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Pediatric Community Advocacy Rotation – Getting to Know Indianapolis’s Vast Resources


After spending the first 20+ years of my life in Illinois, I found myself moving to Indianapolis a little over two years ago to start my Med-Peds residency at IU. Over the course of my first few years here, I had plenty of time to explore the city and find the best places for food and drink, where to shop, and the best places for entertainment. As I started to work with my patients though, I realized there were so many more things to learn about the city. My patients needed to know who to call for various resources, how to navigate the school systems, and so much more.

Fortunately, our Pediatrics residency offers a Community Pediatrics rotation that allows us the opportunity to explore the community based organizations in Indianapolis and to learn about the special populations they serve.

Over the course of the rotation, I had the opportunity to meet with several unique community based organizations (CBOs) who are working hard to serve the citizens of Indianapolis. One of the unique organizations include About Special Kids, a parent to parent group that helps parents of children with special needs connect to other families and community resources to help them in their time of need. Another organization is Outreach, a non-profit group that helps teenagers and young adults who are homeless. Outreach works hard to support this population in multiple ways, in a non-judgmental and caring way. Then there is the Julian Center in downtown Indy whose work helps hundreds of women and children who are the survivors of domestic abuse. Not only do they provide housing and resources to these women in need, but they strive to educate the community on these topics to make Indianapolis a better place. The list of CBOs goes on and on, from Exodus Refugee Immigration who helps refugees resettle in Indianapolis, Children’s Bureau Inc. who works to stop child abuse, to CYACC clinic, that helps children with special needs transition to being an adult.

By the end of this rotation, I was thoroughly impressed by the number and variety of organizations that serve the populations of Indianapolis, and Indiana as a whole. I had no idea several of these programs existed, and will be utilizing their services to better serve my patients. I am also inspired to continue to seek out community organizations in the area, as I’m sure there are many more to discover!

The views expressed in this content represent the perspective and opinions of the author and may or may not represent the position of Indiana University School of Medicine.

Katie Gehlhausen

3rd year resident in Internal Medicine-Pediatrics