Benefiting the Community

Rainbow residents take advantage of many opportunities for health advocacy in our community. Our program is committed to supporting residents’ advocacy efforts, whether through participation in the formal Child Advocacy Program or through clinical service or personal interests.

Our resident outpatient clinic cares for over 30,000 patients per year, and over 90 percent of these patients qualify for Medicaid. Residents work closely with our clinic’s extraordinary staff of social workers and help to coordinate the  comprehensive care of children from underserved communities. Residents can tap into various community agencies that are vital to supporting our patients’ health care. Our dietitian also plays an important role in educating residents about access to nutrition and food choice availability in subsidized nutrition programs.

During the Adolescent Medicine rotation, residents care for patients at The Free Medical Clinic of Greater Cleveland (“The Free Clinic”), whose mission is “to provide quality health care and related services free of charge to those who lack appropriate alternatives, and to advocate for policy changes that make health care available to all.” Residents also have opportunities to gain exposure to mental health and social organizations and agencies during this rotation, as well as during their developmental behavioral pediatrics, child advocacy, and other elective rotations. In addition, health policy and advocacy-themed morning conferences introduce all residents to basic health advocacy concepts.

Residents also have opportunities to design their own advocacy experiences. The Global Child Health Program supports projects in underserved regions in the United States, as well as projects abroad. Residents in the Child Advocacy Program are mentored in the development of an advocacy project. Many residents’ senior research projects focus on advocacy. Some recent examples of self-designed resident advocacy projects include a novel preventative health program for homeless children in Cleveland, an assessment of adolescents’ access to resources at a local rape crisis center, a survey-based assessment of patient and parent perceptions of health information materials distributed in our outpatient clinic, a study on youth violence, an environmental advocacy project focusing on implementing a sustainability program in our hospital system and the development of a first-of-its-kind support packet to give to children who have a parent in prison. Additionally, residents have created a city-wide grant-supported “Healthy Harvest” program which improves access to fresh and healthy foods for underserved populations both in our clinic and in sites around the city.

Our residents also use their free time outside of the hospital to serve the community. For example, we help to organize medical supplies at MedWish International, a Cleveland-area organization whose mission is to deliver donated and recycled medical supplies to underserved communities world-wide. Our residents also participate in the “Re-Play for Kids” program in which toys are altered to be used by children with disabilities. Several of our residents also volunteer to shave their heads on “Saint Baldrick’s Day” every spring to raise money for pediatric cancer research.

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