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Bridging the Gaps Academic Network

Partnering academic health institutions located across Pennsylvania and New Jersey

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Partnering community organizations in Philadelphia, Erie, Lehigh Valley, Pittsburgh, Reading, and New Jersey

Supported by a combination of public, private, and institutional funding  

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Members of the Philadelphia advisory board

Meet the 2023 BTG CHIP student interns



BTG includes the Community Health Internship Program (BTG CHIP) in all locations as well as two additional components in Philadelphia: the BTG Seminar Series and the BTG Community Health Rotation Program. Each academic year, students representing health and social service disciplines, including medicine, dentistry, nursing, social work, creative arts in therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, pharmacology, public health, law, physician assistant, veterinary medicine, and related fields, take part in BTG.


BTG CHIP’s focus on prevention is two-fold, giving students skills and resources to use during the program and into their professional careers, while offering under-resourced and underserved populations access to resources and information to attain healthy lifestyles. BTG CHIP was established at one Philadelphia academic health center in 1991. Within five years, it was adopted by all Philadelphia academic health centers, which now make up the BTG Philadelphia Consortium (Drexel University, Temple University, Thomas Jefferson University, and the University of Pennsylvania).  Across Pennsylvania, Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine and the University of Pittsburgh also adopted the program model. This brought about the creation of the Bridging the Gaps Network. More recently, a program in the Lehigh Valley which is a collaboration between the Lehigh Valley Health Network and DeSales University, was established. In 2020, Cooper Medical School of Rowan University, in New Jersey joined the program. In 2022, Drexel University launched a program at their Reading campus. Currently BTG is working with additional health institutions who are considering joining by having students participate in a feasibility year. Over three decades, several other institutions/program locations joined and withdrew from participation for various reasons.


Over the years, BTG's work has been recognized locally and nationally by the City of Philadelphia, the Pennsylvania Department of Health, the Senate of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the American College of Physicians, the Philadelphia County Medical Society, and the American Red Cross, as well as community-based and corporate entities.

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