spengler, MD, Drexel University College of Medicine, St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children

 

Community Preceptor:

Marijke Bau-Madsen, Mighty Writers

 

Community Site:

Mighty Writers is a literacy-based organization that aims to help students succeed in reading and writing through workshops, one-on-one mentoring and distribution of free books. They believe that literacy is vital to children’s ability to succeed and achieve their dreams in the future. Mighty Writers centers are located in communities throughout Philadelphia. In addition to their mission to improve literacy, Mighty Writers has expanded their goals to meet other and greater needs of their families. At the start of the pandemic, they began using some of their centers for food/essential supply distribution. Through this distribution, Mighty Writers can provide families with food, masks, sanitizer, diapers, clothing and, most especially, books.

 

Project:

The Bridging the Gaps student intern worked on distribution at various Mighty Writers sites, including helping to accept and unload deliveries, sort through food supplies, take stock of available items, and assist in distributing supplies directly to families. The intern also served as a one-on-one mentor to students who needed targeted help in various school subjects. Additionally, the intern participated in planning the launch of a new partnership between Mighty Writers and the Parks and Recreation Playstreets program. Future engagement with Playstreets will include reading workshops on the designated streets, working directly with the children in those communities.

 

Intern Statement:

Hannah Cherusseril: “This experience has really been amazing and has given me such valuable insight into different communities in Philadelphia, regarding their needs and what their values are. My time with Mighty Writers has inspired me to pursue a path that will allow me to work in community/public health. This experience really helped me to become more aware of some of the harsh realities that exist in these communities, including the inequities that help to perpetuate poor health outcomes. I’m thankful I had the opportunity to work so closely with the community and to interact directly with its members.”

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Mural Arts Philadelphia: Porch Light Program

 

Healing Through Art: Creative Development for Well-Being with Mural Arts Philadelphia’s Porch Light (click to view Poster)

 

Student Interns:

Cody Ritz, Drexel University College of Medicine

Laceybelle Todd, Drexel University, College of Nursing and Health Professions, Creative Arts in Therapy

 

Academic Preceptor: 

Michele Rattigan, MA, ATR-BC, NCC, LPC, Drexel University, College of Nursing and Health Professions, Creative Arts in Therapy

 

Community Preceptors: 

Pamela Draper, MMT, MTBC, Mural Arts Porch Light Program, Kensington Storefront

Melissa Fogg, MSW, Mural Arts Porch Light Program, Southeast by Southeast

 

Community Site:

Mural Arts Philadelphia’s Porch Light Program, a joint collaboration with the Philadelphia Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual Disability Services, focuses on achieving universal health and wellness among Philadelphians by offering opportunities to contribute to meaningful works of public art. Porch Light projects are driven by issues that have tangible effects on local communities, such as mental health, substance use, spirituality, homelessness, trauma, immigration, war and neighborhood safety. The targeted outcomes of any Porch Light project include improvements to the physical environment, new opportunities for social connections, and positive changes within a community—such as enhanced unity and empathy among neighbors.
https://www.muralarts.org/program/porch-light/

 

Project:

The Bridging the Gaps student interns at Mural Arts Philadelphia’s Porch Light Program focused on integrating their modalities into community-enhancing activities such as music and art groups for kids and adolescents, pop-up art workshops, mural installations, storefront cleanups, community meetings, online mentoring/tutoring, and various artist-led programs throughout the area. Outreach took place across different parts of the city, including Love Park, Broad Street Ministry, the Kensington storefront, Casa Indiana and McPherson Square Park Library. In general, creative engagement was utilized as a way to meet people where they are and establish rapport. Themes of cardiovascular health, smoking cessation and oral hygiene/health were applied when appropriate. The interns also created presentations and health promotion materials for Porch Light staff for current and future use.

 

Intern Statements:

Cody Ritz: “Coming from a different part of the country to attend medical school in Philadelphia, Bridging the Gaps appealed to me because I wanted an opportunity to better acquaint myself with the city and its people. I could not be more grateful for the time I spent with the Mural Arts Porch Light program. They have given me an opportunity to grow and develop my own perspective by learning from those around me. Whether it was with program participants, local artists, community partners, other interns or Porch Light’s interdisciplinary staff, I feel privileged to have shared creative space with such a diverse group of people and benefited from their light and energy. A city is only as good as its people, and Philadelphia is lucky to have a program that prioritizes creative development for its residents, regardless of whether they were born here or are new arrivals.”

 

Laceybelle Todd: “Being a part of the Mural Arts Philadelphia’s Porch Light program has opened my eyes and heart to a new population. Exposure to gentrification, the opioid epidemic, unsheltered youth and poverty must be experienced to be understood. My experience with BTG provided me an opportunity to see and feel the impact that these community programs have on the city’s underserved populations. I’m forever aware of the need to not only support but enable growth in the community. I am grateful to have worked alongside Cody, a medical student who brought a broader perspective and engineered thoughts and ideas. Philadelphia taught me this summer, and the people inhabiting it changed me.” 

