In this Section

Community Medicine and Advocacy

Photo of Valley Children's residents presenting donation check at Marjaree Mason Center in Fresno

The community pediatrics experience at Valley Children’s is longitudinal and is comprised of various rotations across residency. We place a high degree of importance on community pediatrics and advocacy, as we know that only a mere 10-20% of contributors to health outcomes are related to direct medical care. The remainder are driven by the social and structural factors where our children live, learn and grow.

Intern year begins with our four-week Community Pediatrics in Action rotation, also known as COMPACT. COMPACT is an interprofessional and interactive multi-modal approach designed to introduce residents to the drivers of and barriers to health and wellbeing. The COMPACT rotation is comprised of a number of different activities, including, but not limited to:

  • Clinic visits
  • Mobile Health Unit visits to schools for immunizations, school and sports physicals, migrant health clinics
  • Home visits with infants and their caregivers
  • Home visits with pediatric patients on hospice
  • Visits with community-based organizations
  • Human trafficking education
  • Community outreach events such as car seat checks and health fairs
  • Introduction to legislative advocacy

While this rotation does provide some direct patient care experiences, such as being out on the Mobile Health Unit, you will additionally spend time learning about local programs and gaining experience in creating advocacy projects to improve the health of your patients and the communities we serve. Residents also gain skills in areas such as writing letters to legislators, asset mapping and how to implement an advocacy project. Each week’s activities culminate in an informal “fireside chat,” sharing what was learned.

Photo of Valley Children's residents at symposium eventOur primary goal for this rotation is to understand and identify the social determinants of health that impact the patients of the residents throughout their careers as pediatricians and teach them how to advocate effectively for them.

In PGY2 and PGY3 years, residents participate in Ambulatory Pediatrics/Community Pediatrics (AP Comm) Rotations. These rotations are additionally flexible, allowing residents to expand their clinical experience in a supervisory role on the Mobile Health Unit, or to experience outpatient pediatrics in different settings, such as our rural or mountain communities, or clinic for children with medical complexity. During the AP Comm rotation, residents can also participate in a number of community-based activities similar to those on COMPACT, but may also include media or other public appearances.

Outside of our dedicated advocacy rotations, residents have the option to create individualized curriculum to meet their personal interest and educational needs. Residents also participate in a number of advocacy activities outside of rotations. These opportunities include:

  • Developing content for the Valley Children’s At The Heart blog
  • Providing education for school nurses, presented at various venues across the region and state
  • Participating in Facebook Live events
  • Speaking with local media on timely issues
  • Creating and starring in parent/child-facing educational videos

Finally, residents have the opportunity to partner with community and hospital leaders for advocacy projects and are strongly encouraged to apply for the American Academy of Pediatrics Community Access to Child Health (CATCH) grants. Recent resident recipients include:

  • 2023: Sexual Health for Adolescent Parents – Claire Jaramishian, MD and Rajvee Sanghavi, MD
  • 2021: Helping Hands: School Nurses on the Frontlines – Anahita Emamian, MD and Daniella Santi, MD
  • 2021: Healing Through Art Therapy: HART Approach – Sarah Behnke DO
  • 2021: The Crucial Role of Foster Parents - Keenia Tappin, MD

To learn more about Valley Children's commitment to improving the lives of children through education, advocacy and outreach, read Valley Children's most recent Community Benefit Report, which summarizes the organization’s community-based work in support of children where they live, learn and play.