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Advocacy at Children's National

One of the many advantages of our location is the convergence of several child advocacy organizations in Washington, DC. These organizations often look to Children’s National faculty and residents for expertise, and provide ample opportunities for residents from all tracks to get involved. Our residency program adheres to the philosophy that child advocacy is a fundamental skill for every pediatrician. Examples of how we have built advocacy into our curriculum include: The Child Health Advocacy Institute (CHAI) functions as the hub of Children’s National progress in the areas of legislative activity, community advocacy, and advocacy related research. As the first hospital-based department in the country focused exclusively on child health advocacy, CHAI is on the forefront of advocacy.
  • During your intern year, you will spend one afternoon with CHAI faculty and third year residents from the Community Health Track discussing the basics of advocacy and how you can integrate advocacy throughout your residency training.
  • Residents have the opportunity to rotate through CHAI during their elective time or as part of the Community Health Track’s Advocacy Rotation. This rotation teaches residents about pediatric public health policy and provides them with skills to become effective advocates for children’s health.
  • Residents are invited by CHAI faculty whenever they are testifying or attending interesting hearings on the Hill or with the local DC and Maryland governments. This is a great opportunity to see advocacy in action.
Those with deeper interests have additional opportunities in the Community Health Track, which has electives that are available to all residents regardless of track. There also are many other ways for residents to get involved in advocacy, including:

“If you're interested in advocacy, Children's National is an amazing place to be a resident. Nowhere will you find that perfect balance of opportunities and clinical diversity, just based on location alone, compounded with working with the leaders in advocacy in pediatrics.”

  • American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) opportunities
    • Program Delegate – participate in the DC Chapter of the AAP Board Meetings and help to coordinate resident involvement in chapter activities
    • Annual Advocacy Day – residents from across the United States lobby on Capitol Hill for a child-health related bill
    • AAP internship – a month-long elective spent in the AAP Federal Affairs office, participating in policy research and attending Congressional hearings
    • Annual Legislative Conference – policy related workshops culminating in a day lobbying on Capitol Hill
  • Children's Defense Fund Annual Advocacy Day
  • Children’s National Annual Advocacy Day
    • Held each Spring- this event will be held on April 27, 2011
  • REACH Projects with Children's National faculty who have an interest in International Health, are faculty in CHAI or have leadership positions in the DC Department of Health and the Maryland Emergency Medical Services for Children. Examples of projects include:
    • Assessment of Oral Health Knowledge and Behavior of Adolescent Mothers
    • Sickle Cell Disease Transition Education Program (STEP)
    • The Use of Community Benefit as Catalyst for Improving Health Outcomes
    • The Influence of Social Factors and Heights of Other Family Members on Referrals for Short Stature Evaluation
    • Access to Care in Urban and Rural Kerala
    • Early Head Start Project
    • Expansion of Health Policy and Advocacy Curriculum at Children’s
    • Factors Influencing the Racial Disparity in SIDS
    • Neonatal Health in Indonesia
    • Health Literacy in a Predominantly Latino Pediatric Primary Care Setting
    • Emergency Department Follow-up in a Community Health Practice
    • FitFamily: A Nutrition and Wellness Program for the Prevention of Childhood Obesity
    • Assessing Attitudes and Intentions to Breastfeeding in Health Center patients and WIC clients and the effectiveness of prenatal breastfeeding education on improving initiation and duration rates of breastfeeding
    • Community Acceptance and Patient Use of a Mobile Phone Messaging Program to Improve Hospitalization Follow-up in Quito, Ecuador

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