Philadelphia University + Thomas Jefferson University

Community & Global Medicine

The Department of Family and Community Medicine at TJUH has long pursued opportunities to partner with local communities to (1) assist in identifying needs, (2) expand access to care, and (3) provide timely, age and culturally appropriate educational materials.  Indeed, the centrality of "community" to the mission of the Department and the residency program was highlighted by the addition of "Community" to the Department's official title in 2005.

Dr. Marc Altshuler

In September 2007, DFCM began a special clinic whose focus is to provide health screens to refugees newly arrived in the U.S.  This effort was begun as a collaboration with a local refugee resettlement agency, the Nationalities Services Center (NSC).

We screen approximately 5-10 new refugees each week, and have continued to provide ongoing care for others -- including management of chronic conditions, facilitating access to specialists, and providing obstetric and pediatric care.  The refugees treated through this effort hail from across the world including nations such as Iraq, Myanmar, Liberia, and Vietnam, where diseases such as tuberculosis, hepatitis B, and intestinal parasites are endemic. All residents become involved with the clinic during their residency training, which provides them with a unique opportunity to develop cultural competence and broaden their medical experience.

Homelessness is an unfortunate condition that affects a number of men, women and children in Philadelphia. There are many community programs that help combat homelessness and Jefferson Family Medicine is fortunate enough to work with a few of these organizations.

Jeff HOPE (Health, Opportunity, Prevention, and Education) is a student-run clinic founded in 1993 to provide free health care to a diverse population of underserved individuals. The organization is made up of four clinics based in local homeless shelters and one based at a Prevention Point needle exchange site. Residents serve as preceptors to the students at each of these sites and assist them in the development of the skills necessary to perform histories and physicals and to develop appropriate patient assessments and plans. This opportunity affords residents with the chance to develop their skills as teachers, as well as learn about harm reduction techniques and the particular challenges faced by the homeless population.

Project HOME (Housing, Opportunities for Employment, Medical Care, and Education) was founded in 1988 with the mission to empower adults, children, and families to break the cycle of homelessness and poverty and to alleviate the underlying causes of poverty. As part of the curriculum, residents have multiple opportunities to work with Project HOME's street outreach teams to treat homeless individuals "where they are" throughout the city.  This experience provides unique insight into the prevalence of homelessness in Philadelphia, the daily lives of homeless individuals, and to some of the remarkable coping strategies that they have adopted.

In addition to working with the NSC and refugees, Jeff HOPE, and Project HOME, Jefferson residents have the opportunity to work with addiction specialists at a methadone maintenance clinic, to serve in the Diamond Street Community of North Philadelphia at the St. Elizabeth Community Center and Health Clinic, to teach classes on topics ranging from STDs and pregnancy to nutrition at the Honickman Learning Center, to promote and coordinate breast and cervical cancer education and screening for un- and under-insured women, and  to develop their own community partnerships under the tutelage of senior faculty.

Refugee Health

Academic Partners

  • Thomas Jefferson University Hospital Office to Advance Population Health
  • Jefferson College of Population Health: Masters in Public Health Program

Community Partners

Health Promotion Council of Southeastern PA

Mazzoni Center
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgendered Health Center

Philadelphia Department of Public Health

AIDS Activities Coordinating Office
Child and Adolescent Obesity Program
District Health Centers

Philadelphia Women's Center

Project HOME

St. Elizabeth's Healing Center
St. Elizabeth's Recovery Residence
Honickman Learning Center and Comcast Technology Labs Street Outreach

Puentes de Salud (Bridges of Health)

St. Christopher's Hospital for Children

Stephen Klein Wellness Center

Youth Service, Inc.

Youth Emergency Services
Locust Mother Baby Home