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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:


  • Group members co-led the Temple Health Our Words Matter Campaign, a health system wide initiative to decrease stigmatizing language in clinical communication.

  • We hosted two new faculty development sessions: Allyship in Med Ed and Mitigating Bias in Narrative Evaluations.

  • Our team continued to create content for the residents monthly Structural Competency Series and ongoing Health Equity Journal Club thread.

  • The Temple ED distributed free gun locks, in partnership with Temple Trauma’s Safe Bet program.

  • Residents and faculty volunteered at Esperanza Fresh produce events to help provide fruits and veggies to our local community.

  • Residents, faculty and student champions co-led the Temple Votes initiative to increase voter registration and mail-in ballot use in the fall election.

  • We established a virtual consult service for wound care clinic at Prevention Point Philadelphia, a local non-profit that serves patients experiencing homelessness.

  • Temple EM faculty and residents participated in Philly Spring Cleanup Day in April 2021, helping to beautify a nearby park.

  • Temple residents and faculty had presentations and publications on many Social EM topics, including our Hep A vaccination program, our addiction medicine education series, our redlining primer and the free gun lock distribution program.


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

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