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University of Pennsylvania
2023 Summaries

AFAHO

African Family Health Organization (AFAHO)

Making a Difference in Health Education Through Breast, Heart, and Oral Health Workshops (click to view Poster)

 

Student Interns: 

Eveé Blake, University of Pennsylvania, Perelman School of Medicine

Sarah Louineus, University of Pennsylvania, School of Social Policy & Practice

 

Academic Preceptors: 

Hillary R. Bogner, MD, MSCE, University of Pennsylvania, Perelman School of Medicine

Zvi D. Gellis, PhD, University of Pennsylvania, School of Social Policy & Practice

Christopher B. Renjilian, MD, University of Pennsylvania, Perelman School of Medicine

 

Community Preceptors: 
Dianne Uwayo, MPH, African Family Health Organization (AFAHO)

 

Community Site: 

AFAHO provides health, human, and educational services and programs to the African and Caribbean immigrant and refugee communities in the greater Philadelphia area. These services include a variety of health education, case management, and psychosocial wellness programs that are available to the community regardless of age, nationality, language ability, or legal status.

 

Project: 

The Bridging the Gaps student interns supported AFAHO's health team by creating a breast cancer workshop, doing various community survey management activities, facilitating an oral health workshop for youth, and creating infographics bridging cardiovascular health, erectile dysfunction, and faith. They also led various robotic and electricity projects for the youth STEM camp.

 

Intern Reflections: 

Eveé Blake: “My experience interning at AFAHO was nothing short of enriching. I garnered so much insight into the African and Caribbean immigrant population and the barriers that exist to receiving human services and medical care. I learned the importance of disseminating culturally sensitive knowledge and meeting people where they are. Furthermore, I learned about the successful pillars needed to build and maintain fruitful relationships with the community and how to best serve them. This experience further solidified my desire to serve underserved populations as a future physician. I’m so grateful for this entire BTG experience, and I will take all the tools that I've learned and implement them in my future career.”

 

Sarah Louineus: “This summer I had the pleasure of interning at the African Family Health Organization. I had the opportunity to work with individuals from various backgrounds and skill sets that improved my capacity to function well in a team. I've gained an understanding of the value of group brainstorming, fostering one another’s talents, and constructive conflict resolution.”

 

 

American Heart Association

Promoting Clean Indoor Air (click to view Poster)

 

Student Interns:

Julia Moran, University of Pennsylvania, School of Dental Medicine

 

Academic Preceptors:

Joan I. Gluch, PhD, RDH, PHDHP, University of Pennsylvania, School of Dental Medicine

 

Community Preceptors:

Brad Cary, American Heart Association

Traci Kennedy, MPA, American Nonsmokers’ Rights Foundation

 

Community Site: 

The primary mission of the American Heart Association is to promote longer and healthier lives. Working alongside the American Nonsmokers’ Rights Foundation and other organizations, the American Heart Association is dedicated to ensuring that all indoor workspaces are smoke-free. Currently, their work in Pennsylvania focuses on promoting clean-air laws and providing resources for those who are negatively impacted by secondhand smoke in their workplaces.

 

Project: 

The Bridging the Gaps student intern assisted in advocating for casino employees and others who are subject to secondhand smoke in the workplace. The intern researched and collected up-to-date scientific information about the harmful effects of secondhand smoke and organized it into infographic-based fact sheets. The intern interviewed casino workers to learn about the battles they have been facing against indoor air pollution and the effects it has had on their health. The intern also worked on outreach by speaking to and meeting with state representatives and other important stakeholders. In preparation for these meetings, the intern created a document summarizing the Protecting Workers from Secondhand Smoke Act, which would eliminate the exemption that allows smoking inside casinos and private clubs in Pennsylvania.

 

Intern Reflections:

Julia Moran: “This past summer has been an eye-opening and meaningful experience for me. As a lifelong Pennsylvanian, I was shocked to discover how many venues still allow smoking indoors. After listening to casino employees’ stories, it was heartbreaking to hear about the detrimental effects that these toxins have had on their health. The only way that everyone will have the right to the 100% smoke-free air that they deserve is for progressive legislation to be made. The advocacy work and support from the American Heart Association and American Nonsmokers’ Rights Foundation is crucial in making these changes happen, and I am grateful to have had the opportunity to serve them.”

Beyond Literacy

 

Empowering Through Education (click to view Poster)

 

Student Interns:

Hannah Baukert, University of Pennsylvania, School of Veterinary Medicine

Zhiyong (John) Xie, University of Pennsylvania, School of Dental Medicine

 

Academic Preceptors: 

Joan I. Gluch, PhD, RDH, PHDHP, University of Pennsylvania, School of Dental Medicine

Brittany Watson, MS, VMD, PhD, DACVPM, University of Pennsylvania, School of Veterinary Medicine

 

Community Preceptor:

Mercy Howard, BA, Student Support Coordinator, Beyond Literacy

Community Site: 

Beyond Literacy is the largest literacy agency in Philadelphia, offering free, high-quality education to adults and families. By harnessing the power of literacy, they help learners improve their reading, writing, math, English language, digital literacy, and workplace skills. Through transformative classes, Beyond Literacy empowers individuals to break the cycle of poverty and succeed as workers, parents, and neighbors, ultimately enabling them to live better lives.

 

Project: 

The Bridging the Gaps student interns began their experience by helping prepare for and assisting at Beyond Literacy's graduation ceremony for the class of 2023 and engaging in the new-student intake process, identifying learners’ goals and potential barriers. The interns actively participated in various classes, including ESL and digital literacy courses, helping the learners and fostering inclusivity. The team demonstrated their commitment to health education by delivering three diverse presentations covering topics such as children’s oral health for new parents; the link between adult oral health, cardiovascular health, and smoking; and an introduction to preventive veterinary care. In addition to educational presentations, the team provided tangible support for learners' oral health by delivering necessary oral health supplies to all three Beyond Literacy campuses. Recognizing the importance of accessible healthcare services, the team also provided learners with resources for oral health services, smoking cessation support, and veterinary care that cater to individuals who lack insurance.

 

Intern Statements: 

Hannah Baukert: “Working at Beyond Literacy was an amazing experience that showed me how many people face barriers to accessing education and literacy. Knowing now how many people have had these barriers makes me want to change how I address client education and communication in my future practicing veterinary medicine. I think it is easy to take for granted that clients understand all the terminology being used when this should not be assumed, as patients cannot receive the care they need if their take-home instructions or care plan are not fully understood. Through spending time with learners at Beyond Literacy and shadowing courses, I have a better understanding of how to effectively communicate information in a way that is more relatable and comprehensible to more people, and for that I am very grateful.”

