Connections4Health Fellowship FAQs
What will I spend my 3-4.5 hours doing each week?
- 3 hours per week: Each fellow will be assigned one shift to attend each week. Depending on placement site, during their shift fellows:
- Engage patients in the waiting room to tell them about the services Connections4Health offers
- Receive referrals from Carnegie Library staff, community partners, or clinic staff
- Work one-on-one with patients to understand their situation and needs
- Find and connect patients to resources by creating an action plan the patient can follow
- Follow-up with patients you worked with in prior weeks
- Track each patient encounter and outcome
- 30 minutes of Database Work: The database is used by fellows to make appropriate referrals to organizations or agencies of use to their patient. As organizations are constantly changing, emerging or falling through, fellows are tasked with calling one organization each week to update the entry in the database. This ensures that the database is as comprehensive as possible and that all of the information is accurate.
- 1 Hour Reflective/Training Session (every other week): The reflection sessions are an opportunity for fellows to debrief, share stories, express concerns or seek advice. They will also be complimented by mini training sessions on topics of interest to the fellows, such as poverty, health law, housing resources, the Affordable Care Act, etc.
What training will I undergo to ensure I am prepared?
There are two, 3-hour mandatory orientation/training sessions held before you start your shift at clinic. The training sessions are meant to bring new fellows up to speed on the Health Links philosophy, how to operate the help desk, how to update the database, how to speak with patients respectfully and ask the pertinent, appropriate questions. New fellows also engage with returning fellows to create a cohesive Connections4Health team.
Is this fellowship paid?
No, unfortunately we do not have the funds to pay our fellows.
What if I cannot commit to any of the allotted times?
If you cannot commit to a clinic shift, you will not be eligible for the fellowship. These are the times the clinic is open to patients, so we do not have flexibility in that part of the Connections4Health requirement.
What if I cannot make a training session?
The training sessions are critical to your training and effectiveness as a fellow and have been carefully constructed to prepare you for your shifts. If you are unable to make a training session please mark that on your application and we will see if we can accommodate you.
How can I benefit from this fellowship?
Simply put, you will be directly helping our community members address concerns that are often critical, acute and prohibit patients from being able to adequately focus on their health and well-being. These include things such as helping individuals find emergency food assistance, housing, legal help, employment opportunities or training, and a host of other resources. You WILL be directly impacting people’s lives! This is also a great opportunity to gain experience working with underserved populations, meet like-minded clinician and student volunteers at the clinic, strengthen communication skills, gain knowledge of community health centers, poverty, social determinants of health and gain specific, tangible skills such as motivational interviewing through the reflection sessions twice a month.
What is the application timeline?
Applications are made available and accepted the middle of each semester for fellowships beginning the following semester. Applications periods open:
Early October (for Spring semester)
Early February (for Summer semester)
Mid July (for Fall semester)
Please visit southwestahec.org/c4h-application for more details regarding the next open application period.
What makes a strong fellowship candidate?
We are looking for students who are enthusiastic about the opportunity, proactive and self-directed, organized and professional, who demonstrate a commitment to service and to underserved populations, who are flexible and able to go with the flow, who are eager to make a difference, are empathetic, who have strong oral and written communication skills and most importantly, who want to have an impact on people’s lives. We recognize that it can be intimidating to engage patients in a clinic setting, so strong candidates will also be willing to work outside their comfort zone and be excited about problem solving with patients. We believe that health status is intimately intertwined with all other aspects of our lives and are eager to provide patients with the best health care we can.