Dr. Kelly Wong Speaks on The Importance of Civic Engagement and Advocacy in Healthcare
Dr. Kelly Wong, Citizen Physician in Practice Awardee, speaks about PatientVoting.com and the role that civic engagement and advocacy plays in healthcare:
There are approximately 150,000 registered voters who are unable to get to the polls on election day because they are unexpectedly hospitalized on, or just prior to, election day. The emergency department already serves as a critical interface between the underserved community and the hospital, providing basic access to anyone who seeks it. Our patients are more frequently hospitalized and therefore more likely to be hospitalized during the election. While more subtle than voter ID requirements and other versions of institutionalized voter suppression, frequent hospitalizations are a structural barrier to voting that we can eliminate with the Patient Voting Project.
The majority of states make allowances for a process called emergency absentee voting. The Patient Voting Project is a non-partisan effort to heighten awareness of patients' voting rights and increase overall voter turnout. We organize public information — often hidden deep in state government websites — and provide free materials like step-by-step instructions and applications so more registered voters can cast their ballots without leaving their hospital bed.
Empowering and enabling our patients’ right to vote is an extension of justice in medicine. Our goal for 2020 is to form a network of civically-driven health care providers through all fifty states who will help patients in their surrounding area. We also aim to identify states where voting from the hospital is especially difficult so we can work with the Board of Elections in order to enact change.
Find out more about Dr. Wong and her initiative at:
Twitter: @patientvoting; @kellywongmd
We are incredibly excited to announce that Dr. Kelly Wong has been selected to receive the inaugural Citizen Physician in Practice Award by Citizen Physicians! This recognition is awarded to healthcare providers who have demonstrated a commitment to incorporating civic engagement and patient advocacy as central components of their healthcare practice. She is being awarded this honor in recognition of her work creating PatientVoting.com.
Dr. Wong is an Emergency Medicine Physician interested in rural medicine, medical liability, and advocacy. Her projects focus on medical education and she is the founder of the Patient Voting Project, for which she won the Resident of the Year award from the Emergency Medicine Residents' Association. A proud South Dakota native, she is a graduate of Augustana University and of University of South Dakota School of Medicine and is completing her residency at Brown University. When not in scrubs, she's on the move running or backpacking with her fiancé Pete.
Congratulations on this honor! Thank you for being a role model to so many and for going above and beyond for the wellbeing of your patients.
We are thrilled to announce that the students at the Medical College of Georgia have established our tenth chapter of Citizen Physicians! We are excited to have you!
Priyanka Krishnan: Co-President
Priyanka Krishnan is a fourth year medical student at the Medical College of Georgia. She grew up in Marietta, Georgia and attended Duke University where she majored in Evolutionary Anthropology and Global Health. Through the Duke Global Health Institute, she worked extensively in communities along the Amazon River in the Madre de Dios region of Peru and conducted visual acuity exams and glaucoma screenings in Roatán, Honduras. After graduating from Duke in 2016, she returned to her home state to attend medical school. She developed a keen interest in working with vulnerable populations during her undergraduate years in Durham. She continued pursuing opportunities to work with vulnerable populations in medical school where she served as a coordinator for Clínica Latina, a no-cost clinic for low income Latino families in Augusta, Georgia.
Farris Taha: Co-President
Farris Taha is currently a fourth year medical student at the Medical College of Georgia. He grew up in Cumming, Georgia and studied Biomedical Engineering at Georgia Tech. There, he was an ambassador at the Student Health Clinic on campus, working to promote free annual flu vaccinations and to raise awareness of student health issues at Georgia Tech. His passion for healthcare advocacy was heavily influenced by his experience witnessing healthcare disparities during his clinical rotations. He understands that advocacy for patients extends past what is done in the clinic and how present and future medical practitioners are uniquely positioned to advocate for political change.