 

Zhiyong (John) Xie: “My experiences at Beyond Literacy showed me the importance of community engagement and the profound effect it can have on health outcomes. It has left me with a deeper understanding of the social determinants of health and the need to address barriers to healthcare access. Beyond Literacy addresses some of these barriers by empowering individuals through education and providing ESL learners with English language skills to improve their access to healthcare services. I believe Beyond Literacy truly went beyond just literacy, as it not only fostered literacy skills but also created an inclusive community for individuals from diverse backgrounds. Through this supportive environment, people from different walks of life found a safe place to thrive and grow, regardless of age or background. With a deep appreciation for the transformative power of education and community engagement in healthcare, I am dedicated to making a positive impact on the lives of patients, promoting health equity, and fostering meaningful connections with the community as a healthcare professional."

Children First

Advocating for Children’s Behavioral Health Programs Through Opioid Settlement Funds in Southeastern Pennsylvania (click to view Poster)

 

Student Interns:

Joyce Chen, University of Pennsylvania, School of Dental Medicine

 

Academic Preceptors:

Joan I. Gluch, PhD, RDH, PHDHP, University of Pennsylvania, School of Dental Medicine

 

Community Preceptors:

Kate Fox, DrPH(c), MPH, Behavioral Health Policy Coordinator, Children First

Community Site:

Children First is a child advocacy group that works to improve the lives of our region’s children by developing initiatives and advocating for quality healthcare, childcare, public education, and family stability.

 

Project:

The Bridging the Gaps student intern completed two projects that advocate for a part of the opioid settlement funds to go toward behavioral health funding for children in the southeastern Pennsylvania (SEPA) counties. The intern researched the effects of opioid usage on kids to create infographics that advocate for behavioral health funding. The infographics detailed rates of emergency room visits, neonatal abstinence syndrome, and overdose deaths as well as recommendations on how the settlement funds should be spent to serve children in SEPA. The intern also completed a resource mapping project that compiled 61 school districts’ behavioral supports and interventions using the MTSS framework to identify districts with standout programs that can be used as models.

 

Intern Reflections:

Joyce Chen: “Working at Children First not only gave me a greater understanding of all the issues that children face in Pennsylvania but also a greater appreciation of the tireless work of advocates fighting for change. Even though I learned just how much injustice there is in our community, I also became inspired by the passion that the staff at Children First share to develop policies that aim to better the community. I would love to continue the work that I accomplished this summer, whether that looks like working on policy reform for mental health or tying in public health aspects with clinical dentistry. I am very thankful for the life-changing experience of working with and learning from the staff at Children First.”

Corporal Michael J. Crescenz Veterans Affairs Medical Center

 

Serving Those Who Served (click to view Poster)

 

Student Interns:

Colin Albers, University of Pennsylvania, School of Social Policy & Practice

 

Academic Preceptors:

Zvi D. Gellis, PhD, University of Pennsylvania, School of Social Policy & Practice

 

Community Preceptors:

Yarelli Morales, MPH, Voluntary Service Specialist, Corporal Michael J. Crescenz Veterans Affairs Medical Center

 

Community Site:

The Corporal Michael J. Crescenz Veterans Affairs Medical Center provides healthcare services to veterans in Philadelphia and its surrounding areas.

 

Project:

The Bridging the Gaps student intern worked in the Center for Civic Engagement at the VA in Philadelphia to serve those who served this past summer. The intern worked in the food pantry unloading, organizing, and preparing the food to be given to veterans in need. The intern also interviewed patients about their lives as part of the “My Life My Story” program, and then wrote biographies to help medical providers have a better understanding of who their patients are and what their experiences have been as veterans. During the hotter weeks when temperatures were in the 90s, there was a huge effort by the VA to make sure bottles of water were being handed out. The intern handed out a lot of water bottles during these weeks and spread happiness through a good attitude and, most important, a good sense of humor.

 

Intern Statements:

Colin Albers: “Bridging the Gaps this summer at the Philadelphia VA Medical Center allowed me to service the veteran population once again. As an undergraduate student at Ohio State, I was an intern at the Columbus VA Medical Center, which is where my desire to serve those who served began. During the first week of the program, it was like I had never left. The sense of home is unmatched with the amazing sense of humor that the veteran population possesses. It was a good feeling when I could provide a veteran in need with clothes, personal hygiene, and other resources. I feel that I now have a better understanding of the needs of the veteran community in Philadelphia. I am forever grateful to the Bridging the Gaps program for the opportunity to work with employees and volunteers who share my passion to serve those who served.”

Covenant House Pennsylvania

 

Reaching Teens: Adolescent Health and Life in a Shelter Context (click to view Poster)

 

Student Interns: 

Ashlan Willett, University of Pennsylvania, Perelman School of Medicine

 

Academic Preceptors: 

Hillary R. Bogner, MD, MSCE, University of Pennsylvania, Perelman School of Medicine

Christopher B. Renjilian, MD, MBE, University of Pennsylvania, Perelman School of Medicine

 

Community Preceptors:

David Maddox, MSW, Covenant House Pennsylvania

 

Community Site:

Covenant House Pennsylvania is an emergency shelter crisis center open 24/7 in the Germantown neighborhood of Philadelphia. It provides local adolescents aged 18 to 21 with free housing, food, clothing, career and vocational training, enrichment activities, mental healthcare, and medical care at the CHOP Connections Clinic. Youth often come in having experienced the foster care system, housing instability, human trafficking, and incarceration. The organization seeks to meet youth where they are, providing them immediately with services, a sanctuary from the street, structured days, and life-enhancing values grounded in trust, honesty, respect, and love. Staff at Covenant House work to recognize and acknowledge the strengths these youth already possess. This crucial step moves beyond assumptions about youth, based on their behavior, to see them as they deserve to be seen, an approach that empowers the youth to seek success in the face of challenges.

 

Project:

The Bridging the Gaps student intern engaged in both clinical coordination and community engagement. In the clinic, the intern prepared daily clinic schedules, completed intake and follow-up visits under the preceptorship of adolescent medicine physicians, shadowed the psychiatrist on staff, connected youth with lab testing and outside clinical care, and ensured that the general medical needs of residents were met. Outside the clinic, the intern liaised with staff members around health needs, ran a relaxing and calming tools workshop, and attended enrichment activities. Further, a conversation with a non-binary youth advisor allowed the intern to provide the community preceptor with a description of how gender diversity was experienced at the shelter.

 

Intern Reflections:

Ashlan Willett: “This summer, I have begun learning a skill set and philosophy at Covenant House Pennsylvania that I believe applies both within and beyond the clinic. This strength-based skill set will allow me to better carry my present self throughout my life, to more deeply attend to all aspects of social encounters, and to recognize my limits as a human being exposed to others’ suffering. I have seen how thoughtful use of this skill set can create space for youth to discuss urgent yet sensitive health issues, and I have learned to better cope with the emotional consequences from this important work. The experience motivates me to engage more deeply with community health and to hone skill sets that will allow me to not only unpack human experience more deeply, but to structure my career around the gray areas of human experience.”

