Benefiting the Community
UH 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 more than 30,000 patients per year, and more than 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.
Most recently, we have begun a partnership with Dave’s Supermarket where we participate in Hands-On Cooking Classes that teach us how to eat healthy on a budget. This experience provides us with tools to better serve our patients.
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 pediatric, child advocacy and other elective rotations. In addition health policy and advocacy-themed 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 that improves access to fresh and healthy foods for underserved populations in our clinic and in sites around the city.
Our residents also use their free time outside 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.