 

 

North Light Community Center

 

Health and the Summer Self (click to view Poster)

 

Student Interns:

Anthony Ciro, Drexel University College of Medicine

Jaclyn Zois, Drexel University College of Medicine 

 

Academic Preceptor:

Holly E. Metzgar, DO, Tower Health, Drexel University College of Medicine 

 

Community Preceptor:

Krista Wieder, North Light Community Center

 

Community Site:

Located in the heart of Manayunk, North Light Community Center serves the children, families and residents of the greater Manayunk and Roxborough neighborhoods. From offering a summer camp program for children to providing a space for distance learning during the pandemic, North Light is an instrumental resource for children in the area. North Light also serves as a food pantry and distributes food, household items and essentials to those in need in the community.
https://www.northlightcommunitycenter.org 

 

Project:

As part of the summer wellness camp at North Light Community Center, the Bridging the Gaps student interns designed health activities and lessons for four different age groups, ranging from 4 to 12, covering topics including hand hygiene, diet and nutrition, oral health, cardiovascular health, tobacco prevention, mindfulness and emotions, and sun safety. These lessons integrated videos, worksheets, pamphlets, open discussions and coloring sheets. As part of the oral health lesson, the interns distributed dental supplies from the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine to students. When not delivering these lessons, the BTG interns assisted groups, attended field trips, provided emotional support to the campers, and helped promote a safe and fun atmosphere at camp. 

 

Intern Statements:

Anthony Ciro: “This experience has given me the opportunity to immerse myself in the lives of children from different backgrounds. It allowed me to strengthen my communication skills, enhance my capacity for empathy and further develop my problem-solving skills. Working with children challenged me to see and understand topical issues from the unique and innocent perspectives of today’s youth. I was given the opportunity to relive a childhood summer, with the vantage of designing and impacting the experience of many children.” 

 

Jaclyn Zois: “As an aspiring pediatrician, the opportunity to continue broadening my experience working with children was a welcome reminder of why I am pursuing a career in medicine. The weekly health lessons allowed me to develop my medical communication skills, specifically within a pediatric realm. Working with the team at North Light felt like joining a family and allowed me to gain a deeper perspective into the community environment that they serve and the city of Philadelphia. I’m thankful for the experience to play with little hesitation despite being in medical school and honored to have been able to impact the lives of young individuals.”

 

 

Northern Children’s Services

 

Celebrating Therapy: Inspiring Wellness and Resilience in Children with Behavioral Challenges (click to view Poster)

 

Student Interns:

Sarah Awad, Drexel University College of Medicine

Natalie Correa, Drexel University College of Medicine 

 

Academic Preceptor:

Emily Spengler, MD, Drexel University College of Medicine, St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children

 

Community Preceptors:

Nicole Favuzzi-Qualls, Northern Children’s Services

Dawn George, MS, PsyD, Northern Children’s Services

Kevin Weber, BA, Northern Children’s Services

 

Community Site:

Northern Children’s Services supports the healthy development of children, while stabilizing their families to build stronger communities. The Wellness and Resiliency Program offers intensive and individualized services that integrate therapeutic interventions and academic support, provided after school during the academic year and all day during the summer. The majority of students referred for participation in the after-school and summer youth programs typically display behavioral challenges that manifest as multiple school suspensions, poor academic performance, impulsivity and difficulty responding appropriately to school structure and authority figures. The program offers individual therapy, family and group therapy skills, social skill development, and homework help and tutoring.
www.northernchildren.org 

 

Project:

The Bridging the Gaps student interns assisted in recreational and therapeutic activities with children in the Wellness and Resiliency Program. They assisted in de-escalation, resiliency-building strategies, implementation of coping skills and recreational day camp activities. The interns also hosted semiweekly small-group sessions with teen mothers in the Generations I program; these sessions provided information and resources for various life skills such as health/healthcare, values, decision making, education and career goals.

 

Intern Statements:

Sarah Awad: “When I picked NCS as my BTG site, I was looking for a place that would challenge me, and I certainly got that. Every moment was a learning experience, and I feel as if I’ve gained a full range of new skills. Seeing these kids embrace and celebrate therapy was inspiring, but learning how to contribute to their individual progress and reinforce their coping skills was the most powerful and rewarding aspect of the experience. I am certain I’ll be better equipped as a clinician because of the skills and insights gained during my time at NCS.” 

 

Natalie Correa: “I decided to pursue a career in medicine to serve historically oppressed and underserved populations. My time at Northern Children’s Services during BTG gave me an opportunity to learn and implement skills that I will carry with me throughout my career. Working with the staff and clients helped me develop a trauma-informed lens and allowed me to reflect upon the disparities and injustices that lead to health inequities in marginalized populations. This summer was instrumental in developing skills that will allow me to become the physician I aspire to be.”