Marshall Waller: Voter Registration Drive Coordinator
Marshall Waller is currently a third year medical student at the Medical College of Georgia. He attended both Oberlin College and Emory University. While in college, he was an HIV Peer Tester and also volunteered with Teddy Bear Research Hospital. His interests include health policy, and reshaping America's healthcare system. He is excited to a part of Citizen Physicians because of the potential impact it can have on the medical community to become more involved in shaping policy.
Sayeed Hasan: Outreach Coordinator
Sayeed Hasan studied Business Administration at the Georgia Institute of Technology. During his time there, he worked to co-found a company, ShoutHealth, whose mission was to increase healthcare access in the local Atlanta community. He also worked to create Buzz Mobile Health, a student run mobile clinic that serves the underprivileged and homeless community in Atlanta. Sayeed believes in the importance of health advocacy as Physicians and feels that Citizen Physicians is a great avenue for us to engage in advocacy and policy reform.
Welcome to the family, MCG!
It is with incredible excitement that I am able to introduce Citizen Physicians' inaugural Program Manager: DeBran Tarver, PhD, MPH.
DeBran has over 9 years of experience as an evaluator, project manager, and researcher. She has a vast amount of hands-on experience monitoring and evaluating non-profit, local and federal programs that have diverse groups of people and multidisciplinary teams. At Morehouse School of Medicine, Dr. Tarver provided technical assistance and training in evaluation and capacity building to community-based organizations and Master level students and co-authored a number of publications. She also served as the evaluation manager and coalition board member for an HIV/AIDS and substance abuse prevention intervention.
At the University of Alabama at Birmingham, Dr. Tarver counseled HIV patients who had a history of both substance use disorder and not receiving adequate clinical HIV care. She also worked at UAB as a Research Assistant where she recruited participants, collected data, and managed daily operations for a variety of research studies in the areas of nutrition, substance use disorder, and women’s health. As a result of her years of experience, she has become proficient in data analysis, survey and focus group development, grant writing, technical assistance, and data collection and management.
Dr. Tarver earned a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Howard University, a Master of Public Health from Morehouse School of Medicine, and a PhD in Health Education and Promotion from the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
As Program Manager, DeBran will be overseeing all of Citizen Physicians' programing, including recruiting, on-boarding, and mentoring our student chapters. She will lead our curriculum development, oversee our training initiatives, and interface with community members to further grow Citizen Physicians' support of the medical community.
"I am excited to join Citizen Physicians because I believe that education and awareness are key to electing officials who are knowledgeable of, and support, the advancement of healthcare for all populations. Equipping healthcare professionals with the resources to understand and engage in political systems can create a needed culture shift in the medical and political community."
DeBran, we couldn't be more thrilled to have you join our team.
Founder, Executive Director
The Citizen Physician in Practice award is presented to health care practitioners who demonstrate a commitment to incorporating civic engagement and patient advocacy as central components of their health care practice. The award publicly recognizes practitioners who practice health care in a manner that we hope the students we train look up to and emulate.
Nominees should be able to demonstrate the following:
• A significant commitment to civic engagement and patient advocacy
• Evidence of engaging in health care advocacy work as a central part of their health care practice
• A commitment to social justice.
The nominee must be a health care practitioner in good standing, of strong repute, and a role model for other health care practitioners devoted to civic engagement and social justice. They do not need to currently be practicing clinical medicine. The nominee must conduct themselves in a manner in line with Citizen Physicians’ core values.
Nominations should be submitted in the form of a letter that includes:
• The name of the nominee and their contact information
• The name of the person nominating and their contact information
• The relationship between the person nominating and the nominee (self-nominations are permitted)
• Relevant educational, occupational, and biographical information for the nominee
• A statement by the person nominating explaining why they are nominating the individual and why the nominee is deserving of the award.
Nomination letters should be address to the “Citizen Physician in Practice Award Selection Committee” and emailed as a PDF attachment to firstname.lastname@example.org with “Award Nomination – [Name of Nominee]” in the subject line.
Questions about the nomination process can be addressed to Aaron Shapiro, Executive Director, at email@example.com.
