Philly Teens Help Raise Awareness at National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

Four students in the Teva Pharmaceuticals Internship Program stand behind a registration table at National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

This past Saturday, the College of Physicians hosted a day of events devoted to National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day 2017 (NBHAAD), and students from the Teva Pharmaceuticals Internship and Out4STEM Programs were there to provide a helping hand.

The students offered outreach to visitors and helped register people for HIV testing (provided by Bebashi Transition to Hope, Prevention Point Philadelphia, The COLOURS Organization, and Q-Spot). Gloria Harley, an intern in both the Teva and Out4STEM Programs, joined ten other artists from The New Wave in a performance attended by over thirty Philadelphia teens.

Also attending the event were Dr. Loren Robinson, Deputy Secretary for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and a Fellow of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia, and Pennsylvania State Senator Vincent Hughes who delivered speeches on HIV Prevention and a demonstration on condom use.

Group photo of Philly teens, students in the Teva and Out4STEM programs, artists from New Wave, and Dr. Loren Robinson and Senator Vincent Hughes at the 2017 National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day at the Mütter Museum on February 11, 2017

Overall it was a great day of HIV Awareness and artistic expression thanks to our distinguished guests and our dedicated interns! Most important, 85 people received HIV/AIDS testing (and earned free admission to the Mütter Museum in the process).

National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day at the Mütter: February 11, 2017

Four students in the Teva Pharmaceuticals Internship pose with signs displaying various facts about HIV/AIDS at World AIDS Day 2016

Did you know that the rate of HIV infection among African Americans is eight times that among whites, or that gay and bisexual men make up the majority of new infections among African Americans? February 7 is National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (NBHAAD), a day for spreading awareness of the impact HIV plays in the African American community. The goal is to encourage more people to get tested and dispel the social stigmas surrounding the disease.The logo for National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, a black field with a red and green strip running vertically along the left side and a white vertical bar along the right. The words FIGHT HIV/AIDS are printed in white block letters in the middle and the hashtag #NBHAAD appears in black block letters in the white bar

This Saturday, February 11, 2017, the College of Physicians of Philadelphia will be observing NBHAAD with a day-long event. We will be offering FREE HIV testing courtesy of Bebashi Transition to Hope and Q-Spot. Never taken an HIV test? Fear not, as the test is painless, takes only a minute (literally 60 seconds) and entitles you to FREE admission to the Mütter Museum. There will be live performances and information about HIV/AIDS to help expand your understanding of the impact of the impact of the disease. 51% of HIV-positive people don’t know they have it; help us spread the word about the disease and take a trip to the Museum! The event will take place from 10 AM to 4 PM.

CEPI Now Accepting Applications for the 2017/2018 Out4STEM Program

Students from CEPI's various youth programs pose for a group photo on the steps of the PA State House with Dr. Rachel Levine and Dr. Loren Robinson

Students from CEPI’s youth programs (Out4STEM, Teva Pharmaceuticals Internship, and Karabots Junior Fellows) pose with Dr. Rachel Levine (front, left), the first transgender women to hold the office of Physician General for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and Dr. Loren Robinson (front, center), Deputy Secretary for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania

Attention: Philadelphia 10th and 11th Graders! We are now accepting applications for enrollment in the Out4STEM Program. The Out4STEM Program aims to provide Philadelphia’s LGBTQ+ youth with STEM-centered mentorship, academic support and career advice in an inclusive, safe space.

This one-year program will address the unique challenges facing LGBTQ+ youth while providing a safe environment to learn about careers in science and medicine. The Out4STEM Program covers the following areas:

  • Introduce students to careers related to science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and healthcare/medicine.
  • Acquire practical job skills in a healthcare field by successfully completing a Phlebotomy Technician Certification (CPT)
  • Cultivate relationships between like-minded, motivated Philadelphia LGBTQ+ students.
  • Develop a greater understanding of the body’s physiological response to stress.
  • Facilitate stress relieving techniques.
  • Address the impact of bullying and discrimination and develop responses.
  • Learn to communicate, heal, and build a community.

The next cohort will start in March 2017 and continue through the 2017-2018 academic year. The program will consist of after-school sessions once a week (every 1st and 3rd Tuesdays) and summer sessions on select days in July.

10th and 11th grade students in the Philadelphia School District (including charter, private, and parochial schools) are eligible to apply. To be considered all interested candidates must complete an application, obtain one letter of recommendation from an adult affiliated with a related high school or after-school program (examples: a teacher, coach, counselor, principal, volunteer leader, or church or community leader), and submit a 1-2 page essay. Applicants must also obtain a Pennsylvania state work permit (more information on obtaining one can be found here) and receive permission from a parent or guardian. Note: There are no costs to enroll or be enrolled in the Out4STEM Program.

Completed applications can be submitted via email or standard mail to the following address:

Attn: Quincy Greene (Out4STEM Internship)
The College of Physicians of Philadelphia
19 South 22nd Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103

The deadline to apply is FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 17, 2017 (all mailed applications must be postmarked by that date to be considered). If you have any questions, please contact Quincy Greene, Youth Support Coordinator. For more information about the Out4STEM Program, please consult our website.

 

CEPI Students Take Part in MLK Day of Service

Movie Poster for Hidden Figures

Image Source: IMDB

In honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service, Pennsylvania State Senator Vincent Hughes hosted a screening of Hidden Figures, the inspiring story of a group of African American women who were influential mathematicians involved in the early American space program. Over 200 students, educators, and members of the community joined Sen. Hughes at the Rave Cinemas at University City for the event, including several members of our Teva Pharmaceuticals Internship and Out4STEM Programs.

