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 LGHC:
Community Pediatrics and Public Health Rotation
During your PL2 year residents complete a one month 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 states 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 ALGCH, the Maine East School Based Health Center provides comprehensive physical and mental health services to the students of Maine East High School. The school is home to students from over 50 different cultural groups that speak over 75 different languages! You have the unique opportunity to see patients at the clinic during your adolescent medicine blocks. Residents also participate in yearly student education lectures on topics ranging from adolescent confidentiality to sexual health. 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.
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
- Monthly lectures on child development and family centered care
Read more about this national model at http://www.healthysteps.org/
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/
Every Thursday afternoon, residents and attending physicians provide free physical exams and vaccines for children in need in the northern suburb of Waukegan. 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 Waukegan Clinic provides a healthy start to these children and their families. Each August, several resident and attending physicians provide back to school physicals at "Kid's Fest", an event held in the same community. On average, we see close to 3000 children at this event every year!