Ashley Chung, Boston University Sargent College of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, Department of Occupational Therapy
Chung is addressing mental health for school-aged children in Allston by establishing a meditation and mindfulness after-school program at the West End Boys and Girls Club. The program involves age-appropriate meditation and mindfulness activities that focus on attention, strategies to reduce anxiety and stress, self-awareness, self-reflection, and self-control. The objective of the program is to provide students with the tools and techniques they need to improve self-regulation and appropriately manage overwhelming feelings or emotions.
Community Site: West End Boys and Girls Club, Boston MA
Diana Bartenstein, Tufts University School of Medicine
Bartenstein is working to improve the dermatologic health of homeless individuals in Greater Boston. By providing education and individualized support, she aims to promote general dermatologic wellness and skin cancer prevention and among this population.
Community Site: Boston Healthcare for the Homeless Program, Boston MA
Maggie Conners, MGH Institute of Health Professions, Doctor of Occupational Therapy program
Conners is addressing mental and physical health in the indigenous community in Boston by recruiting participants for a Diabetes Self-Management Program and incorporating occupational therapy (OT) strategies into an existing substance addiction support group. The project will empower Natives to better manage their diabetes and/or substance use by introducing OT strategies for coping, completing activities of daily living, and participating in essential roles and routines. The goal is to gather data and develop a model that can be easily replicable and scalable to other urban or reservation settings.
Community Site: Native American Lifelines (NAL), West Roxbury (Boston) MA
Anna Delamerced, Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University
Delamerced is addressing the health and wellness of elderly individuals living in an assisted living facility in Rhode Island by developing a small-group workshop series involving creative writing, visual arts, and storytelling. Loneliness and social isolation are significant health risks, especially among the elderly. The goals of this program are to gather together a community of people, cultivate relationships and an open environment, and encourage self-expression and creativity, thus addressing the psychosocial components of health. The weekly sessions will include mindfulness exercises, writing prompts, journaling, photography, and sharing life experiences and stories with one another. At the end of the program, participants will have the opportunity to showcase their original work to the broader community.
Community Site: The Ethan Place in Warwick, RI
Hiba Dhanani, Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University
Dhanani is addressing social inequities perpetuated by the healthcare system by creating a provider directory for individuals facing homelessness. Through street outreach she will learn what types of resources individuals facing homelessness require and work with the House of Hope to meet those needs. Through her conversations she will compile a list of what folks have found helpful to their care and ensure that the providers she identifies can provide appropriate and compassionate care. This provider directory is informed by the challenges these individuals face with the healthcare system such as discrimination, transportation, insurance status and medication storage. Ultimately, this project will build trust between individuals facing homelessness and the healthcare system, and lead to better more informed care.
Community Site: House of Hope CDC
Anand Habib, Harvard Medical School
Habib is addressing the high prevalence of hypertension among older Haitian individuals by creating a series of health education and exercise modules intended to improve patients’ feelings of self-efficacy in managing their blood pressure. Working alongside the medical staff at Windsor Street Clinic, Anand will also help to organize cooking classes to provide a hands-on opportunity to explore ways in which traditional Haitian meals can be prepared more healthfully. The project will culminate in a video prepared with the help of community members highlighting their knowledge of the dangers of high blood pressure and the ways they have identified to mitigate these health risks in their daily lives.
Community Site: Windsor Street Clinic (Cambridge Health Alliance), Cambridge MA
Tabitha Lewis, Tufts University Dental School
Lewis is addressing oral health inequities and increasing the self-efficiency of homeless families living in Roxbury shelters. Artistic, musical, and collaborative workshops centered around oral health prevention and education will increase the homeless youth and parent’s belief in their ability to succeed in a specific situation or accomplish a task. A Boston survey reported that homeless persons are 12 times more likely than people with stable housing to have dental problems. Ultimately, this project aims to help not only bridge the gap between homeless families and oral health access but also teach families how to be ambassadors and advocates of their oral health.
