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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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!
We have made it our goal to prepare the students in our various youth programs for the future. In a recent field trip, we gave them a glimpse of the technological future that in many ways is already here. Recently we took the students of the Teva Pharmaceuticals Internship Program to visit Robot Revolution, a traveling exhibit currently on display at the Franklin Institute. The exhibit explores the practical applications of robots and challenges visitors to think about the ways mechanical systems work. Our students took on a robot in a game of tic tac toe, watched a heated soccer match played between teams of robots, and learned simple computer programming. They encountered machines programmed to mimic human facial expressions, comfort the sick, play blackjack, and even breakdance. For our students interested in pursuing engineering and computer science fields, it gave a glimpse into what they could potentially do. For everyone, it was the chance to see just slightly into the future.
If you would like to check out the exhibit for yourself, Robot Revolution runs through April 2, 2017.
We are one day away from the end of an exciting, acrimonious, and downright unusual Presidential campaign. This has given CEPI a unique opportunity to help prepare the future architects of public policy. To that end, this past Saturday, we hosted a special event for our youth programs called Project Voice 2016. We invited students from the Karabots Junior Fellows Program and Teva Pharmaceuticals Internship Program to come and get a glimpse into the political process by designing their own political parties and hosting an election. We divided the students into two political parties and hosted “conventions,” where they designed their own party platform, developed a party brand (including a name and logo) and nominated their own candidates. It was up to our parties to decide which were the most important issues facing our country, choosing from such contentious topics as student loans, economic inequality, and police brutality; they then debated over how their party would solve the issues facing our country. It was a marvel to watch them work out important issues; something that the two major American parties can take note of given this year’s election’s heavy focus on personalities over issues. The parties also went through the nomination process, wherein they chose a candidate to represent their platform.
The event culminated in a showdown between the two party nominees in which they took part in a brief debate. They explained their party’s plans for the future and why they should be elected to an audience of volunteers from the University of Pennsylvania, who acted as undecided voters. This was then followed by our voters casting ballots for our candidates. After some networking between our candidates and our intrepid volunteers, we announced a winner. The decision was a close one, decided by a mere two votes!
Our students learned the challenges of deciding which issues are important and how to convince others to believe in their plan of action. In doing so, they gained some hands-on insight into the world of politics.
Our winning candidate: Viviana
Last week, students in the Teva Pharmaceuticals Internship Program took a field trip to the African American Museum in Philadelphia (701 Arch Street). Founded in 1976, the African American Museum in Philadelphia is committed to celebrating the historical and cultural contributions of African Americans as well as serving as a forum for addressing issues related to social justice. Led by an experienced tour guide, the Interns explored Audacious Freedom: African Americans in Philadelphia, 1776-1876, the site’s permanent exhibition devoted to the stories and contributions of African Americans in the Quaker City during the the first century of the American republic.
Their visit coincided with the opening of the Museum’s new exhibit: I Found God in Myself: The 40th Anniversary of Ntozake Shange’s For Colored Girls…. The exhibition celebrates the 40th anniversary of Ntozake Shange’s performance piece for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf; the play is a series of interconnected poems of the struggles of African American women told by seven African American characters identified with one of seven colors. To commemorate the anniversary, the exhibition displays 20 art pieces of varying media.
We encourage you to visit the African American Museum and experience the exhibit for yourself. I Found God in Myself runs through January 2, 2017. For more information, check out the Museum’s homepage.