As we enter into year three of the COVID-19 pandemic, many people continue to grieve the loss of loved ones. At the same time, others may still be in near-complete isolation. Some may be experiencing burnout from extended working situations or struggling with finding new employment from being laid off. It is a difficult situation for many people, both professionally and personally. In 2020, the Institute of State and Regional Affairs (ISRA) at Penn State’s Harrisburg campus conducted a survey that examined the effects of the pandemic on the physical and mental health of Pennsylvanians. ISRA Director, Philip Sirinides, explained some of that data in a July 2020 article.
In November 2021, ChesPenn Health Services officially launched our partnership with RiteChoice Pharmacy. RiteChoice Rx, founded in 2013, is a full-service, independent pharmacy chain dedicated to providing patients in the Philadelphia area with quality pharmacy care. Originally a retail only store, RiteChoice has evolved to meet the need of medically underserved communities across Philadelphia for pharmacy services. RiteChoice now operates five pharmacy locations in the greater Philadelphia area.
Every month roughly 25 mothers and newborns seek care at ChesPenn Health Services’ Center for Family Health at Eastside. Access to quality healthcare is crucial for first-time parents and their babies. Parents need other supplies like diapers, formula, and clothes. The new babies who come to our Eastside site can also find a special surprise from Delaware County community members.
Chester County is feeling the loss of both the Jennersville and Brandywine Hospitals, especially in the western Chester County area. Due to these closures, the Chester County government has set up an informational hub for Chesco residents.
Setting the foundation for healthy habits can be challenging, especially if you have limited resources. It can be difficult to find safe and affordable activities like team sports or group fitness classes to move and have fun. It can be even harder without access to fresh fruits and veggies, clean water, or physical fitness equipment. ChesPenn’s Outreach and Enrollment team is helping children in our care overcome those barriers with a new initiative.
In October, ChesPenn partnered with the American Cancer Society and the Philadelphia Eagles to stress the importance of a healthy lifestyle and routine doctor’s visits to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Making that ‘Crucial Catch’ is significant year-round, not just in October. What can regular visits to your doctor and cancer screenings do?
With school well underway, checked in on the pediatric medical and dental integration pilot program at Eastside. This program helps bridge the gap in care between pediatric medical and dental care. In August, we spoke with pediatrician Dr. Kai Turner about what this means for the pediatric providers, but what does this mean for our dental care providers? We asked our Public Health Dental Hygiene Practitioner, Tye Spady-Blair, all about it. Tye joined the ChesPenn team in March of 2021, and she has been making an impact ever since.
Dr. Tina Ahmadinejad is starting a fellowship in which she will care for patients known as “super utilizers” – men and women whose complicated health and socioeconomic challenges send them to the emergency room frequently. She will be teaching her patients how to manage their illnesses so that they can avoid hospital stays in the future.
Dr. Ahmadinejad just graduated from Crozer-Keystone Health System’s Family Medicine Residency Program. She and three other residents chose ChesPenn’s Center for Family Health at Upper Darby as their primary practice site. Inspired by her experience with our program, she plans to devote her career to community medicine.
Dr. Ahmadinejad reflected on her experience at ChesPenn, “I am so grateful that ChesPenn exists. I was able to get to know both my patients and their families – I don’t want to give them up. And the working relationship with the preceptors is intimate here. You really get their full attention. Dr. O’Kicki is an amazing teacher.”
ChesPenn partners with Crozer-Keystone Health Systems to provide a Family Medicine Residency Program grounded in community health care. Dr. Letitia O’Kicki, ChesPenn’s Medical Director, is also a faculty member in the program. Family Medicine residents who practice at ChesPenn develop an understanding of the challenges and needs of adults and children of all socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds. Many of their graduated residents have chosen to pursue community medicine as a calling.
According to Dr. William Warning, Director of Crozer-Keystone’s Family Medicine Residency Program, “We are training the next generation of family practitioners. And we are creating a multiplier effect: we train students who care for and teach their patients how to care for themselves. They will also interact with other physicians, teaching them the principles of community health care.” He added, “Our program is unique in the eastern United States. I appreciate ChesPenn’s support in making this exceptional learning experience possible.”
Dr. Ahmadinejad wants to work in a community health center after she completes her fellowship. A native of Delaware County, she also feels a strong connection to Upper Darby and Chester. We hope she will come back as a family medicine practitioner in the future!