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Community Health Track

Community Health Track

The award-winning Community Health Track (CHT), also know as the Leadership in Advocacy, the Underserved, and Community Health (LAUnCH) Track focuses on building knowledge and skills around addressing social determinants of health, becoming advocates for children and developing into community leaders. The training for the CHT/LAUnCH Track is integrated with the overall pediatrics residency program to ensure excellence in attainment of clinical skills, and to allow residents the opportunity to work with CN’s top-rated hospitalist and subspecialist physicians. The inpatient portions of the CHT/LAUnCH Track are similar to those of the Categorical Track. The fundamental difference in this track is the 6 CHT/LAUnCH-specific rotations, the community-based clinical training experiences, and the community-focused scholarly project. Additionally, CHT/LAUnCH Track residents have unique advocacy experiences spread over their 3 years of training given that D.C. is our nation’s capital and many organizations have national headquarters here so residents have the unique opportunity to work with groups that are influencing not only local policy but also national policy as it relates to children and health care.

The mission of the CHT/LAUnCH Track is to train a new generation of residents who will create successful community partnerships and integrate public health concepts into the everyday practice of medicine to improve the health of underserved communities.

The goals of the CHT/LAUnCH track are centered on the eight core competencies of community pediatrics as described by the American Academy of Pediatrics:

  • Grasp the breadth of diversity inherent in the pediatric population and be familiar with health-related implications of cultural beliefs and practices of groups represented in the community
  • Recognize the role of the pediatrician in identifying needs and facilitating access to resources for patients, families and communities
  • Understand the definition of a medical home and how the resident’s continuity site can meet all components of the definition
  • Be aware of the risks to health and barriers to care for underserved children in Washington, D.C., and demonstrate skill in improving access to continuous comprehensive health maintenance
  • Appreciate key issues related to the pediatrician’s role and interactions with local community agencies and advocacy groups
  • Value the role of schools and child-care settings in supporting the educational and psychosocial development of children and adolescents
  • Apply key principles about health promotion and disease prevention for children and adolescents in a longitudinal project
  • Observe, interpret, and report observations about the communities in which they serve
Quotes from Residents

Quotes from Residents

"Each resident in the LAUnCH Track embodies what I envisioned fellow trackers would be--smart, passionate, and truly dedicated to advocating for children outside the realm of medical wards and clinic."

"I love the electives that are built into the curriculum and most importantly I really feel like I have learned from everyone within the track. There is great camaraderie and the diversity of the group adds so much to everyone's experience."

"I think the community track empowers you to get involved with advocacy on different levels in Washington, D.C. -- both legislative (including at the national and city/state level) and grassroots -- and with different partners (non-profit groups, educational systems, professional medical groups, governmental organizations). It has some structure to it, but allows plenty of room for you to take on your own projects."

"My decision to pursue a career as a physician was driven by a desire to provide health care to underserved communities and to those who have historically, been dwarfed by society. When looking for a residency program, it was essential that I found a training program whose goals and philosophies were in-line with my vision. Children’s National was one of the few places that I looked at that offered a LAUnCH, focused not only on urban healthcare issues, but also on government/health policy, international health, advocacy, and research. I was thoroughly impressed by the available electives that were offered as part of this track and furthermore, by talking with individuals who were part of this program, I know I would finish my training as a more socially conscious and responsible pediatrician for the community. Everyday, I learn so much from my electives, my patients, my co-residents and mentors. It has been a wonderful experience!"