 

 

One Bright Ray, Mansion Evening Campus

 

Evening Campus: Breaking the Boundaries of Education and Building Better Futures (click to view Poster)

 

Student Interns:

Rim Saab, Drexel University College of Medicine

Caitlin White, Drexel University College of Medicine

 

Academic Preceptor:

Leon McCrea, MD, Drexel University College of Medicine

 

Community Preceptor:

Arkadiy Yelman, One Bright Ray

 

Community Site:

One Bright Ray (OBR) is a diploma-granting accelerated high school program serving students from Philadelphia who are over-age and under-credited. OBR’s Mansion Adult Campus is an evening school for adult students seeking a high school diploma.
https://www.onebrightraycommunity.org/

 

Project:

The Bridging the Gaps student interns created and facilitated mindfulness sessions, including loving kindness, stress reduction, belly breath, self-compassion, mindful art and other techniques. They also created flyers/posters about smoking cessation, cardiovascular disease and oral health that can be distributed throughout the school building and accessed online. They developed and administered a survey researching adult student study behaviors and created a study resource based on the results (flash cards for Common-Core classes). Additionally, they recorded a series of prenatal workshops that current and future OBR students can access online. 

 

Intern Statements:

Rim Saab: “I think I would describe Bridging the Gaps as a life crash course! It has overall been a great and insightful program that I truly believe should be mandatory to anyone working with vulnerable populations, and in the healthcare field specifically. From working at my site to the Wednesday sessions, I cannot choose a most insightful moment.” 

 

Caitlin White: “This experience has led me to challenge previously held assumptions, think about relationships with other human beings differently, and given me a lot more to reflect on in the future. Working with the OBR students, I have learned that you can believe in someone and set high expectations, and still be compassionate to the struggles they face. We are all more similar than we are different; everyone experiences suffering and deserves kindness. I think in my future career I will be reminded of many lessons from the BTG experience, and I will try my best to listen to the stories people share with me.” 

 

 

Philadelphia Department of Public Health — Ambulatory Health Services

 

Patient Assistance Programs: Accessing Medications at Low or No Cost for Uninsured and Underinsured Patients at Philadelphia’s Health Centers (click to view Poster)

 

Student Interns:

Hassan Khuram, Drexel University College of Medicine 

Tarannum Mohammadi, Drexel University College of Medicine

Angeline Nguyen, Drexel University College of Medicine

Stephanie Shosanya, Drexel University, Dornsife School of Public Health

Shelby Spohn, Drexel University, Dornsife School of Public Health

 

Academic Preceptors: 

Barbara Hogan-Zarro, PhD, Drexel University, College of Nursing and Health Professions

Vincent Zarro, MD, PhD, Drexel University, College of Nursing and Health Professions

 

Community Preceptor:

Patrycja Dziekonska, MPH, Ambulatory Health Services, Philadelphia Department of Public Health

 

 

Community Site:

The health centers of the Philadelphia Department of Public Health are strategically located to serve some of the most underserved populations throughout Philadelphia. The centers provide a wide range of services, including but not limited to primary care, ob-gyn, dental, social and legal services. The health centers accept patients with Medicare, Medicaid and HMO plans as well as uninsured patients. For the uninsured patients, small fees are charged based on household size and income. The Prescription Assistance Program offices within the health centers help patients who have no prescription coverage get medications for free through the assistance programs run by the drug manufacturing companies.
https://www.phila.gov/services/mental-physical-health/city-health-centers/ 

 

Project:

The Bridging the Gaps student interns worked as patient advocates in the Prescription Assistance Program (PAP) offices at health centers throughout Philadelphia, helping patients with limited or no health insurance obtain their medications for free. It is a highly rewarding experience but certainly not an easy one, as the pharmaceutical companies distributing the medications require a lot of paperwork and follow-ups. Patient advocates are responsible for explaining all the steps to patients and working with them to get them enrolled in the appropriate programs for their medications. The patient advocate’s job does not end once a patient is successfully enrolled: The advocates are also responsible for making sure the patients get their medication refills at proper times to ensure that there is no gap in medication regimens. For many patients, any lapse in their medication can lead to life-threatening consequences.

 

Intern Statements:

Hassan Khuram: “Before medical school, my background was in healthcare finance, and I had learned a lot about the pharmaceutical company product development pipeline along with how they plan to serve those who could not afford these lifesaving medications. Working on the ground with physicians to help uninsured people get their medications has been eye-opening as you get to see firsthand the challenges those who make little income must go through to get the medications they need, along with any challenges from the healthcare side of ensuring that the patients’ needs are met. This experience will undoubtedly continue to help me daily once I start working in the clinic.” 

 

Tarannum Mohammadi: “This was a very meaningful experience to fill my summer. During my first year of medical school there were so many times we discussed different socioeconomic determinants of health and how they affected access to healthcare. As a patient advocate, I was able to engage with patients and hear their perspectives on how these different determinants affect their lives. I was also able to help the patients work through some of these barriers to access their much-needed medications. As a future physician, this experience really helped me understand the steps beyond accurate diagnosis and writing prescriptions. I will definitely carry these lessons moving forward in my career.”

