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 vaping prevention, insulin access, oral health 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. In 2017, we hosted a workshop under the auspices of the Florida Chapter of the AAP (FCAAP) where residents were provided information on the basics of advocacy at the state level and offered the chance to meet with their area legislators. As a follow up to this, residents 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.
  • CAI intensive: Residents will expand upon the concepts learned in CSP 1 and CSP 2 rotations with a specific focus on an advocacy area of interest. During this rotation, CSP track residents will develop, plan for and implement their CAI project. Residents will also receive coaching in writing letters to the editor and perspectives pieces for advocacy.
  • Community pediatric development: Residents will spend the month meeting with community leaders in pediatrics and learning about the most relevant health issues facing children in our community and how to advocate for children in this context. The rotation will also include education regarding the history behind pediatric organizations and initiatives. Residents will leave the rotation with a better understanding of how a pediatrician’s role in the community and as a leader can impact the health and well-being of the children they 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.