Download Full Text (932 KB)

Publication Date


Community Preceptors

Jaclynn Ries, MS, PVMSEC

Academic Preceptors

Oliver Bullock, DO, Ronald Allen, MHA


Philadelphia, PA


Tobacco Use, Oral Health, Heart Disease & Stroke, Nutrition & Weight Status, Physical Activity & Fitness


Community Health and Preventive Medicine | Public Health Education and Promotion


Project Goal

The goal of the BTG interns’ participation: to help develop the Perimeter as a community environment in which the Veterans can begin rebuilding their lives.

Services and Strategies

  • Aided in client intake
  • Organized and ran regularly scheduled recreational activities
  • Developed a health education curriculum
  • Served as another general resource for the Veterans
  • Established trusting relationships with the Veterans
    • In casual conversation
    • At meals
    • In daily activities: bingo, trivia, karaoke, nature hikes, arts & crafts, and card games
  • Organized health discussions requested by Veterans and staff
    • Cardiovascular health
    • Oral health
    • Smoking
    • Physical fitness & nutrition

Personal Statements

“I came out of this internship with a deeper understanding of Veterans, and the homeless and under serviced population in general. It was extremely rewarding to interact with and befriend people I would normally never have had the chance to get to know. The clients at The Perimeter taught me things and opened my eyes to cultural issues that I may not have learned about in any other way. Overall, I strengthened my interpersonal skills and learned lessons that will help me with a diverse group of patients in the future.” -Laurel Garber

“Prior to medical school and my Bridging the Gaps experience, I studied public health from a very academic perspective. Volunteering at the Perimeter provided me with first-hand experience and a fuller understanding of the challenges and rewards of working in underserved populations. More importantly, I spent a summer helping and establishing meaningful relationships with Veterans, while learning life-long lessons that will benefit my future career as a physician. Bridging the Gaps has also reinforced my desire to work in public health.” -Christopher Damiano

Veterans Helping Veterans