 

Angeline Nguyen: “Working at the health centers through BTG has allowed me to connect with individuals in the Philadelphia community I did not have the chance to interact with before due to the pandemic. Being able to connect with community members, mentors and patients has been a fulfilling and informative experience on the health disparities that plague the Philly community. Being a patient advocate this summer gave me the humbling privilege to create differences in the lives of individuals who have been turned away or disillusioned by medicine in the past. These lessons on patience, humility and flexibility are things I will carry with me throughout my professional career as a physician.”

 

Stephanie Shosanya: “I am very glad I have had the opportunity to work within the BTG program and work within the Philadelphia community. As a public health master’s student, my academic career has been heavily focused on how socioeconomic factors impact one’s health. For me, it has been very cool to work with patients. I think that this experience has shown me that there are a lot more challenges to getting medication and being healthy overall than I had realized, and working within this field truly requires dedication, compassion, empathy. As a future public health professional, I will definitely apply all that I have learned to my career.“

 

Shelby Spohn: “My experiences at Health Centers 5 and 6 this summer will remain with me for the rest of my career. As a public health student, I have studied the nuances of our healthcare system extensively. However, seeing the real-life consequences of this system while working with patients has been incredibly eye-opening. My work this summer has not only pushed me towards more heavily incorporating advocacy into my future career goals, but it has solidified the vision I have for what I hope to accomplish at the clinical level. The stories of the community members I have met this summer have lit a fire under me that will only continue burning brighter as I look towards entering the medical field.”

 

 

PHLConnectED 

 

How to Spread the News of a New Program from the Ground Up (click to view Poster)

 

Student Interns: 

Allie Treager, Drexel University, Thomas R. Kline School of Law 

Ammar Zaman, Drexel University, Dornsife School of Public Health 

 

Academic Preceptor:

Tariem Burroughs, MSEd, MSODL, MA, Drexel University, Dornsife School of Public Health 

 

Community Preceptor:

Ashley Pollard, PHLConnectED 

 

Community Site:

PHLConnectED is a program in the Office of Innovation and Technology of the City of Philadelphia. PHLConnectED helps eligible households with K–12 students to gain access to reliable internet service at no cost. The program also connects households with digital skills support. 

 

Project:

The Bridging the Gaps student interns worked as enrollment ambassadors for the PHLConnectED program. They made calls to families who had indicated interest in learning more about resources and reached out to grocery stores within specific zip codes to set up tabling events. The interns also did outreach at hospitals and health fairs to spread awareness of the program within the community. 

 

Intern Statements:

Allie Treager: “Working with PHLConnectED has provided me the opportunity to learn a great deal about the myriad of obstacles that must be navigated when trying to spread community awareness of a public program. This experience also provided me with a broader understanding of the value and importance behind building community trust and relationships. Additionally, I learned what obstacles can potentially present when these relationships are lacking. I’ve come to realize that the task of establishing trust within a community is best performed with on-the-ground, person-to-person outreach.” 

 

Ammar Zaman: “I can say that my BTG experience was eye-opening in how to spread awareness of a new program. I learned that spreading news is not only hard, but full of legal hoops to jump through in order to be successful. Additionally, I have seen the importance of a team — many like individuals working together on a common goal. Teamwork and collaboration are important, and working with Allie, Ashley and others was how we best spread news about PHLConnectED.” 

 

 

Philadelphia FIGHT, COVID-19 Team 

 

Community Testing and Vaccinations for COVID-19 With Philadelphia FIGHT (click to view Poster)

 

Student Interns:

Chinedu Ezikanyi, Drexel University College of Medicine 

Camille Lynch, Drexel University College of Medicine 

Kanyinsola Yoloye, Drexel University College of Medicine 

 

Academic Preceptor:

Annette B. Gadegbeku, MD, Drexel University College of Medicine

 

Community Preceptor:

Jennifer Wright, Philadelphia FIGHT  

 

Community Site:

Philadelphia FIGHT Community Health Centers provide culturally competent comprehensive primary care and state-of-the-art HIV primary care to low-income members of the community, along with research, consumer education, advocacy, social services and outreach to people living with HIV and those who are at high risk (including family members, communities with high rates of HIV, formerly incarcerated persons, and young people at risk), and access to the most advanced clinical research in HIV treatment and prevention. Philadelphia FIGHT also provides low-barrier testing in neighborhoods throughout Philadelphia. No appointment, insurance, ID or COVID-19 symptoms are necessary to get tested. Any adult or child over 1 year old can simply visit the sites and get tested for COVID-19. Philadelphia FIGHT has a similar mission for providing the COVID-19 immunization, providing the shot to adults and adolescents 12 years of age and over without requiring an appointment, insurance or ID. 

