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Camden Coalition

 

Building the Case for Behavioral Healthcare Connection (click to view poster) 

Student Intern:  

John Esposito, Cooper Medical School of Rowan University

 

Academic Preceptors:  

Anthony L. Rostain, MD, MA, Cooper Medical School of Rowan University

Mara Gordon, MD, Cooper Medical School of Rowan University

 

Community Preceptor:  

Leigh Wilson-Hall, MSW, LSW, Camden Coalition

Mouy Eng K. Van Galen, LSSGB, Camden Coalition

 

Community Site:

Camden Coalition is a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving care for individuals with complex needs. Through their person-centered programs and Camden Core Model, Camden Coalition is uniquely positioned to care for area residents that are negatively affected by the social determinants of health. In addition to their patient-facing work, Camden Coalition also operates at a systems level to influence healthcare policy and make healthcare delivery more equitable and accessible. Continuous data analysis and integration is conducted at all levels of programming to assess impact and identify opportunities for improvement. 

 

Project:  

The Bridging the Gaps student intern started by assessing the value of Camden Coalition’s Pledge to Connect program, which seeks to connect patients who present to the emergency department for psychiatric concerns with outpatient behavioral healthcare. The intern helped gather testimonials from Cooper University Health emergency room physicians, psychiatrists, and psychologists regarding how the Pledge to Connect program has influenced the care they provide. The student synthesized common themes from the testimonials into a final write-up. Next, the student created a memorandum on Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics to examine the sustainability of funding for Pledge to Connect’s behavioral health navigators. The BTG intern also created a report on the quadrants of complexity that a high utilizer of local healthcare facilities faces and contributed to the Camden Coalition’s value case for Pledge to Connect by researching the New Jersey Quality Improvement Program. Finally, the student created an informational pamphlet for Camden residents on oral health, cardiovascular health, and smoking cessation.

 

Intern Reflections:   

John Esposito: “This summer, I have gained invaluable knowledge of health and humanity from an organization that is deeply committed to serving the Camden community. My experiences at Camden Coalition have provided me with a deeper understanding of what it means to provide care for a vulnerable population. Not only does caring for such a population involve a holistic approach that includes consideration of social determinants of health, but also acting with empathy and compassion to earn the trust of its individuals. I am grateful for every member at Camden Coalition for welcoming me into their team, sharing their insights into community health, and demonstrating what can be achieved by a group of passionate individuals. I am confident that the lessons I have learned at Camden Coalition will enable me to provide more comprehensive care for my future patients.”

Camden Area Health Education Center (AHEC)

 

Community, Connection, and a Needle Exchange in Camden (click to view poster)

Student Intern:  

Karla Reid, Cooper Medical School of Rowan University

 

Academic Preceptors:  

Mara Gordon, MD, Cooper Medical School of Rowan University

Anthony L. Rostain, MD, MA, Cooper Medical School of Rowan University

 

Community Preceptor:  

Joye Rozier, BSN, CSN, MPH, Chief Program Officer, Camden AHEC

 

Community Site:

Camden AHEC works daily to assist disadvantaged people in the navigation of complicated healthcare and insurance systems, empowering them to take control and responsibility for a healthy future. Camden AHEC meets people where they are and uses a holistic approach to recognize the impact lifestyle, environment, economic status, and access to care have on health. Camden AHEC provides services to youth, families, and seniors. Health education services are provided on-site, in the Camden AHEC mobile van, and at various community sites throughout the area. The services reach over 10,000 individuals a year and range from rapid HIV and STI testing to treatment and syringe access and community wellness programming. Camden AHEC’s vision is “healthy futures for all people.”

 

Project:  

The Bridging the Gaps student intern worked at the Syringe Access Program mobile site twice a week throughout the internship. The intern’s main projects included sourcing photos of STI-associated dermatologic symptoms on ethnically diverse skin for our future educational presentations; incorporating research into commonly held misconceptions regarding STIs into an interactive, informative trivia game; and developing an educational oral hygiene handout to accompany the dental kits that the intern assembled thanks to the generosity of BTG (149 kits were distributed to local Camden residents). 

 

Intern Reflections:   

Karla Reid: “BTG provides a lot of opportunities for reflection and the really galvanizing and gratifying experience of getting to work in the community. Every day I was at the site, I was reminded why I chose to pursue medicine and how much working in the community—being the hands that help with anything, being the person to smile and strike up a conversation with anyone—not only matters to me, but refreshes me. Through my experience in this program, I found the answer to a question that had been bothering me for years. My grandmother, who is not a fan of tattoos and happened to spot one on my ankle, asked how having a tattoo would make me a better doctor. When I was at one of Camden AHEC’s mobile sites, a member of the team and I struck up a conversation about tattoos and where the most painful locations for a tattoo are, etc. A client joined the discussion. The three of us joked together, the client received services, and then left. I realized in that moment that being tattooed had opened the door for connection—connection with someone who might otherwise look at me and think that they had nothing in common with me and be less likely to want to talk with me, be candid with me, or trust me. Connection fosters the ability to partner with someone in working toward their goals, whether health outcomes or something else. Connection is such a fundamental cornerstone of care, good care, and connection and kindness are so at the core of what I personally care about. There are many ways to connect, of course. But if the reason a person in an underserved demographic, who is statistically less likely to seek healthcare due to stigma, connects with me is through being tattooed, then my tattoo will make me a doctor better suited to serving the population I aim to serve.”

