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community outreach and child advocacy
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Advocacy At Advocate Children's Hospital - Park Ridge

As a pediatrician you will have instant credibility as a child advocate. During your training at Advocate Children's Hospital there are several experiences that will enable you to feel comfortable in this role. Here is a brief overview of child advocacy efforts at ACH-PR:

Community Pediatrics and Public Health  Rotation

During your PL2 year residents complete a rotation in community pediatrics. This is an opportunity for residents to understand their role as advocates for children within the larger public health system. In addition to working with several community pediatric practices, residents participate in a variety of experiences including:

  • Applying for WIC
  • Shadowing a city lead inspector
  • Fielding calls at Illinois Poison Control
  • Following an Illinois state's attorney into court on child welfare cases
  • Working with a domestic violence advocate in court regarding orders of protection
  • Visiting a respite center and crisis nursery
  • Working with the Illinois State Police Child Homicide Division
  • Attending an IEP (Individualized Education Plan) meeting with a family at the local school district

Residents keep a narrative journal during this rotation to reflect on their role as child advocates.

School Based Health

Located just west of ACH-PR, the District 207 School Based Health Center provides comprehensive physical and mental health services to the students of Maine Township. The school is home to students from over 50 different cultural groups that speak over 75 different languages! Annually residents and students from the high school travel to Springfield to participate in "Advocacy Day" in which they lobby the legislature on the benefits of school based health and the barriers to adolescent health access. Residents work at the health center during their PL1 and PL2 years.

Healthy Steps For Young Children Initiative

Healthy Steps is a nationally recognized program which promotes the healthy growth and development of children from birth to age three. The model is family centered and employs a strength based philosophy to primary care. The first three years of life are critically important to a child's emotional and cognitive development. The medical care that these children receive should enhance growth, educate families, promote nurturing relationships and offer support and resources when needed. During your training, the Healthy Steps program will teach you how to provide developmentally appropriate primary care.

The Healthy Steps model includes several components:

  • An extended visit with your continuity patient's during which you will work collaboratively with a developmental specialist in providing support and resources to families
  • Knowledge on integrating developmental, social, and postpartum depression screenings and subsequent referrals into your practice
  • Daycare Visits and home visits  

Reach Out and Read Program

The resident continuity clinic hosts the nationally acclaimed "Reach Out And Read" program, which distributes a developmentally appropriate book at all well child visits from ages 6 months to 4 years. The program increases literacy awareness for your young patients and their families. Research shows that when the physician gives a "prescription for reading" to the family, it increases the likelihood that books will be utilized in the home. Read more about this fantastic program at http://www.reachoutandread.org/

Ronald McDonald House Charities Care Mobile

Twice per month, the ACH Care Mobile (literally a clinic on wheels!) serves needy families of our surrounding communities. One of the general pediatric faculty members supervises two residents at each session on the mobile unit at various local schools. Preventative care, vaccines and urgent care are provided to children on the van.

 

Health Families Clinic

Every Thursday afternoon, residents and attending physicians provide free physical exams and vaccines for children in need in the northern Lake County. Most of the children in this medically underserved community are recent immigrants and need these services in order to begin school. A collaboration with the Rosalind Franklin University of Health Sciences, the Health Families Clinic provides a healthy start to these children and their families.


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