EMPOWER Curriculum: Teaching Effective Use of Community Resources for Children with Special Health Care Needs

Date of Review: January, 2019

This resource, from MedEdPORTAL, describes an experiential curriculum for pediatric residents that includes 3 seminars and self-directed learning activities focused on connecting families with effective community resources to address social determinants of health and other health needs. The curriculum centers on children and youth with special healthcare needs (i.e. chronic physical, developmental, behavioral, or emotional conditions who need additional care above that typically required by children) and provides residents with the knowledge and skill needed to identify and evaluate community resources to recommend to families. Learners also read in-depth resources pertaining to the Life Course approach to health, and emphasizes how social factors in early childhood impact the patient throughout his/her lifespan and potentially into future generations as well. The curriculum requires approximately 12-15 hours of learner time and is intended for implementation in an outpatient clinical pediatrics rotation such as Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics or Community Health and Advocacy. The authors highly recommend engaging a pediatric fellow to deliver the seminar content and assess learners’ PBL work-products. The packet includes all seminar resources and grading rubrics, though some embedded links are no longer active. — Brigid Dolan, MD, NCEAS and Katy Wright, PhD, NCEAS

Corresponding Author’s Email:



UH Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital

Where Was the Curriculum Implemented?

Cleveland, OH

Source of the Curriculum/Resource:


Clinical Specialty:


Outcomes that Have Been Reported for the Curriculum:

Self-reported learner attitude

Self-reported learner knowledge

Outcome and Study Design:

Post only

Level of Learner Assessment:

Appreciation of content/attitude assessment (self reflection, blogging with rubric)

Knowledge Application (Case vignette, non-reflective essay)


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