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Robert Wood Johnson
they did their homework, putting forth an extraordinary
effort. They met every guideline and did an exceptional job."
The students had to be pragmatic, says Steven J. Levin,
MD, associate professor of family medicine and community
health and medical director, Eric B. Chandler Health Center.
At the time, Dr. Levin was medical director of St. John's
Family Health Care Center, where the proposed clinic would
take place. "They realized that for this project to work, they
needed not only to make it meaningful, but also to limit its
scope, accepting only adult clients of the soup kitchen. They
ruled out caring for pregnant women, or patients with can-
cer or AIDS," says Dr. Levin, who served as the group's fac-
ulty adviser for seven years.
The Promise Clinic became an initiative of the Homeless
and Indigent Population Health Outreach Project (HIPHOP),
the medical school's student service organization. Susan
Giordano, HIPHOP program coordinator, worked closely
with the students from the start.
From Plan to Reality:
Commitment, Sustainability, and
Continuity of Care
uring the decade since its launch, The
Promise Clinic has succeeded thanks to sup-
port from the dean's office, HIPHOP volun-
teers, and the staff of Elijah's Promise, says Eric G. Jahn,
MD '88, associate professor of family medicine and com-
munity health, senior associate dean for community
health, and faculty adviser, HIPHOP-Promise Clinic. Above
all, adds Dr. Jahn, it succeeds because of its volunteer fac-
ulty preceptors and the commitment of its student partic-
"The structure is brilliant," says Dr. Jahn. "Students
hone leadership and teaching skills, and through required
reports to the steering committee, they gain administrative
experience. In addition, new students always work with a
team member who's been involved for a few years. That