Community Pediatrics Training Initiative

Pediatrics Residency

The UF College of Medicine – Jacksonville Department of Pediatrics was one of only ten sites nation-wide to be awarded a five-year, $1.8 million Anne E. Dyson Community Pediatrics Training Initiative grant for 2002-2007. Through the grant, and since, we have partnered with numerous community-based organizations in Jacksonville to provide residents with a better understanding of the complex issues impacting children and youth in the world today.

All residents attend a comprehensive noon-conference curriculum, developed and taught by a multi-disciplinary staff, which includes topics such as community oriented primary care, social determinants of health, trauma informed care, child advocacy, child rights, patient and family-centered care, and global health. During the first year, residents participate in a month-long community and societal pediatrics rotation that introduces residents to the concepts of child rights, social justice and health equity through faculty teaching sessions, self-study and visits to community sites and resources. The rotation provides trainees the opportunity to step out of the "medical" model and view pediatrics through a community lens. In addition, starting mid-way through the first year, residents who elect to do a community advocacy initiative (CAI) project will choose a population or health gap of interest and begin exploring this subject area. Residents will be supported in their work through elective rotations in the division of community & societal pediatrics (CSP) and through dedicated noon conferences throughout the year. Through direct participation, each resident will work with both faculty and community mentors to help improve the health status of children and families.

Residents are encouraged to write an opinion piece for the local newspaper or other venues on a topic of interest. Below are links to some recent articles written by our PGY-1 residents:

Past residents have developed CAI projects in the areas of early childhood education, refugee resettlement, mental health services, health advocacy for LGBTQ+ youth and youth voice through narrative medicine. Current and ongoing initiatives include community initiatives in partnership with local organizations to combat the opioid epidemic, development of a longitudinal system of care for babies discharged from the NICU and trauma informed care. Residents have also been involved in advocacy initiatives globally such as participation in the ‘Helping Babies Breathe Program’ in Africa and ‘identifying resilience among gang involved youth’ in Guatemala. Some of these projects have resulted in scholarly presentations at local and national meetings.

In addition, residents will have opportunities to learn about and participate in advocacy work at the clinical, systems and legislative level through a series of bimonthly discussions. The aim of these discussions is to give residents basic knowledge and skills in advocacy. Residents will learn about local, regional and national advocacy-related meetings, which they may attend and/or present their work.

Residents with a strong interest in advocacy have an opportunity each year to participate in Children's Week with the Florida Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics in Tallahassee, Florida’s state capitol when the government is in session. During this visit, residents are coached on legislative advocacy and spend the day meeting with legislators and advocating for children's health issues.

Residents interested in advocacy have the option to further their interests through our pediatric program's community and societal pediatrics track. Rotations offered through the track are as follows:

  • CSP1: Community and societal pediatrics rotation where residents will be introduced to the core concepts of child rights, social justice and health equity as they relate to the health and well-being of children. Residents will experience a variety of community resources and learn how these resources impact children’s lives. The rotation will also provide an opportunity for trainees to step out of the “medical” model and view pediatrics through a community lens.
  • CSP2: Residents on the CSP track will have a second month during first year to further explore a specific community health, advocacy or special population topic. During this month residents will receive guidance on performing a literature search related to their topic of interest. They will also learn how to identify and communicate with key stakeholders and organizations relating to the topic. By the end of the month (or 2nd year), residents should have a clear introduction/aim/objectives/plan in place for their Community Advocacy Initiative (CAI).
  • CAI intensive 1: Second year residents on the CSP track will spend this month further developing their CAI projects and completing work related to the initiative. It is expected that if a project requires IRB approval, this is either completed in advance of the rotation or during the rotation to ensure work/scholarship requirements will be completed well before the end of residency.
  • CAI intensive 2: Residents on the CSP track may spend an additional month in their 3rd year to work on their CAI projects and completing work related to the initiative. If a project required IRB approval, this was completed prior to this month. There should be a clear plan for what will be accomplished in this month. There will also be an expectation of some scholarly output to result from this expanded time to work on a CAI project. Rotation plan must be developed and approved prior to the rotation block commencing.
  • Community pediatric development: Residents will spend time during this rotation learning about community leaders in pediatrics and the most relevant health issues facing children in our community. Residents will learn about the process of advocating for and developing a system of care for marginalized populations in Jacksonville. They will explore how advocacy may be integrated into their pediatric career. Residents will leave the rotation with a better understanding of how one’s role in the community and as a pediatrician leader affects the health and well-being of the children we serve.

Other electives offered through the division of community and societal pediatrics include rotations focused on the care of the medically complex child (MCC), youth and young adults with special healthcare needs transitioning from pediatric to adult based services (JaxHATS), physical medicine and rehabilitation (PMR) and outpatient mental health services.