Pediatric Advocacy, Rural and Community (PARC)

PARCIn 2001, we initiated an innovative curriculum called PARC, Pediatric Advocacy, Rural and Community. Then, in 2014, the PARC rotation was expanded into a comprehensive program, which seeks to:

  • Continue advocacy training at a more in-depth level at more opportunities throughout Residency training.
  • Strengthen our presence in the community by identifying and building partnerships with other groups who share a common interest in advancing child issues.
  • Strengthen the work being done by our faculty in advocacy, offering professional development in the field, as well as nurturing and promoting advocacy interests.

Our goal with PARC is to teach our residents the skills necessary to become effective advocates for children and families. We are committed to the belief that child health is tied to the health of the community at large. By working to understand how community, culture, geography, economics, and the health care system impacts child health in both positive and negative ways, you will learn how to identify and approach issues that affect our children at the local, regional, state, national and global levels. PARC centers on the belief that by working to get you out of the academic medical center and into the community, you will better appreciate those factors that work to affect children's well-being.

The curriculum centers on developing skills in community competence, community assessment and community advocacy. Together, we can help you better understand children's environments and work to improve their lives. Our residents have won national acclaim for their work in PARC, including CATCH grants from the AAP, and the AAP Anne E. Dyson National Resident Advocacy Award as well as funding from private sources.

PARC is a longitudinal curriculum with an experience in the first year of residency, along with an experience in the second year for residents choosing the Ambulatory/Community Individualized Learning Curriculum track.

PARC at Work

The PARC rotation aims to train pediatricians to:

  • Identify and treat the social determinants of health
  • Practice trauma-informed care while recognizing and nurturing resilience and protective factors
  • Embrace their role as physician advocate, leader and partner in the community

Block rotations:

PARC We Vote
  • PARC 1 - Required during intern year: 4 week rotation introducing concepts of community engagement, advocacy and public health. Interns also begin developing their ideas for a longitudinal community project, carried out in teams throughout their training.
  • PARC 2 - Senior electives: Choose to experience rural New Mexico pediatrics, OR, immerse in the local community, with a customized, tailored experience in advocacy, public health or community engagement.

PARC Legislative

Longitudinal Curriculum:

  • Resident lectures, Morning Report
  • Grand Rounds on advocacy topics
  • Media Advocacy Workshop, Community Project Series
  • Train Talks: Trips to the Legislature
  • Annual Community & Advocacy in Pediatrics Symposium

PARC Kids Sent Me

Community Engagement:

  • Health Fairs
  • Doc Talks at early childhood centers
  • Summer Camps
  • And much more!

Recent and Ongoing Projects:

  • Mind in the Making: executive functioning skills for early learners (medical student curriculum), Tommie Begay
  • Refugee Resource Book, Adam Cross and Shirin Fazel-Hashemi. CATCH grant submitted. 
  • Guided Access, parent education regarding screen time recommendations, Bobby Sena
  • Interdisciplinary Concussion Clinic, Jareau Cordell
  • Suboxone training for pediatric residents, Megana Dwarakaneth
  • Fully inclusive and accessible parks for children, Alan Mason
  • Legislative bill:  Prevention of Child Abuse: Shaken Baby Syndrome, Chris Torrez

Examples of PARC proposals that became projects and programs:

  • CATCH Grant:

    • New Futures: Establishing a Well-Child Clinic at an Alternative High School for Teen Mothers
    • The Zia Pueblo Bicycle Program
    • Sealing the gaps in dental care
    • Hornet Health: Highland High’s Health Column
    • Home based screening for autism: Providing resources for rural families
    • Familias Fuerte: Establishing a Community Exercise and Nutrition program in SE Albuquerque
      (AAP National Resident Advocacy Award)
    • School Gardens for Health
    • Home Depot Foundation Grant
    • Breast Feeding Friends Network (B.F.F. network)
    • Pediatric Obesity
  • Gates Foundation Funding  - AAP National Resident Advocacy Award

  • NIH Funding:

    • The Needs of Incarcerated Native American Youth
  • Private Foundation Funding:

    • Caring for families living with HIV in Lesotho
  • USTA Funding:

    • VAMOs: Tennis and Nutrition for Life

Check our Facebook page to see what we've been up to recently: Follow the UNMH PARC Program