 

 

Educators for Education (E4E)

 

The Endeavor for Education and Employment (click to view Poster)

 

Student Interns:

Katie Fesperman, University of Pennsylvania, School of Social Policy & Practice

 

Academic Preceptors:

Zvi D. Gellis, PhD, University of Pennsylvania, School of Social Policy & Practice

 

Community Preceptor:

Anthony Singleton, President/Chief Executive Officer, Educators for Education

 

Community Site:

Educators for Education (E4E) provides educational and professional services to at-risk youth aged 12 to 21. At its core, E4E aims is to empower young people, taking that leap of faith with kids who are looked down on, minoritized, and alienated from the services and resources they deserve. E4E offers a variety of services, including parental education workshops, technical assistance, school-based programming, job placements, career-skills-building workshops, and youth development programs.

 

Project:

The Bridging the Gaps student intern worked alongside E4E personnel to place more than 60 youth at local organizations to assist them in finding financial opportunities, expand their professional skills, and broaden their future career options. The intern also assisted in developing a novel youth employment assistance program that provides job coaching in one-on-one sessions, with the goal of creating a professional development program that caters to each youth’s particular needs and interests. Much of the intern’s work involved helping youth apply for jobs, filling out paperwork, collecting vital documents, coordinating with parents, collaborating with community worksites, communicating with youth, generating recruitment materials, and synthesizing the youth employment assistance program materials.

 

Intern Reflections:

Katie Fesperman: “As a future social worker, I am constantly trying to speak and work with communities rather than just for them. Bridging the Gaps (BTG) is an extension of that. My experience with BTG has supplemented my journey to becoming a trauma-informed, culturally sensitive, empathetic, and driven social worker and public health advocate. This kind of work is organized chaos, and there are moving parts at every level. It involves interdisciplinary teams, micro and macro influences, bureaucracy, and humanity. BTG has shown me resources and given me support networks that can help me navigate the madness in this work, not only for myself, but also for the people I work alongside.”

 

 

Get Fresh Daily

Get Fresh Daily: Summer Experience (click to view Poster)

 

Student Interns:

Georgia Garrow, University of Pennsylvania, School of Social Policy & Practice

Pari Thakkar, University of Pennsylvania, School of Dental Medicine

 

Academic Preceptors:

Zvi D. Gellis, PhD, University of Pennsylvania, School of Social Policy & Practice

Joan I. Gluch, PhD, RDH, PHDHP, University of Pennsylvania, School of Dental Medicine

 

Community Preceptor:

Jiana Murdic, MS, Founder and Director, Get Fresh Daily

Community Site:

Get Fresh Daily is a mission-driven organization that promotes well-being and health education through culturally relevant events that focus on the surrounding Black community. Get Fresh Daily provides low-cost produce boxes to underserved populations and empowers individuals to live healthier lives. The garden at Get Fresh Daily, The Freedom Greens + Garden, provides a space for the community to unwind, connect with others, and learn about healthy living. 

 

Project: 

The Bridging the Gaps student interns worked on various projects. They created a plant write-up and recipe database to help better organize the produce boxes and newsletter. They worked in the garden, weeding, watering, planting seeds, and helping to run the Garden Market, a low-cost market for vegetables and herbs produced at The Freedom Greens + Garden. They assisted with various events, including the Summer Solstice meditation event and a children's camp. They also helped create a survey for customer feedback and evaluated the survey data. Last, they planned a bike tour route of several gardens in West Philadelphia that will be experienced during the fall.

 

Intern Reflections:

About the interns: “BTG CHIP has emphasized the importance of professionalism and teamwork, which has helped the interns to thrive in their roles. BTG CHIP has taught valuable information about the surrounding community and how to better serve them through inclusivity and kindness. Most of all, BTG CHIP has highlighted the importance of giving back to and learning about your community. Throughout the experience, the interns were able to speak with community members and receive feedback on the impact of Get Fresh Daily’s produce boxes. Through listening to the community members' experiences, the interns were able to see how a simple item like a produce box can drastically change someone’s life for the better and make a lasting impact. For example, one of the customers went off their diabetes medication after receiving boxes for some time. The interns were also able to learn about what it means to be culturally aware and inclusive, as Get Fresh Daily aims to center its mission around Jamaican/Caribbean culture and foods, based on the surrounding community’s roots. By being directly involved in and inclusive of the community, Get Fresh Daily is thus able to achieve and surpass its purpose as a valuable resource and safe space. The interns had the fortunate opportunity to be able to witness this firsthand and begin to explore how they would be able to apply these lessons to their own lives and careers going forward.”

Hall Mercer

Understanding the Lives of the Adult Wellness Program Clients (click to view Poster)

 

Student Interns:

Chloe Johnson, University of Pennsylvania, School of Dental Medicine

 

Academic Preceptors:

Joan I. Gluch, PhD, RDH, PHDHP, University of Pennsylvania, School of Dental Medicine

 

Community Preceptors:

Beverly Bradley, Case Manager, Hall Mercer

Angelo Cirrincione, Case Manager, Hall Mercer

Steve Niederriter, MBA, Assistant Director of Operations for Outpatient Behavioral Health Services, Hall Mercer

Community Site:

Hall Mercer is a community mental health center that is affiliated with the University of Pennsylvania Hospital. The center aims to better the lives of those affected with mental illness or developmental disabilities by broadening their acceptance and advancing their care. A wide range of services are provided to both children and adults, with an emphasis on caring for the underserved.

 

Project:

The Bridging the Gaps student intern helped with the Adult Wellness Program by taking daily attendance and checking in on the clients. The intern led and assisted with the daily activities that are a part of the program and built crucial relationships with each client in order to understand their background and individual needs. The intern also created an oral health presentation and distributed oral hygiene kits with the goal of educating the clients and improving their oral health.

 

Intern Reflections:

Chloe Johnson: “My Bridging the Gaps experience this summer exposed to me a whole new population I had never worked with before. Before I started my work at Hall Mercer, I didn’t know what to expect when working with individuals with disabilities; however, from day one they made me feel more than comfortable. I was so excited to come into Hall Mercer every day to see what the clients were up to and to hear more of their stories. I built so many deep and meaningful relationships with clients and staff that I hope will continue throughout my time here. I know that my experience at Hall Mercer will help me tremendously when working with patients with disabilities in my future. They taught me so much that I will carry with me through dental school, in my career as a dentist, and beyond.”

