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Longitudinal Community Health Intervention Projects (L-CHIPs)

The Longitudinal Community Health Intervention Project (L-CHIP) experience is intended to provide students with the opportunity to learn about a particular community, principles of community engagement and the complexity of community health/public health interventions through active participation in group projects. In L-CHIP, first-year medical students work in small groups with a course instructor and one or more community organizations and participate in a multi-site, multi-year project aimed at improving the health of the local communities. This experience is also expected to increase students’ understanding of social and environmental determinants of health. In addition, L-CHIP is designed to meet service learning goals by engaging students with the communities, public health and non-profit organizations, and healthcare delivery systems in the regions served by Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine. L-CHIP objectives are directly informed by community-identified concerns, and by participating in these projects, students will take an active role in responding to the health needs of northeastern and central Pennsylvania.

Learning objectives

  • Describe the community in terms of key demographics, health indicators and health-related infrastructure.
  • Discuss the purpose and core functions of pertinent community organization(s) and how they relate to behavioral, social and/or environmental determinants of health.
  • Apply knowledge of epidemiological, biostatistical and public health principles in the critical evaluation of health literature.
  • Describe, and where possible apply, the principal components of a community/public health intervention project and disseminate project protocol and findings through presentations.
  • Discuss the complexity of public health intervention programs and importance of community engagement as a means of improving the health of populations.
  • Meet service learning curricular requirements by participating in the above activities.