Child Advocacy Program
University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital has a long history of advocacy, beginning with the founding mission of our hospital to care for underserved children, and carried on today by our current residents and nationally recognized faculty. Recognizing the wealth of advocacy efforts ongoing at UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital, we created the Child Advocacy Program to ensure that residents who desire in-depth advocacy training can experience all that UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital has to offer in the course of their three years.
Child Advocacy Program Curriculum
The goal of the Child Advocacy Program is to create pediatric leaders in child advocacy, with a specific focus on service to the underserved and community health. The Child Advocacy Program residents participate in a three-year longitudinal program designed to teach generally applicable advocacy principles, while allowing residents to gain expertise in an individual area of focus.
Woven throughout the curriculum is an advocacy conference series. Speakers include local and national advocacy leaders, as well as residents themselves, presenting their research and progress to their peers. Pediatric Grand Rounds cover advocacy topics quarterly. Residents in the program join “Advising Families” and are matched with a faculty member with similar interests. Families stretch across the learning continuum and may include other residents, pediatric fellows, and medical students.
Residents begin in the first year to identify an individual focus. They conduct needs assessments in their areas of interest and network with community partners to identify an advocacy project. The resident individual advocacy project is the pinnacle of the program, and each resident is required to complete a project and submit it for dissemination. In addition, residents create an Advocacy Portfolio to document the development of expertise in advocacy and their progress in the program.
Leadership and Educational Opportunities
The input of the Child Advocacy Program residents is essential to the success of the program. Residents participate in ongoing program evaluation, and their input is used to shape the future direction of the program. Child Advocacy Program residents have multiple opportunities to act as leaders and educators to their peers throughout the three years of the program. In addition, our residents have advocated for child health at the local, state and national levels.
Current Child Advocacy Program residents have a diverse array of interests, ranging from refugee health to health education of incarcerated adolescents and obesity prevention in early childhood. Previous residents have successfully obtained grants from the American Academy of Pediatrics and other agencies to support their individual projects. Many have incorporated their advocacy work as an essential component of their chosen careers.
Our residents become part of an advocacy network within the UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital and the Case Western Reserve University communities. Book clubs, movie nights, and potlucks are held at the homes of residents and attending physicians throughout the year. There are opportunities to participate in networking and small group activities within the university community and local community.
Interested residents are invited to apply to the program during the first weeks of intern year. Graduates of the Child Advocacy Program receive a Certificate of Excellence in Child Advocacy during our annual resident graduation celebration.