HIAS Pennsylvania 

 

Health Case Manager Interns (click to view Poster)

 

Student Interns:

Jessica Dauphinais, University of Pennsylvania, School of Dental Medicine

David Sowa, University of Pennsylvania, Perelman School of Medicine

 

Academic Preceptors:

Hillary R. Bogner, MD, MSCE, University of Pennsylvania, Perelman School of Medicine

Joan I. Gluch, PhD, RDH, PHDPH, University of Pennsylvania, School of Dental Medicine

 

Community Preceptors:

Amy Eckendorf, LSW, Immigrant Health and Wellness Program Manager, HIAS Pennsylvania 

 

Community Site:

The Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society of Pennsylvania (HIAS PA) is one of the largest refugee resettlement agencies in the Philadelphia area. It offers both legal aid and social services to eligible Office of Refugee Resettlement clients across metropolitan Philadelphia. The Immigrant Wellness Program at HIAS PA serves clients in numerous ways: It offers intensive case management services to eligible clients, connects them to medical and dental appointments, provides medical accompaniments, links clients to new primary care physicians, and more.

 

Project:

The Bridging the Gaps student interns acted as health case managers, serving as advocates for a diverse patient population from multiple countries. These clients are all refugees who have recently resettled in the United States and often have a huge language barrier, and HIAS PA aims to alleviate some of the stress clients may have while interacting with English speakers and adapting to the local culture. The interns communicated with social services and many different healthcare offices (dentists, doctors, physical therapists, ophthalmologists, and more) to coordinate appointments for clients and troubleshoot administrative challenges. The interns also accompanied clients to healthcare appointments with the goal of helping them get comfortable using public transportation and navigating the city, ultimately cultivating the independence and agency required for them to make Philadelphia their new home.

 

Intern Reflections:

Jessica Dauphinais: “My BTG CHIP experience at HIAS PA completely changed my future focus as to what I would like to do as a future provider. This summer I got to work with the immigrant population and learned so much about how the transition to the U.S. is and how our healthcare system constantly is failing them. I always knew I wanted to go into some sort of public health option of dentistry, but this summer really solidified my passion for working with a vulnerable population. One of the biggest challenges I faced this summer is the access to care, more specifically the access to interpretation. The population I worked with spoke barely any English, and as a patient you have a right to interpretation. Through my work with different providers, I found how few providers offer interpretation. Without an interpreter these patients can’t communicate with potential providers. I know now I only want to work in an office that offers these resources and so much more. The barriers my clients face are so real. [W]orking in a community health center has always been a goal of mine, and this experience confirmed working with a vulnerable population is where I belong. Language is only one barrier refugees and immigrants face, but it was the one that stuck with me the most and had the most impact on some future criteria that I want to practice with.” 

 

David Sowa: “For all the impressive feats that our healthcare system can accomplish, the fact remains that the application of our medical knowledge is not the same for all people. Guiding patients with HIAS PA opened a window into the challenges of actually navigating a complicated system that unfortunately does not always prioritize healthcare based on the gravity of a patient’s issues. On the one hand, connecting clients with providers who could provide pain-relieving care and who could communicate effectively with our clients provided great satisfaction. Seeing a client’s eyes light up when they were able to properly express themselves through an interpreter showed me how vital this service is to empowering patients. On the other hand, it was disheartening when advocating for clients for whom interpretation services were not properly provided or whose medical issues could not be fully covered by their health insurance, however distressing their conditions may be. Coming away from this experience, I have a greater awareness of all of the challenges that patients face before even getting into the examination room for the patient-provider interaction. So much of what determines someone’s proper healthcare can hinge on their ability to coordinate childcare, find work, and cross language and cultural barriers. In that sense, working at HIAS PA has allowed me to not only appreciate the diversity of paths that bring people to the U.S.A. and Philadelphia, but also feel that I have made some small contribution to easing that path. My experience this summer has stoked an interest in working with this vulnerable population in the future, perhaps through volunteering at my school’s refugee health clinic.”

HMS School for Children with Cerebral Palsy

 

Summer Fun at HMS School for Children with Cerebral Pals

 

Student Interns:

Adeayo Adenusi, University of Pennsylvania, School of Dental Medicine

Kayla Buchanan, Drexel University College of Medicine

Franklin King, Drexel University College of Medicine

Dylan Maskell, University of Pennsylvania, School of Dental Medicine

 

Academic Preceptors:

Stacy Ellen, DO, Drexel University College of Medicine

Joan I. Gluch, PhD, RDH, PHDHP, University of Pennsylvania, School of Dental Medicine

 

Community Preceptor:

Julie Conway, SLP, HMS School

Teresa Giardina, MSEd, HMS School

Community Site:

HMS School for Children with Cerebral Palsy is in the University City neighborhood of West Philadelphia. The school serves students aged 5 to 21 who have cerebral palsy or other complex disabilities. HMS School’s mission focuses on enabling all students to reach their maximum potential in an academic context, but also helping them thrive outside of the HMS setting. They do this by promoting independence and improving the quality of life for their students in a safe and secure environment, so that each student can lead a fulfilling, stimulating life, now and as an adult.

 

Project:

The Bridging the Gaps student interns were assigned to different classrooms and assisted with the daily activities of the students throughout the school day. The interns were also invited to shadow students’ sessions in physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy throughout the summer. During weekly meetings with community preceptors, the interns had the chance to learn about and discuss various aspects of care for individuals with cerebral palsy, such as specialized dental care and feeding challenges.

 

Intern Reflections:

Adeayo Adenusi: “My summer with HMS has been unlike anything that I have experienced before. Prior to beginning my journey at HMS, I was very nervous and was not quite sure what to expect. As the summer progressed, however, I began to feel much more comfortable and confident interacting with children with cerebral palsy. In addition to this, I was able to uncover new ways of becoming a better advocate for the special-needs population. After going through my experience with Bridging the Gaps, combined with the bonds I have formed while working with the students, I can confidently say that I am going to miss each and every one of them. Reflecting on their personal stories and witnessing how far they have come has motivated me to continue in my pursuits for more accessible healthcare across all disciplines.”

 

Kayla Buchanan: “Spending time at HMS was unlike any experience I’ve had; although I was a bit intimidated at first to enter this space out of fear that I wouldn’t know how to be helpful, it became clear that the most natural thing to do was just connect with the kids. The students at HMS are sweet, hilarious, and full of life, and I am so thankful to have had the chance to get to know them. I also learned a great deal from interacting with the teachers, administrators, nurses, and therapists at HMS and how these disciplines all come together to form the greater HMS community.”

 

Franklin King: “The time I spent at HMS this summer has been an invaluable experience that I hope to carry many lessons from into my future career in medicine. Working with a complete care team demonstrated the necessity of a variety of interventions such as OT, PT, and speech therapy in ensuring children with cerebral palsy have the tools to succeed in life. In my interactions with the kids at HMS I learned so much about the unique communication strategies they each used and came to know them for the beautiful people they are. It was a privilege to learn and grow alongside the people I came into contact with during my internship, and I would recommend this experience to anyone entering into a healthcare field.”

