Advocacy Education Initiatives
Learn more about our advocacy education initiatives for medical students, residents, fellows, faculty and other clinical and non-clinical staff.
Medical Student Initiatives
Student Day Lecture
Third-year medical students at the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences complete their pediatrics rotation at Children’s National. With each cohort of students every 8 weeks, a CHAI faculty member gives an interactive lecture on advocacy, culminating with practicing advocacy skills in a small group case simulation.
Child Health Advocacy Elective
Fourth-year medical students have an opportunity to undertake a health policy project that will simulate the way a physician would advocate in the public policy arena. Working with a CHAI faculty member, the students identify a health issue, propose a solution for the issue, determine how to enact the solution and take steps to advance the solution in the public policy arena. The students use population, epidemiological and other data to describe the issue and evidence-based information to craft the solution. In addition, the students attend health-related legislative hearings and meetings with government officials and relevant organizations.
CHAI Equity and Policy Elective
Pediatric Resident Initiatives
Child Health Advocacy and Public Policy (CHAPP) Pathway
The CHAPP Pathway is offered to rising second and third year pediatric residents who are interested in receiving additional training in advocacy. The CHAPP Pathway consists of a variety of optional activities aimed at building pediatric residents’ skills and understanding around public policy and advocacy. The CHAPP Pathway offers three main benefits to pediatric residents: an individualized curriculum, mentorship and community partnership building.
Community Bus Trips (CBT) Curriculum
The Community Bus Trips (CBT) Curriculum is an innovative curriculum developed in partnership between Children’s National pediatric residency program and CHAI. The goal of the CBT Curriculum is to provide first-year pediatric residents with a deeper understanding of how the social determinants of health contribute to health disparities through a bus trip to under-resourced areas of Washington, D.C. This active learning experience allows participants to get out and see the local factors that directly affect the health of the population served by Children’s National. The knowledge gained by the residents in this experience is then applied to their clinical practice. This curriculum has been adapted for hospital staff and researchers.
Intern Advocacy Day
Intern Advocacy Day is a year round program created in partnership between the CHAI and the Capital Area Food Bank to promote community-based learning in advocacy and food insecurity. The program is offered to pediatric residents, fellows, faculty and staff who are interested in gaining skills in advocacy related to child poverty and food insecurity. Participants spend a day volunteering at the food bank’s community garden or distribution center, undergo a food insecurity simulation activity that recreates a day in the life of families experiencing food insecurity and reflect on their professional role in advocacy and connecting families to food resources. Participants demonstrate improved knowledge of advocacy and improved advocacy-related self-efficacy after participating in Intern Advocacy Day.
“Meet the Pediatricians” at Joyful Food Markets
“Meet the Pediatricians” at Joyful Food Markets is a resident-run, longitudinal community-based partnership. Residents partner with Martha’s Table, a Washington, D.C. based anti-hunger organization, to provide health education at an after-school food market. They design and run interactive demonstrations on a different health topic every month and partner with a broad network of organizations to teach children and their families about healthy eating in addition to mental and physical wellness. This hands-on experience teaches residents about the impact and sustainability of a community-based intervention.
Pediatric Public Health and Advocacy (P-PHAC) Curriculum
The Pediatric Public Health and Advocacy Curriculum (P-PHAC) consists of a series of interactive lectures that aims to improve resident knowledge on prevalent pediatric public health topics. P-PHAC utilizes interactive learning sessions to empower residents with the knowledge and skills necessary to advocate for their patients and their families. Through the P-PHAC curriculum, residents learn about the child health effects of several public health topics, identify advocacy opportunities and learn strategies to communicate with lawmakers and community partners regarding child health.
Trainee Education in Advocacy and Community Health (TEACH) Curriculum
The Trainee Education in Advocacy and Community Health (TEACH) Curriculum is an innovative multimodal curriculum developed in partnership between the CHAI and the Graduate Medical Education Office, funded by a 5-year, $1 million grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). The TEACH Curriculum trains pediatric residents to understand, identify and address child poverty in a primary care setting. The curriculum consists of eLearning and experiential learning in the form of community-based activities. Throughout the three years of residency, residents complete the following components:
- Epidemiology of child poverty
- Population health and social determinants of health
- Biomedical influences of child poverty
- Taking action in primary care and
- Policy and child poverty
Through this curriculum, residents have shown improved knowledge, confidence and attitudes about child poverty.
Leadership in Advocacy, Under-resourced Communities and Health Equity (LAUnCH) Track
CHAI is proud to partner with the Pediatric Residency Program, specifically with a number of initiatives in the LAUnCH track. Under the leadership of Cara Lichtenstein, M.D., the mission of the LAUnCH Track is to train a new generation of residents who will create successful community partnerships and integrate public health concepts into the everyday practice of medicine to improve the health of under-resourced communities. The training for the LAUnCH Track is integrated within the overall pediatric residency program to ensure excellence in attainment of clinical skills.
The Community Building Blocks (CBB) rotation is offered to first year pediatric residents who are part of the LAUnCH track. The goal of the CBB rotation is to provide residents with an understanding of how social determinants of health (SDH) affect the local community, to improve their knowledge of community resources, and to train them to incorporate a focus on SDH into their clinical care and future careers. Each week of the rotation is focused on one of four SDH: poverty; trauma and adversity; schools and education; and the neighborhood and built environment. The curriculum consists of required readings, meetings with interdisciplinary leaders in the field, community-based experiences and weekly reflections with rotation leaders.
The Child Health Advocacy Institute (CHAI) rotation is offered to second year pediatric residents who are part of the LAUnCH track and focuses on legislative advocacy. The goal of the rotation is to orient residents to CHAI’s efforts and steps to engaging in advocacy, including identification of an issue, review of relevant data and policy, organization of partnerships, development and communication of proposed solutions and implementation. The rotation culminates in a meeting with a legislator or their staff member to present a policy brief prepared by the resident and discuss a child health advocacy issue.
In the Population Health and Leadership rotation, third year pediatric residents in the LAUnCH track develop the skills to advance the medical home model in order to improve population health outcomes for children. Through readings, coalition meetings and hands-on activities, residents learn how community partnerships and governmental policies advance population health.
Fellow, Faculty and Staff Initiatives
Child Health Advocacy Institute Affiliate Faculty
CHAI Affiliate Faculty members are Children’s National and/or George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences faculty members who are contributing substantially to CHAI’s mission. CHAI Affiliate Faculty Members participate and lead in advocacy education, legislative advocacy, related community benefit programs and other advocacy related initiatives. CHAI Affiliate Faculty applications are accepted on a biannual basis (January and July) and then renewed annually by CHAI Medical Directors based on the individual’s involvement within CHAI’s priority activities.
Grab a Plate and Advocate (GAPA) Trainings
Grab a Plate and Advocate (GAPA) Trainings are sessions led by the CHAI to build and strengthen the capacity of Children’s National employees to engage in various advocacy efforts. GAPA Trainings educate trainees (including residents and fellows), faculty and staff on key advocacy tools and how to use their expertise to advocate for children and families to advance health equity. GAPA Trainings are offered year round and cover various institution-led priority areas.
The Shared Nursing Leadership Advocacy Council
The Shared Nursing Leadership Advocacy Council’s Nursing Special Interest Group, along with the Department of Professional Practice, created a collaborative group to bring focus to global, local and community health efforts for Children’s National Nurses. CHAI staff educate the workgroup in social determinants of health and best practices of legislative advocacy. This workgroup aims to support nurses as they partake in global and community endeavors.