 

Project:

The Bridging the Gaps student interns worked daily at COVID-19 testing and vaccination clinics set up and staffed in partnership with Philadelphia FIGHT and other trusted community organizations. Located in various locations across the Philadelphia area, the sites offered two hours for testing and two hours for vaccinations. The majority of the sites were located in the same areas weekly. Some targeted pop-up vaccination clinics, located in areas with low vaccination rates, were also available and offered extended hours. Philadelphia FIGHT also evaluates and treats individuals at high risk of contracting HIV, such as sex workers, IV drug users and people who engage in unprotected sex. The interns helped with outreach efforts, following up with patients already on treatment and contacting them through emails and phone calls to schedule follow-up doctor’s visits. BTG interns also helped with other aspects of the FIGHT HIV initiative, including Project TEACH, which provides HIV education via student-led presentations to people with the infection and their loved ones, and Project SURVEY, which aims to gather empirical data about FIGHT’s various initiatives. 

 

Intern Statements: 

Chinedu Ezikanyi: “Working with Philadelphia FIGHT was a great opportunity to learn about the various communities that make up Philadelphia. I had an opportunity to see the impact of social determinants on the health of individuals in society. I learned that different communities and even individuals within the community have different needs. As a result, we need to learn to assess and treat each individual on their own terms. This program allowed me to appreciate the enormous diversity in healthcare as it pertains to patient populations. I learned that the role I play in society has consequences on the lives of others, and therefore I acknowledge that my biases may have unintended consequences on others.” 

 

Camille Lynch: “Working with Philadelphia FIGHT allowed me to immerse myself in a community health organization and work within different communities across the city. I appreciated the opportunity to focus on serving communities that did not have access to testing or vaccination sites, where I learned from both the FIGHT staff and community members and partners. Additionally, having virtually no barriers for patients to get tested or vaccinated meant we could reach a wider population that was affected by the pandemic.” 

 

Kanyinsola Yoloye: “My time with Philadelphia FIGHT exposed me to more communities within Philadelphia and their different needs. Each testing/vaccination site we went to had different concerns and different methods of outreach. One site was full of people whose predominant language wasn’t English, while another had several vaccine-hesitant individuals. Through this I learned that a one-size-fits-all type of approach isn’t the best way to reach these communities. To truly help people, we have to meet them where they are and make the approach more community-based and individualized.”

 

 

Philadelphia Futures 

 

To and Through: College and Career Readiness for Philadelphia High School Students (click to view Poster)

 

Student Interns:

Isabella Archer, Drexel University College of Medicine 

Joshua Bosque-Hamilton, Drexel University College of Medicine 

David Okhuereigbe, Drexel University College of Medicine 

Stuti Tank, Drexel University College of Medicine 

 

Academic Preceptor: 

Blair Dickinson, MD, Drexel University College of Medicine, St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children 

 

Community Preceptor: 

Laura Naylor, Academic Services Manager, Philadelphia Futures 

 

Community Site:

Philadelphia Futures is a nonprofit organization that connects low-income, first-generation-to-college students to the tools, resources and opportunities needed for admission to and success in college. 

https://philadelphiafutures.org/ 

 

Project:

The Bridging the Gaps student interns served as teaching assistants for two classes in the Philadelphia Futures summer curriculum: (1) Career Research and Exploration and (2) History and Human Behavior. In Career Research and Exploration, interns helped high school students develop skills for college and career readiness, such as how to write a résumé and cover letter. Students were introduced to various industries via guest speakers and then presented final projects on industries of their choosing. In History and Human Behavior, the students learned about African American, Haitian, Native American and Middle Eastern history and movements  and how they have shaped our present-day society. Guest speakers and documentaries provided more information and context for the various topics. Students’ final research papers highlighted a social justice movement or an issue of their choice.   

 

Intern Statements:

Isabella Archer: “I have really enjoyed my time with Philadelphia Futures, and I have gotten to learn a lot from the high school sophomores I worked with this summer. If you had told me I would be interested in history, I would have laughed, but after teaching History and Human Behavior this summer, my opinions have changed. The students I worked with made the subject a very interesting and intriguing one by providing amazing insights into a lot of social justice issues around us. I can say that through this experience, I have learned to be open to learning new things regardless of who or where it may come from.”  

 

Joshua Bosque-Hamilton: “Working with the History and Human Behavior class through Philadelphia Futures this summer has had a profound impact on me. I am very passionate about teaching history, specifically African and African-American history. Having the ability to teach these topics to predominantly students of color has been a blessing. The students have been extremely engaged throughout the entire summer and have thought critically about many of the social justice movements they have learned. I am hopeful they will take the history learned in this course and use it to inform and enact their own change in the communities they reside in.” 

 

David Okhuereigbe: “This BTG CHIP experience has been very impactful toward my professional development. With career research and exploration, I’ve had the opportunity to help students identify their fit in a variety of fields. As a medical student, I’ve always had a passion for setting up the next generation for success, so it’s been rewarding to play a direct role in their college and career readiness. From this experience, I’ve developed a greater capacity for mentoring and teaching students. I can leave this program proud of the practical skills, knowledge and resources we’ve been able to provide them with.” 

