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Civic Engagement

The College of Nursing and Health Professions has a long-standing commitment to civic engagement that has only strengthened over the years. Our faculty and students are deeply committed to improving our local community through a variety of endeavors that span concentrations, specialties and departments.

Through expanding civic engagement initiatives, CNHP is able to enrich the lives of the Philadelphia community at large while also exposing our students to real-world healthcare experiences and situations not available in regular classroom or simulation settings.

A major development in CNHP’s ongoing outreach to the community has been the opening and subsequent expansion of the Stephen and Sandra Sheller 11th Street Family Health Services Center. The mission of the Stephen and Sandra Sheller 11th Street Family Health Services Center is to provide quality, comprehensive health services to the clients it serves, with special attention to vulnerable people and residents of public housing units in the 11th Street Corridor.

In addition to the efforts at 11th Street, CNHP is proud to support and contribute to our local community through a variety of other initiatives led by faculty and students. Here are just some of the ways the faculty and students of CNHP promote civic engagement.

Behavioral Health Counseling

  • Students participate in offering health education to veterans and older adults.
  • The department’s Project Home collaboration is expanding. Project Home residents act as partners to students so that students can learn the essential skills of rehabilitation. Students regularly meet with their Project Home partners to practice rehab skills. Project Home participants are real people who are actually recovering from some sort of psychiatric issue.
  • Speakers from Project Home give talks to students focused on family and intervention to provide a rich, interactive learning experience.

Nutrition Science

Through our Community Nutrition course, students partner with a community organization for a field experience. For the undergraduate program, students spend a minimum of 10 hours volunteering with one organization. For the graduate program, students partner with a community organization to create a proposal for a new program. Students in the ISPP Program spend a total of 240 hours in the community setting conducting needs/priorities assessments and then organizing nutrition education tables, events and projects based on the needs and priorities of the communities. The organizations involved have included:

  • MANNA (Metropolitan Area Neighborhood Nutrition Alliance)
  • Philabundance
  • Greener Partners
  • The 11th St Family Health Services
  • Girard College, SOL Food Project (Sustainable, Organic, Local), Greener Partners
  • Guild House West, Greener Partners
  • The 11th St Family Health Services
  • Back on My Feet
  • Puentes de Salud
  • The Chinatown Clinic, Department of Medicine, Drexel University College of Medicine
  • The Food Trust
  • Homeless Health Initiative
  • Eat Right Now
  • Students Run Philly Style

Physician Assistant Program

  • Students volunteer at Belmont Hickory School, Ipraxis, St. Johns Hospice and Watermark and provide health education and other resources to patients.
  • Faculty members travel to Haiti periodically to volunteer, with students periodically joining the outreach.

Physical Therapy Program

  • The Department of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Sciences has provided pro-bono physical therapy to patients living in the 11 street area for close to 10 years. Professor Sarah Wenger treats patients there twice a week and we our DPT students engage in clinical practice at this faculty practice.
  • The department regularly organizes service trips to Guatemala in which faculty, students and alumni involved in the trip work with the non-profit organization Hearts in Motion.
  • Our students are required to become civically engaged.  In the past, that has involved working with organizations/events like Special Olympics and Students Run Philly Style, as well as others.

 Individual, Couple and Family Therapy

  • Students and faculty participate in counseling diverse individual, families and couples at Three Parkway and 3020 Market Street facilities.
  • The department is also involved in the annual Breaking the Silence Conference, annual BE Healthy Expo, LGBTQA Student Center, annual City of Philadelphia Veterans Resource Fair and co-sponsors the annual Domestic Violence Rally.