Community Health and Education

Below is a list of the available research and scholarly opportunities within the Community Health and Education Track.

AHEC Summer Observership

Program Overview:

The AHEC Primary Care Summer Observership offers first-year medical students 4-and 8-week preclinical primary care opportunities across the state. These experiences give students a deeper understanding of rural and urban health care, caring for underserved populations, the importance of safety-net organizations and the challenges and rewards of this work and setting.

The AHEC Primary Care Summer Observership pays a stipend of $1500 for a 4-week experience and $3000 for an 8-week experience. Applicants should indicate on the application cover page their preference for either a 4-week or 8-week experience with the understanding that these are only preferences.

Applicants must have their own transportation and housing in the area/s where they apply. Housing is NOT provided. Applicants should indicate on the application cover page those counties that would be within driving distance given his/her housing situation.

This is a competitive application process with selection based on experience, interest in underserved populations, and flexibility in placement location.

Student Observership Student Experience:

Participants in the AHEC Primary Care Summer Observership will:

  1. Observe primary care physicians and other health care clinicians caring for rural or urban medically underserved populations;
  2. Explore the network of community social service agencies that complement the work of primary care physicians in rural and urban settings; and,
  3. Design and develop a project to improve patient education in the clinical setting.

Three days per week will be spent with primary care providers in an ambulatory setting to a) learn the role of the primary care physicians and interdisciplinary teams as providers of health care in medically underserved settings; b) observe dynamics of doctor-patient relationship and workings of interprofessional teams; and c) gain practical experience on how to elicit a patient history and gain basic understanding of the physical examination.

One day per week students will explore the network of community social service agencies that complement the work of primary care physicians in rural and urban settings. Students will become aware of the various safety net providers through site visits and interviews. It is the student's responsibility to identify and contact agencies.

One day per week students will identify, define, research and develop a patient education project that can be delivered and implemented in the clinic setting. Once completed, students will create a poster detailing selected intervention. It is the student's responsibility to develop and complete the project.

Application:

The application deadline for the AHEC Summer Observership is February 1, 2017. Please fill out the RedCap application and submit. Click here for the 2017 AHEC Summer Observership Application Form.

Contact Information:

For additional information about the program, please contact Anne Nguyen at annnguye@iu.edu.

Community Health and Engagement Medical Student Internship

Program Overview:

The Medical Student Internship Program in Community Health + Engagement is designed to help medical students develop the skills needed to partner with patients and community members to address pressing health research questions. This program will help students understand the methods and tools of community and patient engagement and apply those tools to a practicum project.

Community Health Partnerships (CHeP) is a program of the Indiana Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute (CTSI) which was founded in 2008 and currently represents a partnership network of over 600 stakeholders statewide. The mission of CHeP is to improve the health of Indiana residents through community-university partnerships. We believe it takes both research and community to understand what health improvement looks like and how it can be made a reality.

It is critically important for medical students interested in research to understand the value of partnering with community and patients in addressing our greatest health challenges such as health justice and equity. Partnering with communities and patients requires specific tools and approaches to create novel and sustainable solutions to these challenges. Medical professionals are critically important stakeholders to be a part of, and possibly, lead this charge.

Structure of Internship:

Interns will be assigned faculty mentors based on the intern’s interest and faculty/research project availability. CHeP will partner students with faculty across the state affiliated with the IU School of Medicine as well as the IU Bloomington and Fairbanks Schools of Public Health and other allied health sciences faculty at IU campuses, Purdue and Notre Dame. Interns will be expected to dedicate a minimum of 8 weeks to the project. There will be tracks for both part-time (~20 hours/week) and full-time (40 hours/week) positions. Students will be required to attend a weekly community health engagement group sessions with other students involved in this track to reflect on experience. In addition, during this weekly meeting time, faculty mentors will rotate to lead a journal club/structured readings discussion focused on key articles relevant to community engagement methods and/or projects. As a culmination to the summer experience, each intern will be expected to produce a product such as an abstract and a poster presentation (or equivalent which may be most relevant to the student and/or faculty/mentor) that reflects the intern’s involvement in the project. There will be a possibility in some cases to collaborate in an ongoing basis to produce other academic products such as presentations for national meetings and publications, depending on the project and interest/involvement of the intern. MD/MPH candidates are encouraged to apply.

Faculty/Mentor and Research Project:
  1. Deb Litzelman, MD, IUSM, Internal Medicine/Regenstrief, Indianapolis, IN

WeCare Indiana is a program designed to reduce the risk factors for infant mortality through a combination of two way SMS messaging (text messages) and health coaching. The five targeted factors include: 1) decrease in smoking, 2) decrease in obesity, 3) decrease in mental health issues, 4) increase in safe sleep practices, and 5) increase in breastfeeding. The basic function of a WeCare Indiana intern would be working closely with WeCare Indiana team to develop materials for use in WeCare Indiana program; be involved in the manuscript development process for WeCare Indiana data dissemination. Includes but not limited to literature review, writing, reviewing, editing, and formatting for publication; review list of resources in WeCare Indiana app and update by reaching out to service provider to make sure information listed is current and correct; assist with data analysis of preliminary results from WeCare Indiana year 1; and visit sites to ensure program is working smoothly and learn of any issues clinic staff are dealing with in regards to WeCare Indiana.

