Melissa Bennett, MD, from the Homeless Health Initiative (HHI), recruited and oriented more than 20 volunteer speakers to help her cohost 34 lectures to more than 300 parents at HomeFront Family Preservation Center in Trenton, NJ. Sessions covered a variety of pediatric and adult health-related topics, including when to use ER, acute illness, fever, infant care, breastfeeding, child development, adolescent medicine and reproductive health, nutrition, safety, behavioral issues, mental health, and CPR.
Volunteer speakers represented a variety of disciplines, including primary care and subspecialty physicians, nurses, behavioral and mental health therapists, occupational therapists, physical therapists, and social workers.
HHI also helped support the HomeFront Health Advisory Council, which was formed in 2016. The group met three times in 2017 and aimed to bring together all health providers and stakeholders — including all volunteer physicians, nurses and social workers, shelter staff, and shelter mother representatives — to collaborate on programming, needs and partnership opportunities.
With help from Bennett and HHI nurse coordinator Sally Poliwoda, BSN, RN, who also leads CHOP’s Community Nursing Advocacy Fellowship (CNAF), a CNAF nurse/HHI volunteer chose to work with the HomeFront child care team to assist it with developmental trainings and support.