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Where We Work

Nursing undergraduates are using Community Champions as a vehicle for promoting healthy lifestyles. The program has 15 diverse initiatives that engages with various aspects within the Philadelphia community.

Community Champions serve a range of populations, in a variety of different settings, and in many different roles (as an educator, mentor, or provider). Click on each initiative to learn more about how to get involved!

Cut Hypertension

Cut Hypertension is a program that combats one of West Philadelphia’s greatest health concerns, hypertension. Volunteers will provide blood pressure screenings and hypertension education/counseling at barbershops. This is a collaboration with PSOM. Takes place Saturday mornings or afternoons. 

Dance for Health Common Place

Dance for Health at the Common Place is the newest expansion of the DFH program. Our members team up with medical school students to promote healthy living through these intergenerational line dancing classes. This usually occurs Mondays, 6:30 - 8:30 pm. 

Dance for Health LIFE

Dance for Health at Living Independently for the Elderly (LIFE) is a weekly 45-minute, low-intensity chair aerobics class for older adults of the community. All of our dance moves are done to music and can be done while seated. We are currently collecting data and survey responses to analyze mental health and exercise in the geriatric population. Usually occurs Fridays, 10:30 am - 12 pm.

Dance for Health Ralston

Dance for Health at the Ralston House provides elders the opportunity to dance to improve their physical and mental health. Nutritious food is supplied, and health measures such as pedometer steps and heart rates are recorded once a week. Usually occurs on Saturdays.

Dance for Health Sayre

Brings the community together for free line dancing classes, led by Selena Williams. All members of the West Philadelphia community can participate - from young children to older adults. Penn nursing and medical students mentor local high school students on health monitoring, and together they track the progress of the dancing participants. Through this data collection process, students analyze how the dancing affects heart rate, weight, etc. and ultimately how it impacts health. Usually occurs on Thursdays, 5 - 7:30pm. 

Health Sciences Exploration

A team of medical and nursing students created an after-school program for 6th-8th graders at Comegys. which allows students to explore in depth sciences of different health topics (diabetes, nutrition, exercise physiology, acne & hygiene, and asthma), as well as learn to become mentors/leaders on health topics. Takes place Mondays - Thursdays, 4:15 - 5:45 pm. 

Baby Friendly Transitions

This program collaborates with ICN RNs at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. Community Champions members help nurses co-teach a parenting course that focuses on safe transitions home with topics such as car seat safety and safe sleep. This initiative is our most popular, and typically full, but please reach out for more information. Usually occurs Mondays, 3 - 6 pm or Wednesdays, 1 - 4 pm.   

Logan Circle Homeless Initiative 

Along with medical students and an attending physician, the team provides the homeless community resources related to any health concerns, insurance, managing chronic illness, finding a primary care provider (among other things) to those waiting in line for a weekly buffet event at Logan Circle. Takes place on Mondays, 3:30 - 5 pm. 

Puentes de Salud Clinic

 Puentes de Salud works to provide primary care to the Latinx community in South Philadelphia and is currently working to provide diabetes self-management courses to meet the population’s needs. Must be fluent in Spanish. Occurs Mondays, 12 - 4pm, Mondays, 5 - 9pm, or Wednesdays, 5 - 9pm.

Puentes de Salud Tutoring

An organization that aims to provide high-quality health care, community building, and educational programs (tutoring and mentorships) to the growing Latino population in South Philadelphia. This initiative also improves the community’s wellness and health. Puentes Hacia el Futuro, which translates into Bridges Toward the Future, is the education branch within the larger nonprofit organization and supports the idea that the key to improved health outcomes is education. Spanish fluency is not required. Usually occurs Mondays - Thursdays, 3 - 6 pm. 

Puentes de Salud Early Childhood

The Early Childhood Program at Puentes works with children ages 3-4 in partnership with the Barnes Foundation to help support these bilingual learners to develop strong foundations for life-long literacy. This program will use art as a launching point to amplify their bilingual vocabulary and to foster critical thinking skills. Must be fluent in Spanish. Occurs Tuesdays or Thursdays, 2:45 - 5:30pm. 

SPARK at CHOP

 The SPARK program works with homeless youth at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Community Champions provide weekly sessions for children to learn about exercise and nutrition through fun activities. The aim of this program is designed to break the comorbidity of homelessness and obesity. This program takes place at a multitude of centers: 

  • Wednesdays 7 - 8 pm at Families Forward
  • Wednesdays 6 - 7 pm at People’s Emergency Center
  • Thursdays 7 - 8 pm at St. Barnabas Mission

SPARK Mentorship

SPARK provides career exploration and self-discovery opportunities to help middle school students understand, experience and pursue what’s possible. Community Champions will serve as Spark Ambassadors and provide mentorship and skill building activities to students from Henry Lea School. The students will then apply skills to complete a career discovery project that’s presented at SPARK’s culminating event. Occurs Wednesdays 3 - 5 pm. 

United Community Clinic

 UCC is a free health clinic coordinated by Penn students from the Schools of Medicine, Dentistry, Nursing, and Social Work. Community Champions will serve as part of the health team in providing health physicals, acute care, and referrals under the guidance of the site nurse. Occurs Mondays 6 - 9 pm at the First African Presbyterian Church. 

Young Quakers

Young Quakers partners athletes from Penn sports teams with K-8 students in West Philadelphia public schools for sport skills development and mentoring. Community Champions help teach the academic enrichment block of the program with topics such as physical literacy, hygiene, nutrition, and asthma. Occurs Tuesdays, Thursdays,  or Fridays from 3:30 - 5:30 pm.