 

Stuti Tank: “My time with the Career Research and Exploration class was both challenging and insightful. Virtual learning still poses obstacles, especially with high school students, and my class instructor and I needed to be creative to encourage student engagement in the setting of student burnout. Our students shared the difficulties of internet access, conflicting work schedules and pandemic strain. Despite these stresses, I was inspired by the work they put into their final projects, and I was thoroughly impressed that many of them weaved in social justice issues when discussing education and career opportunities. Philadelphia Futures has a 98% college matriculation rate, compared to 55% in Philadelphia overall, and I am hopeful that our students will achieve their education goals and continue to mobilize themselves and their communities to push for equity, growth and change.” 

 

 

Programs Employing People 

 

Living a Meaningful Life at Programs Employing People (click to view Poster)

 

Student Intern:

Alexandra Davidson, Drexel University College of Medicine 

 

Academic Preceptor:

Charlene Chen, MD, DipABLM, Esperanza Health Center 

 

Community Preceptor:

Beth Ryan, Programs Employing People 

 

Community Site:

Programs Employing People (PEP) serves individuals with intellectual disabilities in the greater Philadelphia community. People with intellectual disabilities are capable of excelling in many areas, and PEP is determined to strengthen these capabilities by providing social, educational and employment opportunities.
https://pepservices.org/ 

 

Project:

The Bridging the Gaps student intern worked alongside the direct support professionals in the vocational program at PEP. The intern assisted with various activities, including art projects, literacy classes and fitness programs. Additionally, the intern worked with a small group of consumers in various integrated community settings. All community outings were geared toward the individual goals of the consumers, and the intern encouraged community engagement and employment exploration. 

 

Intern Statement:

Alexandra Davidson: “I am grateful I had the opportunity to serve as the first Bridging the Gaps intern at PEP. The consumers exhibited that they are capable individuals with a great deal to contribute to society as they exceed the expectations of those around them daily. I will hold the unique relationships I developed with each consumer near as I continue with my professional journey. The consumers at PEP challenged me to be a better advocate for all my future patients, but particularly those with an intellectual disability.” 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children, Center for the Urban Child 

 

Pediatric Health Navigators (click to view Poster)

 

Student Interns:

Vilajet Kovaci, Drexel University College of Medicine 

Anthony Tirone, Drexel University College of Medicine 

 

Academic Preceptor: 

Stacy Ellen, DO, FAAP, Drexel University College of Medicine, St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children 

 

Community Preceptors: 

Renee Kottenhahn, MD, Drexel University College of Medicine, St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children 

Emily Spengler, MD, Drexel University College of Medicine, St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children 

 

Community Site:

The Center for the Urban Child (CUC) at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children offers so much more than a doctor’s visit. The team of healthcare professionals aims to address both the health concerns that bring patients to the clinic and any factors outside of the hospital that may affect patient health. This includes funding for transportation to appointments; assistance with rent, food and insurance; and even free legal help for those who need it. The purpose of this approach is to assist families with basic necessities that will allow them to maintain or improve their situation and achieve some of their goals. The CUC works to reduce inequities wherever they stand and adapt to the ever-growing challenges they may bring. 

 

Project:

The Bridging the Gaps student interns worked in the Center for the Urban Child as pediatric health navigators, assisting families through their doctor’s visits by helping them complete screeners; counseling parents on reading, dental hygiene and asthma; and connecting parents with helpful resources. Interns also signed up more than 80 patients for the Tower Health online portal and provided families with COVID-19 vaccine information and appointments. The interns worked on creating the smart code project initiated by Dr. Spengler, which uses easily accessible searchable phrases for physicians to use to provide a list of helpful resources for families specific to their needs. The interns also created orientation videos for the pediatric health navigator program, detailing every task this position requires as well as working through difficult and unpredictable events. 

 

Intern Statements:

Vilajet Kovaci: “A summer experience I will never forget. I was able to spend time with some of the kindest and most compassionate doctors at St. Chris, where together, we worked to reduce barriers to healthcare. The different projects we worked on, whether it was developing smart codes or making orientation videos, allowed me to see how we can truly implement change so that others can succeed and thrive in this setting. It felt empowering to be part of something bigger, something that will go on to benefit others even after we finish this program. I hope to take away some of these memories as well as goals to wherever I end up as a practicing physician, providing care that is equitable and of highest quality.” 

 

Anthony Tirone: “This summer has been an immense period of learning and growth in such a short time. As a BTG intern I have witnessed health inequities and their impact on families. More importantly, I have learned how to fight against these challenges and advocate for patients. The supervising physicians have shared tools that will help me to persevere through barriers and ultimately put patients first, something I will appreciate for the rest of my medical career. I will use these experiences from Bridging the Gaps to improve future settings I am a part of, with the hope of providing this level of care for every patient I encounter.” 

