Community and Advocacy

Medicine-Pediatrics Residency Program

Med-Peds Serves the Community and are Patient Advocates

Our residents, faculty and health care staff are invested in our community and advocacy endeavors.  During residency orientation, we provide residents the opportunity to participate in a poverty simulation as well as a tour of our community (see below) to foster awareness of community resources and barriers to care and opportunities for healthy living. These experiences provide an overview to help residents think about their role as advocates for patients and their communities.

Poverty Simulation

During orientation, all residents participate in a poverty simulation, a guided experience designed to simulate the challenges of living with limited resources and help residents to better understand and empathize with our patients’ everyday stressors. In addition, volunteers from a variety of community resources participate in the event and offer the opportunity to learn about the resources available to patients in Delaware.

Community Tour (During orientation)

Tour Stops/Agency Tours: Sunday Breakfast Mission (SBM), Children and Families First’s Adolescent Resource Center (ARC), Christina Cultural Arts Center, Latin American Community Center (LACC)
Additional sites (not stops): Court House, Beautiful Gate, Walnut Street YMCA, Urban Bike Project, Wilmington Hospital, Westside Health and an abundance of corner markets (but few grocery stores).
Tour discussion included: Homelessness, Food Deserts, Health Literacy, Federally Qualified Health Centers, Oral Health, Drugs and the I-95 Corridor, Barriers to Health Care Access, Health Disparities, Delaware Consent Laws, Histories of Christiana Care Health System and Nemours/duPont Hospital for Children, Delaware Demographics and Local Cultural Attractions (with some trivia thrown in).

School-Based Wellness

As members of the School Health Committee of the Medical Society of Delaware, several Med-Peds residents and faculty travel each year to Delaware public middle schools to teach seventh grade students about healthy living. This project has been so successful that both our Governor and Lieutenant Governor have declared a Healthy Living Week in the state! In addition, our initial results were published in the September 2011 Delaware Medical Journal, “Back to School: Using Physicians to Teach Middle School Health”: Volume 83 No 9; pages 277-282.

Med-Peds residents have also given presentations to students in our First State School. The First State School gives children and adolescents who would otherwise be homebound with serious illnesses (diabetes, sickle-cell anemia, severe asthma, cancer) the chance to attend school though their conditions preclude attendance at public or private schools. Presentation topics include healthy eating, obesity prevention, issues surrounding puberty, and general wellness. Many of these topics are in line with the Medical Society of Delaware’s “It’s OBVIOUS” campaign, striving to educate children and families about key health concerns among Delaware youth.

Free Community-Wide Health Clinics and Health Fairs

Residents volunteer at the Orange Street clinic, part of the Salvation Army Women and Children’s shelter, to provide acute and chronic care, immunizations, and counseling services, in conjunction with the Pediatric Residents from A. I. duPont Hospital for Children, on a bi-monthly basis. We are in the process of expanding the services of this clinic to provide care for adults as well.

We have also co-organized and sponsored a mini health fair at the Wilmington Senior Center and also at Wilmington’s Connections Homeless Café. Over 100 people participated in these events, and patients received free lipid and glucose screenings, blood pressure reading, BMI, flu shots and healthy living discussions. We have been able to organize a similar event at the Glasgow, DE Boys and Girls club as well as the Christina Cultural Arts Center, where we provided interactive education about exercise and injury prevention, nutrition, dental health, and general wellness.

Our residency was instrumental to funding/furnishing the Sunday Breakfast Mission Women and Children’s Shelter, and help with yearly Thanksgiving food drives. In addition, each year we participate in Wilmington Wellness day and the Ministry of Caring Holiday “Adopt-a-Family” and Thanksgiving food drives.

Medical Camps

Our residents also have the opportunity to volunteer at Kay’s Kamp, a local week-long camp for children battling cancer. They serve as part of the medical team caring for the children and helping to ensure that their time at camp is safe and healthy, in addition to loads of fun. Residents work with the Medical Director, and other members of the medical staff to help provide routine medical care, dispense medications, and provide acute care for urgent issues that arise during the camp.

Pediatric Advocacy

Our residents receive lectures from child advocates within the community. We have been able to apply these skills at the state level. Medical students and residents are able to attend the Kids Caucus, which is a bi-partisan group of government officials to promote health and welfare of Delaware’s children. Typically, this event is paired with an opportunity to meet with the Governor of Delaware.

AAP Legislative Advocacy Conference

Several scholarships per year are awarded from the Delaware Chapter of the American of Pediatrics to send a resident, fellow or attending for a 3-day training session to advocate on a timely pediatrics issue in Washington, D.C.

Legislative Day ACP

Each year residents/fellows have the opportunity to go to Dover and advocate on timely adult health issues.

Be an Attorney General for the Day

Get the opportunity to attend meetings with our state Attorney General and get to understand the kinds of issues Delaware residents face (opiate addiction, gun violence).

Pediatric Community Events

We have partnered with local vendors to help provide necessary items to our patients. We have a Quilts for Comfort program in which volunteers make quilts and we distribute to all our new patients. One child from our practice was recently presented with the 9000th volunteer made quilt. In addition to our quilt program, we have now started a “Healthy Babies Begin Here” project to provide our infants with all necessary items, including sleep sacks, car seats, toothbrushes, socks, and oral thermometers.

With our pediatric residents, we participate in Asthma Day, a yearly event, in Philadelphia where we educate and empower children about their medical diagnosis.

Caring for Patients with complex health care needs

Our residency program is involved with the organization Practice without Pressure. This group helps people, especially those with disabilities, receive quality medical, dental and personal care with dignity and respect. They work closely with our transition care practice (TCP) program and have given education sessions to the residency program. In 2014, our residency program helped raise money for this organization for a community walk and as a result, our program director was selected as Walk Marshall.

Med-Peds residents research, prepare, and present summaries of local community organizations that help our patients with services. A summary and contact information for the resources the residents have gathered is placed in the electronic medical record and is able to be provided to the patients at time of their encounter. This is a small snapshot of these organizations:

Practice without Pressure. Catholic Charities.
Delaware YMCA. Delaware Energy Assistance Program.
Breastfeeding Resources. Association of Retarded Citizens.
Nurses N Kids. Literacy Volunteers Services of America.
Ministry of Caring. Court Appointed Special Advocates for Children.
Camp Fresh. Make a Difference.
Read Aloud Delaware. Delaware S-CHIP program.
Delaware Quitline. Urban Promise.
Delaware Youth for Christ. West End Neighborhood House.
Prom Dresses.  

Medical Legal Partnership (MLP)

In 2015, Christiana Care officially formed a medical-legal partnership with Community Legal Aid Society, Inc., allowing our low-income clinic patients to access free legal services to better address some of the social determinants of health. One of our residents has been involved in developing a screening tool for use in all patients at the clinic, participating in projects monitoring the efficacy of this partnership, and educating health care providers on the benefits and appropriate use of medical-legal partnership referrals.