Job Description and Call for Applications
Part time, at-will, $16-$20/hr, 5-15hr/wk
Pay will be commensurate with experience and work hours will vary based on organizational need, likely highest during the academic year.
This position is not benefits eligible, but is flexible and work-from-home.
We are a young, energetic, startup non-profit dedicated to increasing competent civic engagement among healthcare professionals, specifically by training healthcare professional students. We currently have chapters in nine medical schools and are ready for broader expansion. First and foremost, our student chapters organize annual voter registration drives on their campuses. They also run Government 101 trainings, trainings on how to write an op-ed and how to construct/deliver testimony when testifying in the Statehouse, and invite healthcare advocates and locally elected officials to discuss lessons learned and best practices in affecting change.
What We’re Looking For
We are looking for a program manager to take over leadership of all of our program activities. Responsibilities would include conducting outreach to invite medical students to found new chapters, walking founders through the process of starting a chapter, continuing to develop curricula to teach medical students about effective civic engagement, connecting chapter presidents at the various schools to create synergistic collaboration, helping organize our annual national medical community voter registration campaign (currently in partnership with the American Medical Student Association www.medoutthevote.org), supporting chapters when they need guidance on how to create effective programming, working on engaging alumni to continue their post-graduate civic engagement, and expanding our presence at health professional schools across the country.
We are a small startup. We are first and foremost looking for someone who is excited and passionate about the mission of the organization. We want someone who understands the value of civic engagement, understands the potential power that the medical community has if they are able to use that power effectively in the civic arena, and is excited about the chance to help train this community to use that power effectively.
We are a scrappy young organization that prides itself on knowing the work that needs to be done and not creating more work than necessary. Our team currently consists of the founder/executive director, a managing director who has been with the organization since day one, a media director who makes us look pretty and makes sure we have strong communication, and an engaged Board that is lean, powerful, passionate, and supportive.
We anticipate the work will generally require ~5-15 hours per week, some weeks less, some weeks more (with potential for increased hours as the organization grows if necessary). We are looking for a passionate recent graduate, grad student, part time employed or full time employed individual who would be excited to have an additional significant source of income working for an exciting, quickly growing, idealistic, pragmatic young startup organization.
This individual must have an entrepreneurial spirit, must exhibit leadership skills, have strong communication skills, have a strong work ethic in order to hold themselves accountable for the work that needs to be done, and have a passion for civic engagement. We would like someone who has experience working in the political arena or civic engagement, managing up and/or working in the non-profit sector, and developing and/or implementing curricula, along with a wicked sense of humor.
We are an LGBTQ founded, diverse organization that actively works to create a working environment where each individual can bring every aspect of their intersectional identities comfortably and confidently to the workplace, including but not limited to gender, skin color, religion, sexual orientation, national origin, physical ability, neurocognitive diversity, age, veteran status, history of incarceration, history of substance use, political party affiliation, style, etc. This position is 100% remote with completely flexible hours. New or expecting parents are encouraged to apply. The work is primarily done via phone and computer with some potential for travel (<5%). All responsibilities can be achieved regardless of physical ability. We are looking for someone who anticipates being able to work in this position for at least eighteen months. Ideally (but not required) this candidate would be excited at the potential to grow with the organization, with potential for the role to eventually grow into a full-time position.
• Develop up-to-date educational resources for professional students to use in health professions schools across the country
• Create advocacy profiles for city/state level issues of interest to Citizen Physician chapters
• Coordinate new chapter onboarding and mentor chapter presidents as needed
• Manage data collection from health professional school chapters
• Produce quarterly management report on status of chapter activities, finances, fundraising, and growth
• Aid the Executive Director with fundraising by “tee-ing up” identified opportunities and producing PR materials
• Supervise national advocacy campaigns in conjunction with national partner organizations (American Medical Student Association, etc.)
• Regularly publish Citizen Physicians content to website, newsletter, and social media platforms
Starting wage is $16-$20/hour depending on experience with potential for increase at the first six months and eighteen months in the position. This position is not benefits eligible and is employment at-will. You will have access to a skilled, passionate support team and a brilliant, experienced Board of Directors who are all invested in your professional growth and development. You will have significant autonomy and creative power in shaping a young nonprofit’s growth and impact.