Center For Family Services 

Center for Family Services Summer (click to view Raahi's poster)

Center for Family Services Summer (click to view Priya's poster)

Student Interns:  

Raahi Chapla, Cooper Medical School at Rowan University

Priya Shah, Cooper Medical School at Rowan University

 

Academic Preceptors:  

Rosanna Eang, DO, Cooper University Health Care

Thomas J. Wall, MD, Cooper University Health Care

 

Community Preceptors:  

Andre Lewellyn, MS, Center for Family Services

Sierra Parks, MA, LAC, Center for Family Services

 

Community Site:
Center For Family Services offers a comprehensive continuum of care and a broad range of services to best meet the current and changing needs across the New Jersey community. The mission of Center For Family Services is to support and empower individuals, families, and communities to achieve a better life through vision, hope, and strength. The vision of Center For Family Services is for all people to lead capable, responsible, fulfilled lives in strong families and healthy communities.

 

Project:  

The Bridging the Gaps student interns worked at separate programs supporting Center for Family Services.

 

Raahi Chapla supported the Center for Family Services in three of its adolescent programs. These programs included Family Link, PASO, and Multisystemic Therapy. Each program is unique with its own specific interventions and goals, but all share the same common goal of aiding youth who are at risk of out-of-home placement. The goal is to support and empower the youth to make better decisions and lead a better life. The intern supported these programs in many ways, such as attending court visits with counselors, assessing resource materials, aiding in quarterly reports, and helping with group counseling sessions. The intern also engaged with staff and learned more about the Camden community and the unique challenges many of its youth face. 

 

Priya Shah participated in the Framing Fatherhood program and implemented a health workshop that addressed the most prominent diseases affecting men. The men’s workshop included symptom recognition of fatal conditions, ways to address risk factors as they relate to the social determinants of health, and techniques for patients’ self-advocacy. In addition to expanding client education, the intern implemented an on-site health screening that gave clients access to noninvasive measurement (e.g., vitals) and a screening survey for the intake period to identify new clients who lacked healthcare access and literacy. This was accompanied by a resource guide aimed to increase the fathers’ ability to access satisfactory primary care, oral care, and mental health resources.

 

Intern Reflections:   

Raahi Chapla: “My experience with the adolescence team at Center for Family Services provided me with a tremendous amount of personal and professional growth. Personally, I was able to truly understand the importance of being able to provide at-risk children with counseling services. Without interventions to address their mental health and behavioral issues, these kids face the risk of out-of-home placement, which further puts them on a trajectory of poor life outcomes. Instead, we have the opportunity to intervene while they are still learning and better understand and regulate their emotions as well as understand that actions often come with consequences. The program also allowed us to support parents who are already stretched thin. Every child deserves a second chance. Professionally, I saw the value of social services to a community, and as a future healthcare professional, I hope to bridge the gap between social services and medicine. I hope to use my skills to help children and adolescents gain further access to resources they may require to reach their full potential.”

 

Priya Shah: “When starting my summer with the Framing Fatherhood program, I was unsure what to expect, but after the completion of the program I can truly say it has changed the way I perceive community health. I strive to implement the lessons I have learned in my future practice of medicine. The program itself was focused on providing fathers and male caregivers the tools to strengthen their relationships with their children all while facing various challenges. Working with the team to accomplish this goal, I had the opportunity to see the various components that go into treating a person, whether that be addressing their emotional needs, food insecurity, or safe housing. I felt privileged that the fathers and facilitator team welcomed me into the group sessions where they showed up as their most vulnerable selves, dedicated to breaking their cycles of generational trauma. Building relationships with the clients showed me the value of longitudinal care and the importance of active listening in supporting someone as they face challenges. As I continue my journey with medicine, I aspire to care not only for the disease or condition but also the whole person.”

Southern New Jersey Perinatal Cooperative (SNJPC)

Health Education and Prevention on Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) (click to view poster)

Student Intern:  

Aamila Shaik, Cooper Medical School of Rowan University

 

Academic Preceptors:  

Mara Gordan, MD, Cooper Medical School of Rowan University

Anthony L. Rostain, MD, MA, Cooper Medical School of Rowan University

 

Community Preceptor:  

Helen Hannigan, Executive Director, Southern New Jersey Perinatal Cooperative

 

Community Site:

Southern New Jersey Perinatal Cooperative is a state-licensed maternal and child health consortium that strives to protect the health of birthing individuals, infants, and families. It offers an extensive list of resources and programs that are focused on preventing maternal and fetal mortality and supporting the families of South Jersey.

Project:  

The Bridging the Gaps student intern collaborated with SNJPC on two projects. The first was dedicated to reducing the infant mortality rate associated with sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). SIDS is the unexpected, unexplained death of an infant. To spread awareness of the syndrome, the intern developed SIDS educational programs with the SNJPC director of clinical education and collaborated with the SIDS Center of New Jersey. The programs offered SIDS prevention strategies for families and healthcare providers as well as additional resources to increase compliance, such as bassinets to promote safe sleep. The second project involved an in-depth legislation review regarding maternal care requirements for hospitals. The intern developed a detailed document comparing new legislative policies and the previous regulations to highlight any significant changes. The intern presented these findings to the SNJPC policy review staff and learned more about the process of establishing new hospital regulations.

 

Intern Reflections:   

Aamila Shaik: “Interning at BTG and SNJPC was an inspiring experience where I had the opportunity to learn how to be a better community advocate. Attending the weekly BTG sessions gave me the necessary tools and skills to build meaningful and trustworthy relationships with community members. From this, I was able to effectively communicate with the Southern New Jersey families about health education in an effort to reduce the rate of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). I also had the pleasure of working alongside the dedicated and compassionate SNJPC members who have reaffirmed my interest in working with underserved communities. I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to integrate into the Camden community and learn more about the issues members face regarding maternal and fetal care. BTG has been a valuable experience that I will carry through my medical training to become a strong community advocate as a physician.”

Camden Coalition
Camden AHEC
Center for Family
SNJPC

COOPER MEDICAL SCHOOL

2023 Summaries

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