Students from the Teva and Out4STEM Programs stand at a table covered in literature about CEPI programming at Rave Cinemas at University City

After the movie, several of our CEPI youth presented information about our various programs to the public. Participants also took part in a raffle with the chance to win an Amazon Kindle, and one of our students–Gloria–was a lucky winner.

Philly Youth Kick Off Pennsylvania Teen Health Week 2017

Students from CEPI's various youth programs pose for a group photo on the steps of the PA State House with Dr. Rachel Levine and Dr. Loren Robinson

Did you know that teenagers make up 13% of the total US population? However, despite making up such a significant portion of the population there was no week focusing on teen health until 2016. In January 2016, Pennsylvania became the first state to devote a week to spreading awareness about the health issues directly affecting teenagers with the creation of Pennsylvania Teen Health Week (THW). Teen Health Week was the brainchild of Dr. Laura Offutt. Dr. Offutt is a Pennsylvania physician, Fellow of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia, and the host of Real Talk with Dr. Offutt, an online resource devoted to teen health. CEPI is proud to be an active partner in Pennsylvania Teen Health Week. January 9-13 is the observance Pennsylvania Teen Health Week 2017. This year each day focuses on one of five themes: Nutrition and Fitness, Violence Prevention, Mental Health, Sexual Health, and Substance Use.

Teva intern Su Ly stands at a podium in front of attendees to the proclamation of Pennsylvania Teen Health Week 2017 at the Pennsylvania State House

This past Monday we traveled to the Pennsylvania State House in Harrisburg to commemorate the second annual Pennsylvania Teen Health Week. Philadelphia youth representing the Karabots Junior Fellows Program, the Teva Pharmaceuticals Internship Program, and the Out4STEM Program were on site to show their support. The festivities began with statements from four prominent Pennsylvania physicians: Dr. Rachel Levine, Physician General for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania; Dr. Loren Robinson, Deputy Secretary for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (and Fellow of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia), Dr. Robert Sharrar, Executive Director of Safety, Epidemiology, Registries and Risk Management and Member of the Philadelphia Board of Health (as well as a Fellow of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia), and Dr. Offutt. The event concluded with a reading of Gov. Tom Wolf’s proclamation announcing January 9-13 as Pennsylvania Teen Health Week 2017. Several Philadelphia youth, including Xavier Gavin and Su Ly of the Karabots and Teva Program, respectively, bravely read Gov. Wolf’s proclamation.

Students from CEPI's various youth programs sit in the observation deck atop the Pennsylvania State Senate chamber and listen to a guide conduct a tour of the State House

After the reading, our students took a tour of the Pennsylvania State House, visiting the chambers of the Pennsylvania Senate, House of Representatives, and Supreme Court. While they viewed from the observation decks of the respective government houses, we hope to see some of them as lawmakers and policy developers in the future (remember: the minimum age to serve in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives is 21).

Image displaying the logos of the sponsors for Teen Health Week: Pennsylvania Southeast Region Area Health Education Center (AHEC); System of Care, a program of the Delaware County Department of Human Services; the Craig Dalsimer Division of Adolescent Medicine, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia; and Honeygrow.

Pennsylvania Teen Health Week 2017 is sponsored in part by the Pennsylvania Southeast Region Area Health Education Center (AHEC)System of Care, a program of the Delaware County Department of Human Services; the Craig Dalsimer Division of Adolescent Medicine, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia; and Honeygrow.

CEPI Youth Help People Get Tested at World AIDS Day 2016

Four students in the Teva Pharmaceuticals Internship pose with signs displaying various facts about HIV/AIDS at World AIDS Day 2016

On December 3, the College of Physicians of Philadelphia observed World AIDS Day 2016 with a day-long event to promote HIV/AIDS awareness, dispel the stigma and misconceptions associated with the disease, and encourage people to get tested. Visitors to the Mütter Museum received free admission in exchange for an HIV test (they involve a simple blood sample and test results are known in 60 seconds, a small price to pay for a day at the Museum and certainty over one’s status). It was a large undertaking; fortunately we had on hand a dedicated group of CEPI youth to help out.

Representing the Karabots Junior Fellows Program, the Teva Pharmaceuticals Internship Program, and the Out4STEM Program, our intrepid volunteers were instrumental in logistics, education, and promotion. They directed visitors who came to get tested to make sure the process was as quick and easy as possible. They encouraged people to pose with images of HIV/AIDS-related facts and share them on social media. They also helped educate the public with small health-related lessons, including a lesson on bone pathology using models of human skulls. Overall they helped make for a successful event wherein we tested eighty-five people!

Sara, a student in the Karabots Junior Fellows Program, teaches two students about skull pathology by displaying a group of human skull replicas at World AIDS Day 2016

 

Boos, Brains, Safety and Support

Participants of the "boos and Brains" event hosted by the Out4STEM Program pose with homemade masks

It is the goal of the Out4STEM program to provide a safe, friendly environment for Philly LGBTQ+ Youth who are interested in STEM. CEPI’s recent event, “Boos and Brains” epitomized this sentiment by creating a space for youth to come share their coming out experiences. A collection of high schoolers, college students, and med school students along with young professionals, including members of Project HOME and Penn Medicine, gathered to discuss different studies on where sexuality originates in the brain. Some shared their coming out stories, explaining how “out” they were and whether that differed when they were with family or friends. In keeping with the pre-Halloween theme, they also had the chance to design their own masks representing the faces they put on to the world versus the one they keep for themselves; however, the “masking and unmasking” took place more in their conversations with each other and the support they gave to those who were not “out” for various reasons. The friendly, supportive atmosphere epitomized the goals of the Out4STEM program.

The event was also featured in a recent issue of Philadelphia Gay News.

Clipping from Philadelphia Gay News displaying four participants holding skulls and jack-o-lanterns at the Out4STEM event Boos and Brains.