Building a Community Partnership in a Pandemic: NJ Pediatric Residency Advocacy Collaborative.
The New Jersey Pediatric Residency Advocacy Collaborative (NJPRAC) is a statewide collaborative with faculty leads from each of the 10 New Jersey pediatric residency programs. The 2 major goals of the collaborative were to build community partnerships between pediatric residency programs and local organizations and develop a core advocacy curriculum. In this article, we focus on how the NJPRAC built community partnerships with Family Success Centers (FSCs) across the state over the course of a 2-year period. FSCs are located within every county in the state and fall under the New Jersey Department of Children and Families, providing resources and supports for families in crisis, with a focus on child abuse prevention services. Amid this growing partnership, the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic forced the NJPRAC to swiftly pivot its partnership and develop innovative programs to support families during the COVID-19 pandemic. As FSC leadership communicated families’ concerns to the collaborative, we initiated the Virtual House Call webinar, which incorporated pediatricians, community leaders, and allied health professionals to answer COVID-19 questions. These webinars quickly expanded into weekly interprofessional series, with experts in mental health, law, nutrition, and dentistry partnering with pediatricians from various subspecialties. Key to the webinars’ success was responding in real time to audience questions, collaborating with the FSC leadership on content, and garnering the support from the local New Jersey Chapter, American Academy of Pediatrics and the national American Academy of Pediatrics. A key challenge remains to meaningfully incorporate pediatric trainees into community partnerships. The NJPRAC plans to continue the Virtual House Call series with continuous input from the FSCs and participating families.
Authors: Christin Traba, Shilpa Pai, Sara Bode, Benjamin Hoffman