As a WeCare intern, your job would be a supporting role to the WeCare Indiana team based at Regenstrief Institute. In this supportive role, you would be expected to assist WeCare Indiana team members at Regenstrief and available clinics in a myriad of tasks to ensure the program is running smoothly. This includes working to create processes for information feedback from participants, visiting sites to understand implementation and flow, creating, reviewing, and editing materials needed for the coaches’ use, monitoring data entering, developing manuscripts, analyzing preliminary data, and more. Further, there will be times you may work from the clinics by providing support to the coaches, recruiting patients, creating flyers, working to increase numbers for WeCare Indiana and more. Your supportive role will change as the program’s needs change, as tasks will vary depending on the need of the program.

As a responsibility for this role, you will be expected to be open to learning and understanding the variety of factors linked to infant mortality, including social determinants of health, and the severity of infant mortality in the state. 

2. Sarah Wiehe, MD, MPH, IUSM, Pediatrics, Indianapolis, IN

The Patient Engagement Core is a service of the Indiana CTSI for researchers facing critical challenges to proposed or existing research studies. The PEC engages patients—and, more broadly, participant stakeholders on all sides of a study—in an interactive research process that invites them to play an integral role in defining and solving study challenges throughout all phases of research. These phases include pre-study preparation (recruitment, measurement, acceptability), study maintenance (adherence, loss to follow-up, unanticipated barriers), and post-study outreach (dissemination). The PEC meets with the study’s Principal Investigator (PI) to understand the study's stakeholders, understand study needs, and establish clear objectives. The PEC then develops agendas for co-design sessions that engage study stakeholders (patients, medical providers, community members, etc.) in sharing their experiences and ideas. These sessions are made up of activities that explore underlying concepts of the PI’s objectives in order to arrive at insights that help shape relevant and effective deliverables to make the research more responsive to stakeholder’s needs and desires. Those deliverables are then developed by the PEC for the PI.

As a PEC medical student intern, your job would be a supporting role to the PEC team based in Indianapolis with the Indiana CTSI. In this role, you would be expected to assist design and other key team members in tasks relating to one or more current projects at the time. This might include background literature searches and summaries, brainstorming engagement tools for patient sessions, assisting with recruitment of participants for PEC sessions, assisting with session flow and data collection, participating in data analysis process and report/artifact development. In addition, you would be expected to attend relevant team meetings which occur both during business and non-business hours (not to exceed 40 hours per week). Limited travel is required, depending on where sessions are located but are generally in central Indiana.

3. Tami Hannon, MD, IUSM, Pediatrics, Indianapolis, IN

PowerHouse is a program designed to reduce the risk factors for type 2 diabetes through a combination social support networks and health education with coaching. The targeted factors include: 1) decrease in progression of obesity, 2) increase in access to diabetes prevention education, and 3) group activities and support. The basic function of a PowerHouse intern would be working closely with the PowerHouse team to develop materials and social platforms for use in the program; be involved in the implementation of the program in the community; be involved in data collection and management; and be involved in the presentation of the PowerHouse results. This includes, but is not limited to literature review, writing, reviewing, editing, and formatting for publication; review list of resources in app and update by reaching out to service provider to make sure information listed is current and correct; assist with program implementation during the group sessions, assist with analysis of preliminary results from PowerHouse.

As a PowerHouse intern, your job would be a supporting role to the PowerHouse team based at the Center for Pediatric and Adolescent Comparative Effectiveness Research (PACER), physically located in the Health Information and Translational Sciences (HITS) building. In this supportive role, you would be expected to assist PowerHouse team members in a myriad of tasks to ensure the program is running smoothly. This includes working to create processes for information feedback from participants, visiting sites and group sessions to understand implementation and flow, creating, reviewing, and editing materials needed for the group leaders’ use, monitoring data entering, developing manuscripts, analyzing preliminary data, and more. Your supportive role may change as the program’s needs change, as tasks will vary depending on the need of the program.

As a responsibility for this role, you will be expected to be open to learning and understanding the variety of factors linked to type 2 diabetes, including social determinants of health, and the severity of childhood obesity and type 2 diabetes in the state.