 

Dylan Maskell: “Nothing can prepare you for the transformative experience you will gain from being able to work at HMS. Throughout the summer I had the pleasure of forming meaningful relationships with both the staff and students at the school. This experience reaffirmed the passion I have for working with this population and has prepared me for the interactions I will have with patients. I can’t wait to carry this experience with me throughout my career and life.”

 

 

Mothers in Charge, Inc.

Stop the Violence (click to view Poster)

 

Student Interns:

Rachel Gray, University of Pennsylvania, School of Social Policy & Practice

Ujashi Shah, University of Pennsylvania, Perelman School of Medicine

 

Academic Preceptors:

Hillary R. Bogner, MS, MSCE, University of Pennsylvania, Perelman School of Medicine

Zvi D. Gellis, PhD, University of Pennsylvania, School of Social Policy & Practice

Christopher B. Renjilian, MD, University of Pennsylvania, Perelman School of Medicine

 

Community Preceptor:

Dorothy Johnson-Speight, PhD, MHS, LPC, Founder and National Executive Director, Mothers in Charge, Inc. (MIC)

Community Site:

Mothers in Charge, Inc., is a violence prevention, education, and intervention-based organization that advocates for and assists mothers, children, families, and community organizations affected by gun violence. It supports individuals and communities through programs such as grief support, participatory defense, anger management, mentoring of at-risk youth, public education, and art therapy for trauma.

 

Project:

The Bridging the Gaps student interns at Mothers in Charge, Inc., worked on a variety of tasks over the summer. The interns sat in on groups such as grief support and anger management on a weekly basis. They engaged with community members and at-risk youth in partnership with organizations like the Juvenile Justice Center and were responsible for the newsletter and for creating documents that promoted events. In addition, they were tasked with writing white papers on the topics of gun violence and trauma-informed care.

 

Intern Reflections: 

Rachel Gray: “I loved my experience at Mothers in Charge. It was not an easy site to be at in terms of learning from folks’ traumatic experiences, but it was necessary for gaining an in-depth understanding of the state of gun violence, specifically in Philadelphia. I learned so much from the staff, who are also mostly made up of people who have been impacted by gun violence and/or have dealt with previous incarceration. We had the amazing opportunity to sit in on a lot of groups that I would not have otherwise been given the opportunity to experience, and these groups really made all the difference in my experience. Real bonds were made with staff and clients alike, and the experience was invaluable and will weigh a lot in how I think about certain systems while continuing to pursue social work.”

 

Ujashi Shah: “This was such an eye-opening experience because I got a chance to work directly with and learn from people affected by the gun violence crisis in Philadelphia. The staff at Mothers in Charge were so welcoming from the beginning, and I believe that I built strong, lasting relationships and became a part of this community. Not only did I get a chance to engage in activities I was interested in, including community engagement and public health research, I also learned valuable skills and lessons from people with lived experience and training that I hope to bring to my future career serving as a medical provider. I plan on continuing to do work in the realm of gun violence prevention and restorative justice.”

 

No More Secrets Mind Body Spirit Inc.

 

Helping Women Bleed With Dignity (click to view Poster)

 

Student Interns:

Sarah Mathew, University of Pennsylvania, School of Dental Medicine

Bethany Sacks, University of Pennsylvania, School of Veterinary Medicine

 

Academic Preceptors:

Joan I. Gluch, PhD, RDH, PHDHP, University of Pennsylvania, School of Dental Medicine

Brittany Watson, MS, VMD, PhD, DACVPM, University of Pennsylvania, School of Veterinary Medicine

 

Community Preceptors:

Nya McGlone, MS, Co-founder and COO, No More Secrets: Mind Body Spirit, Inc.

Lynette Medley, MEd, Co-founder and CEO, No More Secrets: Mind Body Spirit, Inc.

 

Community Site:

No More Secrets: Mind Body Spirit, Inc., (NMS) is the world’s first menstrual and uterine wellness hub. NMS proudly distributes about 63,000 menstrual and hygiene products every week, totaling more than 17 million products in the past two years since it opened the SPOT. NMS has served an estimated 600,000+ individuals this year through its main brick and mortar (the SPOT) and satellite locations at several historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs). The organization provides support for women with bleeding disorders, postpartum complications, and menstrual insecurities. This not only reduces the need for people who menstruate to engage in risky behaviors (such as using socks and gloves in place of pads, which can lead to BV, UTIs, etc.; trading sexual favors for products; or stealing), but also gives these individuals a sense of dignity and a safe place to ask questions. NMS currently serves people nationwide, but predominantly across every zip code in Philadelphia.

 

Project:

The Bridging the Gaps student interns worked on several different projects to help NMS further its mission, including creating a resource list to give Co-founders Nya McGlone and Lynette Medley alternative sites to refer their community to, as needed. The interns assisted with daily appointments and instruction on health and wellness for clients who visited the SPOT and made things easier by reorganizing both the pad and tampon rooms. They also assisted with reaching out for grants and community sponsors to help relieve some of the financial pressures that NMS faces.

 

Intern Statements:

Sarah Mathew and Bethany Sacks: “This experience was genuinely life-changing for our team. Through our Bridging the Gaps placement at No More Secrets, we have been able to better understand some of the struggles and resiliency that the Philadelphia community lives with on a daily basis. We have learned valuable lessons in empathy, listening, asking questions, and putting the community needs first from their point of view. Not only have these been meaningful lessons while we were working at the SPOT, but we will take this growth through both our schooling and working as health professionals.”

 

 

Philadelphia Family Pride

Fostering Empowerment in LGBTQ+ Family Formation: Illuminating Paths to Parenthood Through Community-Building, Education, and Resource-Sharing (click to view Poster)

 

Student Intern:

Charlotte Masters, University of Pennsylvania, School of Social Policy & Practice

Academic Preceptors:

Zvi D. Gellis, PhD, University of Pennsylvania, School of Social Policy & Practice

 

Community Preceptor:

Stephanie Haynes, Executive Director, Philadelphia Family Pride

 

Community Site:
Philadelphia Family Pride (PFP) is a nonprofit organization created by LGBTQ+ people for LGBTQ+ people, with the mission of building community, sharing resources, and initiating educational dialogue and advocacy for queer-led families and prospective parents.

 

Project:

The Bridging the Gaps student intern focused primarily on coordinating and facilitating PFP’s annual Paths to Parenthood summer series consisting of seven in-person sessions geared toward providing both institutional and experiential knowledge, as well as support. In these sessions, prospective parents gather with local “experts” to discuss the various avenues to queer parenthood. This year, topics included adoption, foster care, sperm donation, and surrogacy, as well as the emotional and legal considerations of family building. Each session lasts an hour and a half, and the series itself is punctuated with social events that the intern also helped plan. The intern was largely responsible for the overall logistical coordination of the program (e.g., space reservations, speaker scheduling, social media graphic creation and dissemination, soliciting feedback from attendees, etc.). The intern also assisted with PFP’s annual Prideteenth picnic on July 17 and created content to celebrate notable events such as International Non-Binary People’s Day.

