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Public Health Training Becoming a Priority

4Caring for our community is a privilege and a challenge. It requires constant innovation and a deep knowledge of our community’s environment and culture. At Sixteenth Street we pride ourselves on our innovation both inside and outside of our exam rooms. It is necessary to provide care that truly makes a difference in the lives of our patients, and in the community as a whole. We are lucky enough to have on board some of the greatest innovators – University of Wisconsin Madison TRIUMPH students.

TRIUMPH stands for Training in Urban Medicine and Public Health. Sixteenth Street hosts between two and three students each year. These students are on track within the MD curriculum at UWSMPH (University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health). Each student carries out a project that focuses on providing health care for urban populations and reducing health disparities. Some of past projects at Sixteenth Street have been:

  • Improving HIV Prevention Services/Linkage to Care
  • Treating Tobacco Dependence
  • Teen Pregnancy Prevention
  • Healthy and Active Latino Families
  • Development of a Teen-Centered Clinic
  • Health and Care of LGBT Adolescents/Adults
  • And more!

Sixteenth Street TRIUMPH student, Nayeli Spahr, was recently featured in the U.S. News EDUCATION article, Get a Dose of Public Health Training as a Medical Student. Along with Sixteenth Street Pediatrician, Dr. Enriquez, Spahr devotes hours of her time at Sixteenth Street running a two-hour group well-child visit for 12 immigrant families with babies. Spahr was quoted in the article saying, “The group approach has eased the time pressure of a 15 minute doctor visit….and encourages the parents to open up about their challenges and share solutions. You can address things like social support through medical visits, if you think a little outside the box.”

Although thinking outside the box in terms of solutions to population health issues, and caring for our community as a whole, has been an innate part of our culture and mission at Sixteenth Street since we opened in 1969, it is just starting to catch steam in other areas of the medical world. According to the article, Medical schools are increasingly providing more opportunities to, “prepare students like Sphar, to take charge of a health system centered on preventive medicine and population health.”

As the prevalence of chronic disease continues to rise and populations as a whole struggle to stay healthy, this type of preparation for students will become increasingly important in providing the country with physicians who have the experience and empathy to want to work towards these solutions.

The work TRIUMPH students have done at Sixteenth Street is a testament to the difference medical students can make in the public health arena, and the value they bring to the community they chose to serve.