Community Site: Children’s Services of Roxbury (Boston) MA
Nikoletta Livingston, Boston University, Sargent College School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, Doctor of Occupational Therapy
Livingston is addressing social participation, interpersonal engagement, and attitude towards disability at a summer camp serving children with and without disabilities from throughout New England. The program seeks to engage campers with developmental, behavioral, and physical challenges with the camp program, as well as facilitate the development of genuine peer relationships and communication amongst all campers through activity groups grounded in principles of occupational therapy. Ultimately, a sustainable program will be developed for camp use and staff training, in hopes of having broad implications in similar settings throughout New England.
Community Site: Metropolis of Boston Camp, Contoocook NH
Peter Mattson, Warren Alpert Medical School, Brown University
Mattson is addressing the diversity gap in health care professions by creating a new course called HealthCORE that exposes underrepresented high school students from the greater Providence community with an alternative approach to medicine and related fields. In addition to incorporating interactive sessions for students to engage directly with medical simulations, students will gain perspective on a host of topics not covered in traditional pipeline programs, such as public health, medical design, and narrative medicine. Individual mentor-mentee sessions will also aim to equip each student with a detailed plan to achieve their career goal. In the end, the program aims to inform and inspire underrepresented students who are on the fence about pursuing a job to enhance the health of others. Outcomes and systemic trust will benefit from a more diverse healthcare workforce that cares for an increasingly diverse patient population.
Community Site: Alpert Medical School (Pathways Program) & Rhode Island Hospital, Providence, RI
Daniel McGuire, MGH Institute of Health Professions Physician Assistant Studies
McGuire is addressing continuity of care in Boston by piloting a discharge planning program for detainees at the Nashua Street Jail, a Boston city jail administered by the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department. Currently, detainees leaving the jail do not receive this type of service. Entry into the criminal justice system could be an opportunity for these patients to be connected to healthcare and social support services that can empower them. Similar work in this field has demonstrated that robust continuity of care can lead to better engagement with the healthcare system and improved health outcomes, including reduced rates of recidivism. Detention or incarceration has been shown to be an independent health risk factor; additionally, roughly half the incarcerated population in the United States has a currently diagnosed mental health condition, and within the first two weeks of release from a prison or jail, the mortality rate of the justice-involved population is 12.7 times that of the general population. An intervention that impacts this population during that critical first two weeks after their release can dramatically affect not only their quality of life, but also their quantity of life.
Community Site: Crimson Care Collaborative-Nashua Street Jail, Boston, MA
Hilary Rogers, Alejandra Velez Alicea, and Ogechukwu Uwanaka, Tufts University School of Medicine
Velez Alicea, Uwanaka, and Rogers are leading a community-based support and education group for Latina immigrants called Entre Mujeres, which translates to “Among Women.” Entre Mujeres aims to provide up-to-date information on topics of interest to the community surrounding health and wellbeing and facilitate culturally and linguistically appropriate discussions among the women of the group. The monthly workshops cover topics such as prenatal health for the younger cohort of women, and postmenopausal sexual health for the senior cohort. Intergenerational workshops provide hands-on education on topics like cooking healthy foods on a budget and tips on bicultural parenting in the U.S. In partnership with the non-profit organization La Alianza Hispana, Entre Mujeres is committed to developing a sustainable program that addresses gaps in health literacy and healthy behavior education, and serves as a community-driven support group for the women.
Community Site: La Alianza Hispana, Roxbury/North Dorchester (Boston) MA
Anne-Marie Vu, Tufts University School of Dental Medicine
Vu is working to make oral health education more accessible to underserved populations of the Boston area. She will be creating a hands-on oral health curriculum to serve populations of patients with Downs Syndrome to increase oral health awareness and to help patients feel more comfortable and confident in taking care of their teeth. She hopes that her oral health education curriculum accomplishes the goal of being easy to
teach, affordable and modifiable to accommodate a wide range of patients and providers.
Community Site: Joseph Lee Elementary School, Dorchester (Boston), MA
Yan Emily Yuan, University of Massachusetts School of Medicine
Yuan is working to address health care disparities for elderly Chinese immigrants. By employing storytelling as a method, she aims to improve this population’s emotional wellness and to target fundamental communication disconnects that are barriers to the utilization of preventive medicine resources. As a dividend, this effort will help to inform the delivery of more culturally sensitive care for this population.
Community Site: Adult Health Day Center of Northborough, MA