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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 the disinvested community we serve in North Philadelphia. The group has three pillars: education, community engagement and evidence-based clinical interventions.


Working group members include EM residents and faculty. We have also partnered with Temple GME, our trauma and addiction medicine colleagues, the Philadelphia Department of Public Health (PDPH), and community organizations like Prevention Point 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.


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


  • Temple participated in a national pilot study to provide trauma informed care education to all staff members who care for firearm-injured patients.

  • Temple created new opportunities to residents to care for patients outside the traditional clinical setting by participating on the Begin the Turn mobile unit for patients with substance use disorders.

  • Residents and faculty co-designed an Emergency Medicine Health Equity elective for home and visiting students.

  • Resident members designed and led the ED Based COVID vaccination program at Temple and obtained grant funding for vaccine education for Temple patients.

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

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

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

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

  • Temple residents and faculty have presented and published on many Social EM topics, including destigmatizing language, our Hep A vaccination program, our addiction medicine education series, a redlining primer for GME Orientation, 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 mission and vision of Temple Emergency Medicine, to provide outstanding care for the community of North Philadelphia through the education of thoughtful, highly skilled emergency physicians.


Questions? Contact me!

Megan Healy, MD

Temple EM, Program Director

Founder, Temple Social EM Working Group

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