Resident Education in Advocacy and Community Health (REACH)
Resident Education in Advocacy and Community Health (REACH) is an opportunity available to residents of the University of Connecticut Pediatric Residency Program.
To foster the development of pediatricians who are committed to improving children’s health and well-being through engagement with effective community-oriented programs and services to address children’s critical health needs.
REACH presents the University of Connecticut pediatric residents the unique opportunity to develop knowledge and skills in the areas of advocacy, community health, and public policy.
As an integral program of Connecticut Children’s Office for Community Child Health, REACH works closely with experts in the fields of population health, community research, policy formation and social innovation, in order to promote healthy development.
As part of their residency training, each pediatric resident participates in a Community Longitudinal Elective (CLE) and partners with community organizations to engage in community-level advocacy and health promotion. We also provide a structured didactic curriculum that covers health disparities, protective factors and policy engagement.
Residents interested in furthering their skills in advocacy can enroll in the REACH curriculum.
Learn more about the University of Connecticut pediatric residency program.
Learn more about our Community Longitudinal Electives:
We are proud to partner with Capitol Squash, an innovative program that empowers Hartford youth to reach their potential as athletes, students and engaged citizens. Our partnership with Capitol Squash is thanks to Connecticut Children’s Injury Prevention Center.
Our residents partner with Capitol Squash to:
- Work with Hartford middle and high school students providing homework support and mentorship
- Provide health education with a structured curriculum
- Engage in team building and personal development through squash and sports
- Ensure each child and family is connected to a medical home
Our residents understand the importance of access to quality health care for vulnerable populations. We’ve partnered with Catholic Charities of Hartford to provide recent refugee arrivals with a structured health education curriculum. Our residents engage refugees from all over the world to help them understand our medical system and how to engage with the medical community.
Our residents also run our Global Child Health clinic in partnership with our Infectious Disease department to provide entry physicals for refugee children. Our residents develop care plans for each patient and transition them to medical homes.
Read about our resident’s work with the refugee population.
Our residents were awarded an American Academy of Pediatrics CATCH grant for their work with the refugee population.
The rise of obesity in children is an enormous struggle for families, healthcare providers and communities. They partnered with established community organizations that needed pediatricians to help with their programs.
Our residents partner with:
East Hartford YMCA Preschool program offers quality, subsidized preschool education for low-income families. Our residents deliver a nutrition curriculum to the students to help them learn about healthy eating.
Family Life Education provides a variety of community based services to families in need including access to a food share program. Many families were unsure of how to use and cook the produce they received. Our residents have partnered with Family Life Education to provide cooking classes so families can learn how to use fruits and vegetables in new ways.
New Britain Roots runs farmer’s markets in underserved communities and offers doubling of SNAP and WIC coupons. Despite this offer, many families were unsure how to use or buy the produce. Our residents attend the farmer’s markets and help families identify and purchase produce and provide information on label reading and nutritional guidance along with recipe cards and information on how to access WIC, SNAP and food assistance programs.
CHC at Connecticut Children’s is a federally qualified health center in Hartford where many of our residents attend a continuity clinic. The residents run the community garden at the clinic which provides free, fresh produce to our families. The residents also maintain the nutrition education installation where families can sign up for WIC, SNAP, and school meals, as well as get information on community programs for food assistance.
Our residents were awarded an American Academy of Pediatrics CATCH grant for their work with nutrition.
For residents interested in furthering their education in advocacy, we offer 16 weeks (four blocks) of discretionary electives. These electives include:
This 4 week elective is open to all residents and includes an introduction to legislative advocacy and how to engage in this type of work. Our residents learn how to:
- Publish letters, blogs and op-ed pieces
- Contact and meet with legislators
- Identify community partners
- Create elevator speeches, perform five minute phone calls, and create fact sheets
- Write for social media and give television and radio interviews
This 4 week elective is open to all residents and takes place in Washington D.C. You can read more about this unique experience here.
This is an 8 week experience that can be completed longitudinally over two years. Residents partner with one of Connecticut Children’s Office for Community Child Health’s programs to engage in community research and policy development. Products from this experience include: grant submissions, white paper creations, state and federal testimony, and community initiatives.
We understand that residents who want to make advocacy the focus of their career may need further education. We help residents identify educational programs (including certificate and courses) and provide funding assistance.