 

 

St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children – Medical Interpretation

 

Overcoming a Language Barrier by Assisting Patient Families via Interpretation (Spanish)(click to view Poster)

 

Student Intern:

Edwardo Hurtado, Drexel University College of Medicine

 

Academic Preceptor:

Daniel V. Schidlow, MD, Drexel University College of Medicine

 

Community Preceptor:

Rita Guevara, MD, Drexel University College of Medicine, St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children

 

Community Site:

St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children’s nationally recognized programs and pediatric specialists provide exceptional care to children from throughout the greater Philadelphia area and around the world. The mission of St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children, a leader in pediatric care since 1875, is to provide quality pediatric services in a caring, progressive environment. St. Christopher’s Hospital is committed to quality through teamwork, technology and service in a child-friendly, family-oriented environment. https://towerhealth.org/locations/st-christophers-hospital-children

 

Project:

The Bridging the Gaps student intern’s main priority was to increase access to healthcare by removing a language barrier that can exist in North Philadelphia. The intern participated in direct patient-to-provider interactions in a clinical setting as requested and instructed healthcare workers on best practices when using a medical interpreter. The intern also offered supplementary assistance in the form of translations and help navigating throughout the hospital.

 

Intern Statement:

Edwardo Hurtado: “Working alongside doctors and nurses gave me a lot to look forward to as a current medical student. This is the exact demographic that I picture myself serving and, as such, was more rewarding than any other experience I could have imagined. I was able to see a lot of pathologies, and it helped me maintain the material I had learned as a first-year medical student.”

 

 

St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children Summer Meals Program and Cap4Kids 

 

Meals and More: Community Resources for Children and Families (click to view Poster)

 

Student Intern:

Kassandra Hill, Drexel University College of Medicine 

 

Academic Preceptor: 

Stacy Ellen, DO, FAAP, Drexel University College of Medicine, St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children 

 

Community Preceptor: 

Daniel R. Taylor, DO, FAAP, FACOP, St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children, Drexel University College of Medicine 

 

Community Site:

St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children is located in North Philadelphia and provides a variety of medical and social services to the community. The Children’s Advocacy Project of Philadelphia, Cap4Kids, was developed by Dr. Daniel Taylor as a way to connect healthcare workers, social workers, child advocates, parents and teens to community resources to address the social factors impacting the lives of families. The website contains current information about after-school and camp programs for children, legal services, immigration and refugee services, housing and utility resources, financial assistance programs, education resources, etc. aimed at decreasing barriers to good health and improving the lives of children and their families.
https://cap4kids.org/philadelphia/  

 

Project:

The Bridging the Gaps student intern distributed seven-day meal kits to children and teenagers at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children, a site for the Summer Meals Program provided by Nutritional Development Services of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. The intern adapted a newsletter used by the Center for the Urban Child at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children as a summer resources flyer that was distributed to families along with the summer meal kits. The newsletter included QR codes that led to the Cap4Kids site to provide easy access to information about COVID-19, parents and teens, and mindfulness meditation. The BTG intern reviewed the Cap4Kids website and created a document of the community resources to verify that the information was accurate and current and to track any necessary changes. The BTG intern also researched new resources that could be added to the site and updated handouts regarding topics such as healthcare options, postpartum resources and youth violence reduction resources. 

 

Intern Statement:

Kassandra Hill: “Spending my summer as a BTG CHIP intern working with Cap4Kids and the Summer Meals Program was an incredibly enriching and rewarding experience. Through working on the Cap4Kids website, I had the opportunity to learn what programs, agencies and resources are available for families in Philadelphia. The insight I gained will help me as I continue into my professional career to know how to help my future patients with the social influences in their life to improve the care of their physical health. I am grateful that I had the opportunity to work directly with community members and was able to hear from some families about the positive impact of the meal distribution and accessibility of this site. These interactions and my role in helping to bring such necessary resources to children and their families has been so special for me and helped me to become more connected with the community in Philadelphia.” 

 

 

Uplift Center for Grieving Children 

 

Grief as a Journey, Not a Sprint (click to view Poster)

 

Student Intern:

Emma Lou, Drexel University College of Medicine 

 

Academic Preceptor:

Angela W. Kim, MD, Drexel University College of Medicine, St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children 

 

Community Preceptor:

Kevin R. Carter, MSW, LCSW, Uplift Center for Grieving Children 

 

Community Site:

Uplift Center for Grieving Children is committed to helping children and their caregivers who have experienced the death of someone significant to them. They offer support groups in sites all over Philadelphia where people are exposed to high rates of violence and trauma. By providing these spaces for people to grieve, grow and heal in the company of peers and caring clinicians, Uplift hopes to help reduce feelings of isolation that many children feel after experiencing a death.
https://upliftphilly.org/ 

 

Project:

The Bridging the Gaps student intern at the Uplift Center for Grieving Children attended weekly staff meetings to understand the development and structure of a hybrid model of the program for the upcoming year and researched ways of incorporating weekly themes into grounding exercises. Additionally, the intern took part in weekly grief groups and led activities for both the youth and caregiver age groups. The intern created information sheets on many subjects, including how different types of grief can cause cardio-related physical symptoms, misconceptions about grief, and a tip sheet with advice from the Uplift caregivers themselves. The intern was also given the opportunity to interview a caregiver at Uplift and share the grief experience through an augmented reality program. 