 

Intern Reflections:
Charlotte Masters: “The importance of the Paths to Parenthood program, and of PFP as a whole, cannot be overstated. There is a real gap in LGBTQ+ support networks nationwide when it comes specifically to queer-led families. PFP aims to fill that niche for the greater Philadelphia area, and I have had the privilege of working with them towards that goal. In this year’s series, the combination of lived experience and expertise provided by PFP parents and clinicians, lawyers, and other community professionals alike helped foster a dynamic and personalized group environment to openly discuss fertility and parenthood. Hearing individual testimony about parents’ experiences navigating the complexities of LGBTQ+ family building was particularly impactful for me, both personally and professionally. Their stories especially highlighted the urgency around intersectionality as it relates to the community resources used to family build. Systemic issues of homophobia, transphobia, fatphobia, racism, and sexism exert a unique and interconnected influence over the family-building process and need to be considered in tandem when engaging in this work. It is exactly the kind of holistic perspective I aim to bring with me into my career as a clinical social worker.”

 

 

Philadelphia FIGHT: Youth Health Empowerment Program

A Comprehensive Care Approach: Gender-Affirming Care, Adult Care Transitions, and Career Development for LGBTQ+ Youth (click to view Poster)

 

Student Interns:

Sam Pancoe, Thomas Jefferson University, Sidney Kimmel Medical College
Owen Parra, University of Pennsylvania, Perelman School of Medicine

 

Academic Preceptors:

Hillary R. Bogner, MD, MSCE, University of Pennsylvania, Perelman School of Medicine

Maria Hervada-Page, MSS, Thomas Jefferson University, Sidney Kimmel Medical College

Christopher B. Renjilian, MD, University of Pennsylvania, Perelman School of Medicine

 

Community Preceptors:

Rebecca Keuch, MSN, CRNP, Philadelphia FIGHT Youth Health Empowerment Project (YHEP)

 

Community Site:

Philadelphia FIGHT Pediatric and Adolescent Health Center, located in Center City Philadelphia, provides high-quality, comprehensive primary care to address the physical and emotional health needs of children and youth up to the age of 27. As a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC), FIGHT welcomes patients of all income levels, races, ethnicities, gender identities, sexual orientations, insurance statuses, and nationalities, regardless of ability to pay.

 

Project:

The Bridging the Gaps student interns at Philadelphia FIGHT’s Youth Health Empowerment Project (YHEP) focused on three projects this summer, based on a patient needs survey they administered during their first week. They updated the clinic’s gender-affirming care guide by creating a referral network of other providers doing gender-affirming care; researching resources for social transition such as free clothing, name change resources, and hair removal resources; and creating connections between YHEP and other health centers doing gender-affirming care. Because YHEP stops seeing patients at age 27, the interns also worked on a health literacy project about transitioning out of YHEP, including information on what to expect from adult providers, how to find a new provider, and understanding insurance and medications. Finally, the interns worked on improving YHEP’s education and career development resources by creating a resource guide and strengthening relationships with local nonprofits that do direct education and career counseling for young people.

 

Intern Reflections: 

Sam Pancoe: “Working at YHEP this summer was so rewarding. It was really impactful to see a health center that really prioritizes the patient experience and works so hard to meet the medical and nonmedical needs of its diverse patient population. Through my time at YHEP, it became clear how central affirming and inclusive medical care is to building strong and trusting relationships, especially with patients whose previous experiences have made them distrustful of medicine. I hope to use the tools I have learned about community, health literacy, affirming care, and the importance of nonmedical support services in my future as a provider.”

 

Owen Parra: “I really gained a lot this summer being with FIGHT and with YHEP. Many clinics I know of talk about comprehensive care, but the care that YHEP provides their patients goes far above and beyond that. In every appointment I witnessed, the providers created such an affirming and supportive environment, and they made a point to address the diverse range of needs each patient had. YHEP clearly holds a very special place in the heart of the LGBTQ+ adolescent community in Philly, one that has been fostered over time by this comprehensive care. It has been amazing to be a part of that, to contribute to the care of this community through personal conversations, building of resources, building of referral networks, and resource distribution. I plan to carry what I gained here into my work as a provider.”

Prevention Point Philadelphia

 

Harm Reduction with the Syringe Services Program at Prevention Point Philadelphia (click to view Poster)

 

Student Interns:

Zane MacFarlane, University of Pennsylvania, Perelman School of Medicine

William Nguyen, Thomas Jefferson University, Sidney Kimmel Medical College

 

Academic Preceptors:

Hillary R. Bogner, MD, MSCE, University of Pennsylvania, Perelman School of Medicine

Christopher B. Renjilian, University of Pennsylvania, Perelman School of Medicine

 

Community Preceptors:

Nicole Sage, Director of Prevention Services, Prevention Point Philadelphia

 

Community Site:

Prevention Point Philadelphia provides harm reduction services to Philadelphia and the surrounding area. Now a nonprofit public health organization, Prevention Point was started as a grassroots, underground organization in 1991 by ACT UP Philadelphia (AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power) and distributed syringes to help reduce the transmission of HIV among people who injected drugs. After lobbying efforts led to the legalization of the possession of syringes by Mayor Ed Rendell’s executive order in 1992, Prevention Point grew into a larger organization that provides many services with a harm reduction approach, including medical care, overdose prevention education, naloxone distribution, and case management, along with housing, meals, and mail services for people facing housing instability.

 

Project:

The Bridging the Gaps student interns worked closely with the Syringe Services Program. Activities included creating syringe supply kits and wound care materials for distribution, brainstorming and developing additional strategies for delivering wound care resources, helping other volunteers learn how to participate with SSP, and meeting with participants during exchanges to provide them with materials and services that met their needs. The interns had the opportunity to talk to participants during syringe exchanges, provide them with supplies they requested, and help guide participants to additional services at Prevention Point if wanted. The summer provided an excellent opportunity for the BTG interns to learn and practice harm reduction principles while also engaging with and listening to community members longitudinally.

 

Intern Reflections: 

Zane MacFarlane and William Nguyen: “Over the summer, we had the opportunity to work for the Syringe Services Program at Prevention Point and learn firsthand how harm reduction operates. On a technical level, we learned from the SSP team and directly from participants about their various supply needs as well as the challenging nature of managing xylazine-associated wounds. One of our greatest takeaways was witnessing the incredible compassion and support the staff provides for participants day in and day out through their services and conversations. The harm reduction services and staff at Prevention Point empower participants who often feel stigmatized by society and meet their needs wherever they are. It is a model and therapeutic approach we will be thinking about and hoping to practice as we advance in our medical careers.”

