The Bridging the Gaps Community Health Internship Program (BTG CHIP) provides health-related service to underserved populations while training community responsive health and social service professionals. BTG is a paid 7-week summer internship for health profession students between their first and second year of studies. Interns are placed at a community agency based on their interest, and spend four days per week there, and one day per week in workshops in Piscataway. BTG is a consortium of universities in the Philadelphia area of which Rutgers is a Network Affiliate.
The program is coordinated through Rutgers School of Public Health and runs for seven weeks from June 15 through July 31, 2015. Interns are paid $3,000 for the summer. Accepted students are notified by email in early April. Accepted students will need to commit to the program by April 15, 2015.
Because this program is partially funded through the federal work study program, Rutgers students must complete the FAFSA forms and demonstrate financial need to be eligible for the program. Rowan students do not need to complete this form.
Students work 40 hours per week, which consists of 4 full work-days at an assigned community site and one full-day of didactic sessions. Community sites are in Camden, New Brunswick, Newark, and Trenton. Wednesday sessions include morning workshops followed by small group discussions of work at your sites as well as planning for common New Jersey-based projects. Wednesday sessions are held in Piscataway. Attendance is mandatory at ALL Wednesday sessions as well as at the Philadelphia Annual Bridging the Gaps Symposium in September where students participate in a poster session.
What do Students Say?
John from RWJMS: This project gave me an opportunity this summer to appropriately serve the community. Having been in New Brunswick for the past 6 years as both a Rutgers and RWJMS student, I have not had the opportunity to serve this community, and took this program as an opportunity to do so, working through Elijah’s Promise. As an aspiring physician, I feel it is important to learn how to reach out to underserved and disadvantaged communities.
Danielle from SHRP: I feel incredibly lucky to have this experience working with the people of Camden. The patients shared stories and problems with me that challenged my current way of thinking of the delivery of healthcare. As I look forward to my career as a Physician Assistant, I definitely want to work in an urban underserved population.
Mutiat from SPH: Working with Bridging the Gaps this summer was a life changing experience. It has been a wonderful journey getting to know the youth of Camden and knowing that we are making a difference in their lives. It was a great experience taking the concepts we learned in school and applying them in a practical sense. Every person we came in contact with at IDEA Performing Arts Center taught me invaluable lessons that I will cherish forever.
Jamie from SOM: The Bridging the Gaps internship demonstrated to me how health professionals of different backgrounds can effectively communicate as a team to achieve the best level of care for their clients. As a medical student, this is a valuable lesson that will ultimately benefit future patients. I have also had the unique opportunity to explore adult day programs within the area and learn from an incredible array of people, the most influential of which are the day program staff and the participants they care for. Through them, I have come to understand the value of adult day programs in both the continuum of elderly care and the prevention of extra hospitalizations.