 

Intern Statement:

Emma Lou: “Grief is such an awkward topic in our society. Most of us have probably gone through some type of grief experience at least once in our lives, but when it comes to comforting others about a death or loss, we never know what’s appropriate to say, do or feel. Being at Uplift has shown me how sometimes the best medicine is being present, and listening with compassion, empathy and patience. Behind the scenes, I was awed by how much thought and care the clinicians at Uplift put into each session’s curriculum, as well as the planning that is considered to make their services as accessible and as convenient as possible for the children and their caregivers. Though I don’t know where life will take me, Uplift has inspired me to become a more thoughtful, intentional and supportive person to better meet the needs of my community.” 

 

 

UU House Outreach Program 

 

Creating a Bond With Older Adults (click to view Poster)

 

Student Interns:

Jacqueline Krieger, Drexel University College of Medicine 

Jennifer Kuflewski, Drexel University College of Medicine 

 

Academic Preceptor:

Elissa Goldberg, MSS, LSW, Drexel University College of Medicine 

 

Community Preceptors: 

Roberta Balsam, MA, Unitarian Universalist House Outreach Program (UUH Outreach) 

Sara Popkin, MSW, LSW, Unitarian Universalist House Outreach Program (UUH Outreach) 

 

Community Site:

The Unitarian Universalist House Outreach Program is a small community-based organization that provides free social work and nursing support to older adults (60+) living in their own homes in Northwest Philadelphia. The program supports the goals of its clients in achieving independence, dignity and quality of life in their homes and communities through individualized support and connection to resources and services.
http://uuhoutreach.org 

 

Project:

The Bridging the Gaps student interns worked with the UUH Outreach Program to foster relationships with older adults. The interns visited clients in their homes and did a variety of activities with them, such as playing games, socializing and helping them with technology. They also delivered meals to nine older adults each week in Northwest Philadelphia. Additionally, they created a Happy Heart Event, during which they discussed cardiovascular health and celebrated love and happiness. 

 

Intern Statements:

Jacqueline Krieger: “This internship has allowed me to work with the unique population of older adults during a pandemic. I have learned the different challenges older adults face living at home, such as mobility, loneliness and chronic illness. Further, spending time in clients’ homes has allowed me to see barriers to healthcare they face day to day. This has taught me to form trusting relationships with my future patients and ask them about their lives outside the doctor’s office in order to provide the best treatment.” 

 

Jennifer Kuflewski: “I had the opportunity to work with older adults in Northwest Philadelphia through this internship. The work felt really important, especially after a year and a half of the pandemic, where older adults were among the most vulnerable. I learned a lot about how to communicate with older adults and about the challenges they face in healthcare and in navigating social support services. I also learned a lot about what unique support older adults need and plan to use what I learned in my future patient encounters.” 

 

 

Women Against Abuse 

 

Young Survivors Camp (click to view Poster)

 

Student Interns:

Ashlea Ghaner, Drexel University College of Medicine

Fadia Namous, Drexel University College of Medicine 

 

Academic Preceptor:

Renee Kottenhahn, MD, Drexel University College of Medicine, St Christopher’s Hospital for Children 

 

Community Preceptor:

Arlene Malcolm-Bell, PhD, Women Against Abuse 

 

Community Site:

Women Against Abuse provides safe shelter and resources for women dealing with intimate partner violence and their children. The mission of Women Against Abuse is to provide quality, compassionate and nonjudgmental services in a manner that fosters self-respect and independence in persons experiencing intimate partner violence and to lead the struggle to end domestic violence through advocacy and community education.
https://www.womenagainstabuse.org 

 

Project:

The Bridging the Gaps student interns were involved in helping to run the summer camp and preparing lesson plans for the children throughout the seven-week experience. Some of the topics the interns covered were body systems, cardiovascular health, the muscular system, oral health and nutrition. The interns were challenged to prepare lesson plans and projects that could engage children from kindergarten through high school. 

 

Intern Statements:

Ashlea Ghaner: “There have been some challenging aspects this summer, from preparing weekly lesson plans to engaging children across different ages and backgrounds and the impacts of COVID that have affected us all, including decreased attendance and activities. However, as stressful as it can be at times, it melts away when I get to interact with the children. They are truly the bright rays, and if I am able to get them to laugh or learn something that day, it is all worth it and I feel rewarded.” 

 

Fadia Namous: “I forgot how happy children make me. Speaking to children, teaching them, playing board games with them, and even talking to them about why they are upset are all things that I felt came natural to me. This experience helped to reinforce my decision to go into pediatrics in the future.”