 

 

Puentes de Salud

 

Por la Communidad (click to view Poster)

 

Student Intern: 

Elyse Cinquino, University of Pennsylvania, School of Social Policy & Practice

Academic Preceptor:

Zvi D. Gellis, PhD, University of Pennsylvania, School of Social Policy & Practice

Community Preceptor:

Mariana Argüelles, MSW, Health and Wellness Director, Puentes de Salud

 

Community Site: 

Puentes de Salud (Bridges of Health) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that promotes the health and wellness of Philadelphia’s rapidly growing Latinx immigrant population through high-quality healthcare, innovative educational programs, and community building.

 

Project:

The Bridging the Gaps student intern worked within the Wellness Access Team at Puentes. She assisted the part-time social worker for medical case management and worked within the Food Access Program and Food Pharmacy. One of the intern’s main projects was to create and begin a training manual for the incoming MSW student and for any volunteer who will be interacting with Puentes developing social services. As Puentes’ case management evolves, this training manual can be a living document, providing information, resources, and knowledge passed down to anyone at Puentes working with social services. The intern also researched other Philly food pantries with low barriers to access to provide community members more localized food access.

 

Intern Reflections: 

Elyse Cinquino: “With my previous work with refugee and parolee immigrants who do have documentation and status after immigrating to the United States, being at Puentes has introduced me to the specific challenges faced by undocumented immigrants. Community resources and mutual aid are something emphasized within all the work at Puentes. Word of mouth, community assistance, and sharing of resources are common methods of community-led assistance within the Latinx South Philly community. Furthermore, the care and access Puentes can provide to clients in their native language of Spanish is necessary, imperative, and crucial to equitable healthcare and community-empowered health. After my BTG internship and work at Puentes de Salud, I feel more empowered to use my language skills to help a wider range of clients. I also was able to work within a social services program earlier on in its development at an organization, which I found particularly novel and rewarding.”

AHA
Beyond Literacy
Michael J. Crescenz VMC
Covenant House PA
Educators for Education
Children First
Get Fresh Daily
No More Secrets
Phila Family Pride
Prevention Point Philly
Puentes De Salud
Philadelphia Fight
Hall Mercer
HIAS PA
HMS School
Mothers in Charge
Smith Memorial

Smith Memorial Playground and Playhouse

 

Summer@Smith: 7 Fun-Filled Weeks of Unstructured Free Play & Interactive Learning (click to view Poster)

 

Student Interns:

Kevin Okoli, University of Pennsylvania, School of Dental Medicine

 

Academic Preceptors:

Joan I. Gluch, PhD, RDH, PHDHP, University of Pennsylvania, School of Dental Medicine

 

Community Preceptor:

Betsy Neiva, PhD, Smith Memorial Playground

Community Site: 

The Smith Memorial Playground and Playhouse is an indoor and outdoor play space that provides and promotes the opportunity for unstructured free play for children aged 10 and under. Founded in 1897 in East Fairmount Park, it has been for generations a public space for kids and their families living in Philadelphia.

 

Project: 

The Bridging the Gaps student intern served as a summer camp counselor for the 4- to 5-year-olds and 6- to 9-year-olds. For the 4- to 5-year-olds, the intern developed interactive lesson plans that exposed the kids to nature and the outdoors. The children were involved in a lot of nature exploration and discovery, while also developing arts and crafts related to the things they learned in the outdoors. For the 6- to 9-year-olds, the intern developed sports activities and games that promoted physical fitness, teamwork, and problem-solving. The children developed team sportsmanship and learned about the basic rules of common sports. Also for the 6- to 9-year-olds, the intern presented a lesson on exercise and nutrition as they relate to cardiovascular health. The intern also served as a life coach for all the age groups, teaching the children how to adequately vent and communicate their feelings and emotions, coaching them on proper manners, and helping them improve their reading and writing skills.

 

Intern Reflections:

Kevin Okoli: “The BTG CHIP experience at Smith greatly improved my ability to communicate with children and understand children’s behaviors. I learned effective strategies to employ when communicating with 4- to 5-year-olds, and how to instill self- and co-regulation in this age group. I learned how to motivate and teach self-motivation to the 6- to 9-year-olds as they embraced challenging sports. I learned that life as a child can sometimes be emotionally difficult, so I constantly coached the kids on the proper ways of communicating their feelings to their peers and adults. Last, I learned the best ways to engage with kids when trying to educate them on a topic; once I correlated the topic of nutrition to the foods and people the kids encountered in their everyday lives, it was amazing seeing how quickly the students understood my lesson on essential vitamins and their importance.”

Social Needs Response Team (SNRT) at Penn Medicine

The Power of a Phone Call (click to view Poster)

 

Student Interns:

Sara Hak, University of Pennsylvania, School of Dental Medicine

Dorothy Tan, University of Pennsylvania, School of Nursing

 

Academic Preceptors:

Joan I. Gluch, PhD, RDH, PHDHP, University of Pennsylvania, School of Dental Medicine

Ann Lawrence O’Sullivan, PhD, FAAN, CRNP, University of Pennsylvania, School of Nursing

 

Community Preceptor:

Jaya Aysola, MD, MPH, University of Pennsylvania, School of Medicine

Ana Bonilla Martinez, University of Pennsylvania, Center for Health Equity and Advancement

Community Site: 

The Penn Medicine Social Needs Response Team (SNRT) is a virtual call center established in April 2020 to support Penn patients, students, and the wider Philadelphia community with resources and navigational assistance to address social needs.

 

Project: 

The Bridging the Gaps student interns at SNRT were oriented and trained in the skills required to effectively identify, prioritize, document, and address unmet social needs in Philadelphia and the surrounding area. SNRT team members work collaboratively to (1) triage referrals from the PennChart pool and voice message system, (2) contact and screen referred individuals for safety, distress, and unmet social needs, (3) support identified social needs with resources and/or referrals, and (4) appropriately document all encounters. Structured screening questions are used to evaluate distress and safety and to identify social needs. The interns and the other SNRT members worked together to find resources for vulnerable populations. Individuals may be in crisis, making them more vulnerable, which makes it that much more difficult to connect them with the resources they need.

 

Intern Reflections:

Sara Hak and Dorothy Tan: “Being a part of SNRT through BTG CHIP was a really rewarding experience for us. We were able to feel the sense of satisfaction from finishing a case, as well as learn a lot more about the types of community resources available in Philadelphia and the surrounding areas through our patient encounters. Throughout the program, we were able to put into practice and further develop our skills for effective patient communication and empathetic inquiry — all beneficial skills in the fields of dentistry and nursing when interacting with patients. We also improved our professional collaboration skills while working with supervisors and team members on case management. Last, we learned about the importance of medical narrative writing and good patient encounter documentation. Overall, this experience has been imperative in showcasing the importance of interdisciplinary care — how all fields come together to provide patient care and form a strong sense of community.”

