New Indiana University School of Medicine pediatrics program focuses on patient advocacy

INDIANAPOLIS Providing optimum health care to youngsters is far more than giving routine physical exams, making diagnoses, writing prescriptions and charting appropriate treatment plans. The ever-evolving role of pediatric physicians requires a fuller understanding of children's total environment and working with the community in which they live. That's the driving force behind a newly created outreach endeavor at the Indiana University School of Medicine Pediatrics Residency Program. Funded by a $2.5 million grant from the Anne E. Dyson Foundation, the initiative, Partnerships for Change: Putting the Puzzle Together, will team pediatric residents with residents and students from the IU Schools of Dentistry and Nursing at the Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis campus.

Specifically, the Dyson grant establishes collaborative partnerships between the IU schools and family and community service organizations: the Hispanic Education Center, the Julian Center and the Indiana Parent Information Network.

"The initiative seeks to give pediatric residents the tools and knowledge they need to become more fully rounded physicians who are committed to improving the health of the children, more actively engage residents in the communities they serve and make them better advocates for their patients and families," says Sarah Stelzner, M.D., associate clinical professor of pediatrics.

The IU Pediatrics Training Program is the only one in Indiana and is responsible for training more than 85 percent of all practicing pediatricians in the state.

Dr. Stelzner, along with Steve Downs, M.D., M.S., associate professor of pediatrics, and Nancy Swigonski, M.D., M.P.H., assistant professor of pediatrics, are leading the initiative. They are joined by Karen Yoder, Ph.D., associate professor, IU School of Dentistry, and Mary Beth Riner, Ph.D., R.N., assistant professor, IU School of Nursing.

The initiative shifts from a medical-onl

Contact: Joe Stuteville
Indiana University

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