As part of our training curriculum, pediatric residents at OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital choose a special interest group (SIG) in which to participate. These groups allow us the opportunity to pursue other interests that may fall outside the everyday responsibilities of residency.
Last month our global health SIG held a health fair for the Neighborhood House Early Head Start program. Neighborhood House, a nonprofit social service organization, provides supportive services to more than 18,000 low-income families in the greater Portland area.
This event marks a great collaboration with Neighborhood House, OHSU and other area services and nonprofit organizations. Volunteers comprising general pediatricians, pediatric dentists, medical students, nurses and other volunteer organizations provided free health and dental screenings as well as lead screening to about 30 children.
With the help of the OHSU Doernbecher Tom Sargent Children’s Safety Center, we were able to arrange car seat installation appointments as well as offer valuable education regarding safety measures aimed at preventing childhood injuries.
In addition, we were able to provide each child with an age-appropriate book thanks to the Reach Out and Read program and local donations. Our medical student volunteers read to children waiting for their appointments and met with parents to discuss the importance of early literacy.
This is our second year partnering with Neighborhood House, and to date, we have provided health screenings and secure important follow-up for more than 80 children. While many of these children and families are assigned medical providers, obstacles to access, such as transportation limitations and language barriers, prevent many children from seeking regular health screenings.
As we move forward, our SIG hopes to broaden our partnership with Neighborhood House, providing more preventive health education and help to reduce some of the barriers impeding the families from establishing a regular medical home.
Jeffrey Meyrowitz, M.D.
Third-Year Resident in Pediatrics
OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital