The LEADS curriculum is designed to teach students how to improve patients' opportunities and choices and to empower them to act on their patients' behalf through persuasive writing, working with the media, and legislative advocacy. The LEADS program does this through leadership and advocacy skills development and by providing guidance and mentorship through your Mentored Scholarly Activity (
LEADS Spring Elective is offered to first year medical students beginning in January each year. This 9-week course is an introduction to advocacy and consists of a series of workshops focused on developing your skills as an advocate designed around specific advocacy skills interwoven with various health disparities topics. Advocacy skills include legislative advocacy, community organizing and coalition building, and interaction with the media through print, television, radio and online venues. As an example, we developed a fact sheet around substance abuse and asked students to create a message and to propose a policy solution. They subsequently used this message to practice TV interviewing skills. For complete course objectives please see the sample Course Syllabus from a previous year. This elective course is open to all students. Those enrolling in the LEADS track are requires to take this class.
LEADS Summer Program – LEADS Track students only. During this 8-week program, students work with community originations to complete a project designed to improve the health and heath care of underserved Coloradoans. Participants also will participate in an 8-week curriculum focused on developing leadership skills. Participants are paid for their summer work. LEADS tack students are required to attend all summer classes (1x/week) and work the full 8-weeks with their assigned community.
We currently limit participation to 20 students per summer. Some of the projects students have completed in the past include: a needs assessment of the African Refugee community in Denver, assessing the impact of HB 1023 on access and utilization of preventive services among Latinos with Plan de Salud, organizing and training volunteers to enroll children in SCHIP and Medicaid, a statewide survey on children’s healthcare insurance coverage and needs, evaluating an intervention for sexually high risk teens in DPS middle and high schools, development of an evaluation plan for the Aging Well Program in Routt County, and researching quality measures of a medical home for children including expansion of primary care through collaborative efforts between pediatricians and mental health providers. For a sample list of previous summer projects, please see the Course Syllabus from a previous year.
Sample of Past Student Internship Projects:
Bell Policy Center: conduct over twenty interviews across the state to better understand peoples’ attitudes toward fiscal issues. Rocky Mountain Youth Clinics: Health outcomes in a pediatric population with insurance churn at a safety net provider. Colorado Physicians Insurance Company (COPIC): Diagnostic errors resulting in patient harm: identification, assessment, and prevention. Colorado Coalition for the Medically Underserved: Aurora Health Access Taskforce. Denver Public School Based Clinics Pregnancy Prevention Program: Texting Programs in Pregnancy Prevention Education. Colorado Coalition for the Medically Underserved: Barriers to Primary Care Access and Emergency Department Utilization: Implications for Healthcare Reform on a National and Community Level. Metro community Provider Network (MCPN): Documenting best practices of clinical workflow in the management of chronic diabetes: What Variables affect HbA1c as a measure of clinical outcomes in a community clinic. LEADS Harm Reduction Action Center (HRAC): Factors related to quality healthcare services among active injection drug users in Denver, CO. Autism Society of Colorado (ASC): Identify and disseminate best practices for the interaction between first responders and people with autism. Lowry Family Health Center and Colorado Asian Health Education and Promotion (CAHEP): Student/refugee Health Education Collaborative. The Center: GLBT Provider Database.
LEADS Fall Elective is offered to second year medical students who have participated in the spring and/or summer courses. It is designed to utilize advanced advocacy and leadership skills with direct application to a current community or health policy concern. The goal of the class is to provide an opportunity to practice advocacy skills by addressing a real problem with a direct, measurable impact on the health and care of the underserved
Track Students are required to attend 50% of our speaker seminars
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