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Advocacy

One of the many advantages of our location is the convergence of several child advocacy organizations in the nation’s capital. These organizations often look to Children’s National Hospital faculty and residents for expertise, and provide ample opportunities for residents from all tracks to get involved. Our residency program adheres to the philosophy that child advocacy is a fundamental skill for every pediatrician.

To this end, we have created the Child Health Advocacy and Public Policy (CHAPP) Pathway to provide opportunities to augment pediatric residency training with advocacy and public policy elective opportunities.

Even for residents not involved in the CHAPP Pathway, we have built advocacy into our curriculum to reach all residents:

  • Our Pediatric Public Health and Advocacy Noon Conference Curriculum includes advocacy training and provides residents with the basics of health policy
  • Our Global Health Curriculum encourages residents to include advocacy as part of their international electives
  • The Trainee Education in Advocacy and Community Health (TEACH) Curriculum incorporates child poverty as a social determinant of health into each year of the Children's National pediatric residency primary care education. The curriculum consists of interactive modules, experiential learning at a government benefits site, home visits, and other activities. The curriculum was designed with input from residents, educators, social workers, and community members and is based on the learning objectives of the U.S. Child Poverty Curriculum.

Our residents are lucky to have unique exposure to the Child Health Advocacy Institute (CHAI), which functions as the hub of Children’s National progress in legislative activity, community advocacy and advocacy-related research. As the first hospital-based department in the country focused exclusively on child health advocacy, CHAI is on the forefront of this space.

  • During intern year, residents spend one afternoon with CHAI faculty and third-year residents from the LAUnCH Track discussing the basics of advocacy and how to integrate advocacy throughout residency training.
  • Residents rotate through CHAI during their elective time or as part of the LAUnCH Track’s Advocacy Rotation or if they choose to be part of the CHAPP Pathway. Residents learn about pediatric public health policy and learn skills to become effective advocates for children’s health.
  • Residents are invited by CHAI faculty whenever they are testifying or attending interesting hearings on Capitol Hill at the federal level, or with any local governments.

There also are many other ways for residents to get involved in advocacy, including:

  • American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) opportunities: Serve as a Program Delegate in the DC Chapter of the AAP and help coordinate resident involvement in chapter activities; apply for an AAP internship, a month-long elective spent in AAP’s Federal Affairs office; or attend the Annual Legislative Conference of workshops that culminates in a day lobbying on Capitol Hill
  • Resident on the Hill Day: Annual event where residents receive advocacy training and then meet with meet with representatives on Capitol Hill to advocate for issues related to children’s health
  • REACH Projects: Residents work with Children's National faculty who have an interest in International Health, are faculty in CHAI, or have leadership positions in the DC Department of Health and the Maryland Emergency Medical Services for Children.