 

 

Southwest CDC Youth Day Camp

Immersed in Youth Day Camp at Southwest CDC – Learning Through Play (click to view Poster)

 

Student Interns: 

Matthew Lam, University of Pennsylvania, School of Dental Medicine

Katherine Tseng, University of Pennsylvania, School of Dental Medicine

 

Academic Preceptors: 

Joan I. Gluch, PhD, RDH, PHDHP, University of Pennsylvania, School of Dental Medicine

 

Community Preceptor:

Shaketia Sills, Program Coordinator, Southwest Community Development Corporation

Lorraine Thomas, Operations Manager, Southwest Community Development Corporation

 

Community Site:

The Southwest Community Development Corporation (CDC) is a program established by community members in 1987 to improve the quality of life in the Southwest Philadelphia community through their after-school programs, employment/workforce development, and housing services. This summer, Southwest Community Development Corporation provided a day camp for students in grades K through four at the John M. Patterson School, offering arts and crafts, games, dance, educational programs, and field trips to enrich students’ education throughout the summer..

 

Project:

The Bridging the Gaps student interns created fun, interactive, and engaging lesson plans for the Youth Day Camp program, where each week featured a different theme from STEM to arts and music. Topics included engineering, oral health, physical fitness, and arts and crafts. The lesson plans aimed to provide an educationally stimulating environment that embodied teamwork, support, and creativity for all students. Ultimately, the interns’ goal was to create a welcoming, fun, and comfortable environment for kids to simply be kids and have fun in a safe space that would let their individuality, creativity, and strengths shine.

 

Intern Reflections: 

Matthew Lam: “Participating in the BTG CHIP experience allowed me to immerse myself in the communities we serve as healthcare practitioners at the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine. Being able to work directly with the kids at the John M. Patterson School, creating meaningful, and trusting relationships with them, strengthened my ability to communicate effectively with a team and widened my creativity in terms of thinking outside the box. Working with the kids every day was full of surprises and my favorite part about working at Southwest CDC. The students are so bright, energetic, and full of life, and it motivates me to put my best efforts out there no matter what. It is truly inspiring — a truly rewarding experience being able to see the students have fun, laugh, cheer, and simply be kids. Learning about their lives, their passions, and dreams throughout the summer was heartwarming and motivational. With the unconditional support by Ms. Shaketia Sills, my summer at Southwest CDC with the staff and students was a rewarding experience I’ll cherish throughout my life and career.”

 

Katherine Tseng: “Through BTG, I had the opportunity to establish close connections with community members and engage with the children, allowing me to gain insights in their lifestyle. The kids were so much fun to work with, and I’ve learned to be flexible and adaptable throughout the experience. They were always engaged in the activities we prepared, and I also genuinely enjoyed chatting with them about anything and everything. It was heartening to hear about their dreams and aspirations, and they shared their hopes with such pure and resolute looks. It made me realize that as we grow up, the complexities of the world can sometimes lead us to forget what truly matters to us. One day, while having a conversation with a second-grader, we ended up discussing the supernatural powers we would want. He told me he wants to be able to run at lightning speed so he could run to help the people in need just in time. This is such a simple but heartwarming wish. We had fun planning activities for the kids to learn, but what touched me was the positivity and energy they brought us in return. Their wishes and enthusiasm motivate me even more on this dental journey to help the community and population in need of oral treatment. Working at the Southwest CDC this summer has truly been a worthwhile and fulfilling experience.”

 

 

Students Run Philly Style

 

Beyond the Finish Line 

 

Student Interns:

Lindsay Hasson, University of Pennsylvania, School of Dental Medicine

 

Academic Preceptors:

Joan I. Gluch, PhD, RDH, PHDHP, University of Pennsylvania, School of Dental Medicine

 

Community Preceptor:

Ieshia Nelson, MEd, Associate Director of Community and Culture, Students Run Philly Style

 

Community Site:

Students Run Philly Style (SRPS) is a mentorship organization that operates on the core values of courage, effort, and respect to encourage students to achieve their goals. The students work toward their physical fitness goals by training to run races. However, the impact that Students Run Philly Style has on its members goes far beyond faster mile times. Students Run provides students with mentorship and confidence-building opportunities that allow them to realize their potential. Students Run builds a community through which students can develop skills to work toward their running and personal goals.

 

Project:

The Bridging the Gaps student intern focused on improving family engagement strategies. The intern designed a survey to gauge which activities families would be interested in and topics they would like more information on; created an interactive parent learning platform with information on the program, safety information, and tips to help a student athlete prepare for a race; and organized information for a Leadership Summit Camp and scholarship distribution. The intern also assisted with administrative duties at two races to ensure that the events ran smoothly.

 

Intern Statements:

Lindsay Hasson: “My experience with BTG CHIP has had a significant impact on my professional and personal development. I have always known that I wanted to work in pediatrics, but working with Students Run Philly Style has allowed me to experience firsthand the rewards of facilitating positive youth development. Because most of my interactions with the community have been in a healthcare setting, it has been very enlightening to diversify my experiences and learn about the ways in which community organizations help individuals to work towards better health and well-being. Additionally, in terms of my personal goals, this program has shown me how rewarding it is to use something that you love to help others. I have been a runner since I was in middle school, and I have really enjoyed being able to give back and help other individuals realize their passion for running, while also gaining experience in community engagement.”

 

 

William Way Community Center

Affirming LGBTQ+ Elders at William Way Community Center (click to view Poster)

 

Student Intern:

Mikela Sheskier, University of Pennsylvania, School of Social Policy & Practice

Academic Preceptor:

Zvi D. Gellis, PhD, University of Pennsylvania, School of Social Policy & Practice

Community Preceptor:

Ed Miller, Senior Programs Manager, William Way LGBT Community Center

Community Site: 

William Way LGBT Community Center serves LGBTQ+ individuals and allies of all ages.

The John C. Anderson Apartments are LGBTQ+-friendly senior apartments for individuals aged 62 and over.

 

Project:

The Bridging the Gaps student intern assisted with several community and social engagement projects at the William Way Community Center and the John C. Anderson Apartments (JCAA). Projects at the JCAA included assisting with the food and nutrition program for residents and social engagement programs such as Mornings Out and other presentations and symposiums. The intern also assisted in resource collection and distribution and had the opportunity to sit in on broader meetings aimed at expanding LGBTQ+-affirming housing for older adults.

 

Intern Reflections:

Mikela Sheskier: “My experience this summer at the William Way Community Center was an incredible opportunity to work closely with a diverse group of staff dedicated to providing invaluable resources to LGBTQ+ older adults. This work allowed me to build relationships with William Way staff and clients and to build a greater understanding of the needs experienced by this population while simultaneously exploring my own identity as a service provider and member of the LGBTQ+ community.”

SNRT
Southwest CDC
Students Run Philly Style
William Way
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