How to apply
Please send your resume and cover letter to firstname.lastname@example.org with “Program Manager Application” in the subject line. The cover latter should highlight relevant experience and explain your reasoning for applying for the position. Applications will remain open until the position is filled. We intend a start date in May-June 2019, but exact timing is flexible. Please visit www.citizenphysicians.org to learn more about our organization and leadership team. Questions about the position may be directed to Aaron Shapiro, Executive Director, at the above email address.
Resident Advisory Board Launch
As medical students across the country match this week into residency, Citizen Physicians is excited to announce the launch of our Resident Advisory Board.
The Resident Advisory Board is comprised of seven first year residents who were actively involved with Citizen Physicians when they were medical students. Advisory Board members are charged with advising Citizen Physicians on the unique challenges and opportunities that residents face regarding civic engagement as resident physicians.
As Citizen Physicians members advance in their careers, Citizen Physicians will continue to work to support these promising leaders. And the Resident Advisory Board is instrumental in making that happen.
The inaugural Resident Advisory Board is comprised of (in alphabetical order):
Thank you to this extraordinary group for advancing the quality of physician engagement in the political arena!
We are excited to announce our ninth chapter of Citizen Physicians right before the general election! Founded by five amazing medical students at the Sidney Kimmel Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University.
Kevin Xie: President
Kevin Xie studied Cell Biology and Neuroscience at Rutgers University in New Jersey. He grew up in New Jersey and was involved in student-run non-profit organizations throughout his undergraduate career. There, he found his passion at a cross between health, and medicine, and service to marginalized communities. His longitudinal advocacy work throughout his years at Rutgers centered on a partnership with Change-A-Life Uganda, a grassroots organization that focuses on women and children’s education in rural Uganda. Kevin believes that health advocacy can make a tangible change for those abroad and for those in the States. He is excited for Citizen Physicians to take off at Jefferson because he knows that the passion and the capacity for change is present in Philadelphia.
William England: Treasurer
William grew up in New Mexico and left for college in Texas. After graduating, he moved to Philadelphia and worked for several years before starting school at SKMC. William is excited about being involved with Citizen Physicians and their work educating future physicians on basic civics. "Often times local and state programs are a forgotten, but important, area for physician involvement and I am excited to be a part of helping the SKMC community make those connections."
Joshua Wynne: Outreach Chair
Joshua Wynne is a second-year medical student at Sidney Kimmel Medical College. Originally from New Jersey, he attended college at Northwestern University, graduating with a major in psychology and a minor in global health. His interest in global and public health grew out of his studies in global health, particularly when he was able to study about global health systems and health disparities for a semester during his junior year at Sciences Po in Paris. He hopes to combine his interests with public health with the practice of medicine during his career.
Helen Xu: Programming Chair
Helen Xu grew up in Connecticut and attended Yale University, where she studied Psychology. Helen has worked in various fields, from psychiatry research to urban education. Her interest in citizen engagement developed when she lived in New York City and was surrounded daily by diversity, but also by vast inequities. "In caring for our future patients, as much as we might like to focus on pathologies, diagnosis, and treatment, we are also aware that our patients and our practices do not exist in a vacuum. Our work involves our local communities, our larger society, the economy, and the laws that govern us. Citizen Physicians is a way for us to engage in matters that will directly affect us, our patients, and our work in real and tangible ways."
Melissa Chai: Programming Chair
Melissa Chai grew up on the east coast, went to undergrad on the west coast and now is finally back on the east coast for med school. She is passionate about population health and interested in health policy. She is excited to be a part of Citizen Physicians to increase civic engagement among healthcare students and providers at Thomas Jefferson University.
Welcome to the family, Jeff!
We are thrilled to announce that Darien Sutton-Ramsey, M.D., M.B.A has joined the Citizen Physicians Advisory Board!
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