3rd Annual BHWISE Symposium
Partnering in Primary Care: Promoting Child Well-being through Pediatrician-Social Work Collaborations
Sarah Polk MD, ScM, MHS serves as a bilingual (English/Spanish) primary care pediatrician and Medical Director of the Children’s Medical Practice. She is as Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at the Johns Hopkins’ School of Medicine. Her overall research interest is optimizing primary care as a means of addressing racial/ethnic health disparities with a particular focus on early childhood obesity prevention and mental health care. Her work as a clinician has familiarized her with the challenges of providing high quality health care to Latino children of immigrants with Limited English Proficiency who comprise the majority of the patient population at the Children’s Medical Practice. This has led to hear involvement in a number of collaborative efforts to address healthcare quality concerns. For example, the Bayview Children’s Medical Practice Latino Family Advisory Board has sustained participation among immigrant, Latina mothers and provided ongoing, applicable feedback to the practice. Finally, she and colleagues established the Center for Salud/Health and Opportunity for Latinos (Centro SOL). The mission of Centro SOL is to promote equity in health and opportunity for Latinos by advancing clinical care, research, education, and advocacy at Johns Hopkins and beyond in active partnership with our Latino neighbors. Furthermore, the Center’s vision is that all Latinos receive culturally competent healthcare that acknowledges the diversity of the community and respects the dignity of each individual. The effort to address mental health and psychosocial concerns as part of pediatric primary care at the Children’s Medical Practice is an example of the cross-disciplinary work that Centro SOL is intended to promote. Dr. Polk received her undergraduate degree at Amherst College, her medical degree at Johns Hopkins and training in Epidemiology at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
The Behavioral Health Workforce Integration Service and Education (BHWISE) program is a training program for advanced year MSW students interested in working with children, adolescents, and transitional-age youth with behavioral health care needs. BHWISE Fellows will receive inter-professional development opportunities, specialized seminars, focused coursework, and a $10,000 Stipend.
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