Lillian Ruiz Romero


Traineeship Year:


The social work traineeship at the University of Arizona Pediatric Pulmonary Center (PPC) far exceeded my expectations. I gained so much from my experience in this program both personally and professionally. The curriculum for the PPC traineeship was extensive with emphasis in clinical and didactic learning. As trainees, we were also able to take advantage of many opportunities beyond the core coursework. During my traineeship, I completed a weekly lecture series on topics in pediatric pulmonary care, visited a number of organizations in the community serving the MCH population, participated in trainings on cultural competence and ethics, met with local and state elected officials, completed a patient case study and home visit, and conducted a regional needs assessment. I also presented at two national conferences, took part in leadership training and conflict resolution workshops, collaborated on projects involving family-centered care and mental health screening for cystic fibrosis patients and their caregivers, and helped host a number of community training events. At clinics serving pediatric patients with cystic fibrosis and severe asthma, I engaged in interdisciplinary team meetings and completed patient assessments and medical notes. I also observed sleep, vent, allergy, neuromuscular disease, and adult cystic fibrosis clinics. The PPC traineeship was rigorous and challenged me in many ways. I learned a great deal about working effectively with others and in the wider community. I also learned about myself and how my personality and values impact the work I do. My professional skills also improved considerably during my time in the traineeship. Most importantly, I learned what leadership is about and that I am capable of making a meaningful contribution to the field of maternal and child health. Now that I have finished the PPC traineeship, I am excited for what is next. Already, this experience has led to a new opportunity in maternal and child health that involves both direct care and systems work. In whatever I do from here on out, I hope to remain connected to the MCH network and continue building on the great foundation the traineeship gave me.