Anna Joseph

Anna Joseph

Master’s Student, Social Work and Public Health

This summer I interned at Clínica de Familia La Romana (CFLR), a clinic located in the eastern region of the Dominican Republic. CFLR provides a wide range of physical and mental health services, and specifically emphasizes the prevention and treatment of HIV.

During my time at CFLR I worked on three projects. The bulk of my time involved creating a manual for the clinic’s support group for HIV positive youth. I wrote 15 different monthly curriculums, and created a new group format that emphasizes medication adherence and providing a supportive atmosphere.

For the second project I implemented a clinic protocol to ease the transition into adult services for HIV positive youth who age-out of pediatric services. This work involved developing a system to ensure the appropriate use of the transition forms located in patient files, writing job responsibilities for all team members, and creating process indicators to help evaluate the successes and needs of the project. Lastly, I spent two weeks completing a program evaluation for CFLR’s annual summer camp for youth with HIV using the evidenced-based Camp Program Quality Assessment (C-PQA).

It’s a challenge to compare my work to that of Raoul Wallenberg – a man who put his own life on the line to save the lives of others. Working on projects that improve mental and physical health care for youth with HIV, however, reflects the same drive and commitment to fighting the injustices that exist in our world and improving the lives of others.