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Community Health and Advocacy

Taking care of the vulnerable is one of the core missions of our health system, department of medicine, and residency program.

In 2018 we created the CHAMPIONS groups (CHAMPIONS = Community Health and Advocacy, Mentoring Physicians in our Neighborhoods) to better understand and address the difficult issues our patients face. This is group is driven by the following Mission/Vision/Values:

Mission: Advance healing and reduce suffering (this is also our health system's mission)

Vision: To understand, connect with, and advocate for patients

Values: We are patient champions

If you have a strong interest in developing skills for working with under-served or international populations, then the Community Health and Advocacy Pathway is for you.

Both categorical internal medicine and combined internal medicine-pediatrics residents can enroll in the pathway and all residents are invited to participate in the pathway conference series.

Over the course of the residency, you will participate in learning sessions, service opportunities, and clinical experiences, and you will have the opportunity to explore career options including service and research.

Recent CHAMPIONS projects include:

  • Researching the cost to healthcare industry of uncontrolled opioid addiction
  • Researching Assault rifle/ firearm cost to healthcare industry
  • Meeting with elective officials regarding opioid bills
  • Developing a prototype medicolegal screen and intervention (patients often face issues that require legal assistance)
  • Developing a food pantry embedded directly in the practice

The food pantry has now grown, and recently received a grant from the Sam Hubbard Foundation. See our own Arayo Sokan speak about this on a recent television news story.


By participating in the Community Health and Advocacy pathway, you will:

  • Identify and define vulnerable populations encountered locally, nationally, and globally
  • Integrate health policy, public health, and health disparities when providing care to vulnerable populations
  • Describe modification of care and the impact of health disparities and inequities in the care of a vulnerable population
  • Identify, utilize, and collaborate with community organizations who work with vulnerable populations
  • Design an intervention to improve the health status for a vulnerable group
  • Determine if caring for vulnerable populations will be a career choice

For more information, contact Rita Schlanger M.D. 

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University of Cincinnati
Department of Internal Medicine

231 Albert Sabin Way
Medical Sciences Building Room 6058
PO Box 670557
Cincinnati, OH 45267-0557

Fax: 513-558-3878