Temple Emergency Medicine Social EM Working Group

What is social EM?

Social emergency medicine is an emerging branch of EM that explores the interplay between social forces and the emergency care system, and the impact of these forces on the health of patients and communities.


The Temple Social EM Working Group was formed in May 2019. It is a multidisciplinary group that is invested in improving the health of our patients by exploring the larger social context of our dense, diverse and disparate community in North Philadelphia. We have chosen to focus our initial efforts on two groups of patients: those with substance use disorder and those affected by violence.


Working group members include EM residents and faculty, nurses and Temple Trauma department representatives. We have also partnered with Temple GME, the Philadelphia Department of Public Health (PDPH), and community organizations like Prevention Point, Moms Bonded by Grief and Congreso in the planning and implementation of our projects. We recognize that in doing this type of work, the most important voices are those of our patients and their families and we have worked to increase our community engagement efforts


Our initiatives have been largely resident driven. They span service, advocacy, education and research projects. See examples below:


  • Residents and faculty partnered with PDPH to implement an ED based Hepatitis A vaccination program in the Episcopal campus and Temple main emergency departments in the midst of Philadelphia’s Hep A outbreak.

  • Residents and faculty collected clothing and shoes for residents of Prevention Point.

  • Eleven faculty and residents represented our department at the inaugural Better Gun Violence Reporting Summit, a conference that informed a new set of best practices for journalists reporting gun violence. http://ibgvr.org

  • Resident and faculty physicians volunteer regularly on the Begin the Turn Mobile Unit, providing mobile medical services for vulnerable patients with limited access to care, including patients with substance use disorder and patients experiencing homelessness.

  • We have worked with our trauma outreach team to make victim services advocates available to provide resources to our ED patients who are victims of a crime.

  • Residents and faculty also volunteer regularly at Thrive, the Lewis Katz School of Medicine student run free clinic, which run weekly at the One Day At A Time (ODAAT) Shelter at 24th & Lehigh. https://thriveclinic.org

  • We have incorporated a standing series of social determinants of health focused literature into our EM journal club.

  • Residents are organizing a community tour and redlining primer for new intern orientation.


Future Directions:

We are excited to continue to partner with community members, local organizations, public health experts and a multidisciplinary team of specialists to provide patient centered care and advance the social justice mission of Temple University Hospital.


Questions? Contact me!


Megan Healy, MD

Temple EM Assistant Program Director

Founder Social EM Working Group