4.Mary Ott, MD, IUSM, Indianapolis, IN

Dr. Ott is an adolescent medicine physician, ethicist, and health behavior researcher. Her research encompasses the following: (1) adolescent pregnancy and STD prevention, (2) program evaluation, and (3) ethical issues related to adolescent research, including vulnerable populations and sensitive topics. Recent projects involving interns have included evaluation of an adolescent pregnancy prevention program, collecting pilot data from pregnant and parenting teens, and a study of adolescent capacity to consent to research.

5. Carrie Lawrence, PhD, IUB SPH

A summer internship is available to MS1 medical student who is interested in a research study on patient/provider communication  on PReP and PeP in Indiana community and rural clinics.  The overall aim if the study is to increase knowledge and communication on medically assisted HIV preventiion among underserved populations. 

The summer internship will involve the following responsibilities:

  • Assist in the identification of key community stakeholders and schedule meetings of Community Advisory Boards
  • Administration of surveys
  • Conducting and transcribing semi-structured interviews
  • Data analysis
  • Institutional Review Board (IRB) submissions
  • Recruiting research volunteers

6. Heidi Beidinger, PhD, MPH Notre Dame, Eck Institute for Global Health

South Bend, IN is experiencing an immediate public health crisis among our youngest and most vulnerable children: Elevated blood lead levels. According to a Reuters report in December 2016, in one census tract in South Bend, 31 percent of small children tested from 2005 to 2015 had high levels – more than six times Flint’s rate last year. At the same time, the St. Joseph County Health Department has experienced budget cuts during the past several years. As a result of this confluence, several Notre Dame faculty members responded and are working together to assist the Health Department in a variety of ways including: data analysis, testing and screening, lab testing, workflow analysis and exploration of funding opportunities. The medical student intern would be an important team player in our efforts to improve screening and testing of children in our community.  

In this role, the intern would work closely with Notre Dame faculty as well as the St. Joseph County Health Department screening and testing in high risk areas. We anticipate to have a small group of Notre Dame students who will work this summer on this project. The intern would help to lead this group including organizing schedules, prioritizing neighborhood screenings, facilitating testing, compiling data and developing reports as needed. Further, a learning history will be developed to document the process and progress. Given the collaborative nature of this work, the intern will be expected to attend meetings and help coordinate efforts across the various organizations.

7. Dennis Savaiano, PhD, West Lafayette, IN

Application: The application deadline is February 1, 2017. Please fill out the RedCap application and submit. Click here for Application Form.

Contact Information: For additional information about the program, please contact Anne Nguyen at annnguye@iu.edu or Sarah Wiehe at swiehe@iu.edu.

IUSM-Evansville Academic Medicine Internship

Program Overview:

IUSM in Evansville has an academic medicine internship for summer 2017.  The program is designed for MS1 students wishing to explore medical education as a potential career path. 

Structure of Internship:

Interns will work with faculty mentor at IUSM-Evansville for a duration of 8-weeks involved in data summarization and analysis, literature review, generating graphical display of results, and drawing conclusions.  There will be opportunities for presentation and publication with involvement extending beyond summer 2017.  

Financial Support:

A total stipend of $3,820 for eight weeks.

Faculty/Mentor and Research Project:

Mari Hopper, PhD, Assistant Professor of Cellular and Integrative Physiology

Project Title: Assessing Student Engagement, Critical Thinking Proficiency, and Content Mastery During the First and Second Year of Medical School - A
Comparison Between the Legacy and Newly Developed Integrated Curricula

Description:  The National Research Council, the American Association for Advancement of Science, and the American Association of Medical Colleges (AAMC) have all called for reform urging educators to more actively engage students in the learning process.  Based upon reports in the literature, general thought is that active learning more effectively engages students and enhances development of critical thinking and analysis. 

Calls for reform have led the IU School of Medicine to revise the curriculum to more effectively engage students.  The new curriculum, launched in the fall semester of 2016, mandates at least 50% of course contact time be spent in "active learning."  In order to examine the effectiveness of curricular reform, Dr. Hopper's study intends to: 1. Assess levels of student engagement and critical thinking proficiency in the first and second years of medical school to determine if either of these parameters improve from year one to year two; 2. Assess levels of student engagement and critical thinking proficiency in the first and second years of medical school to determine if either of these differs between students enrolled in the "Legacy" curriculum and the newly developed "active learning" curriculum; 3. Determine if either/both level of student engagement and critical thinking proficiency are related to step one board scores.

Application Process:

Please contact Dr. Hopper directly at mkhopper@iupui.edu and include a cover letter and CV/resume.  In the cover letter, be sure to include why you are applying for this summer opportunity, what are your goals for the experience and indicate your time constraints for summer 2017.  Deadline is February 1, 2017.

Contact Information:

Mari K. Hopper, PhD
Assistant Professor of Cellular and Integrative Physiology
Indiana University
School of Medicine-Evansville
mkhopper@iupui.edu
Office: (812) 461-5437

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