Helping medical students understand the real-world determinants of health is the goal of Kaitlin Graff’s practicum, one that she has found especially rewarding. Graff has expanded and enhanced the curriculum for the program at St. Louis University Medical School.
The program pairs students and families in the College Hill neighborhood of St. Louis through Grace Hill Settlement House. Students are a resource for the families but also have plenty of interaction through activities like “Fun Fitness Fridays” when students and families can work out together. Healthy eating and health literacy are other key topics.
The idea, Graff said, is “to have them learn from each other and emphasize the importance of basic needs.” She talked with previous students in the program and used their feedback to improve the curriculum.
“I’ve really enjoyed being able to create, expand and enhance the program,” she said, adding that the support of Chris Crenshaw and Paul Sorenson, MSW ’12, at Grace Hill has been especially important to her work.