Sheri Chen


Traineeship Year:


The main reason I wanted to participate in the PPC traineeship program was to gain a better understanding of pediatric nutrition in the clinical setting. Additionally, I had no prior experience working in the area of maternal and child health. The clinical and social experience far exceeded my expectations as I had the opportunity to gain experience working with both pediatric and adult patients in the CF clinic on an interdisciplinary team. Along with CF clinic, there were other experiences that provided exposure to maternal and child health. I had the opportunity to visit the border in Nogales, Sonora. This experience was meant to provide context for issues around the health disparities on the border. Prior to this trip, I had been to Nogales once but never learned or saw the developing areas and communities. The tour showed some US and Mexican government agencies, as well as non-profit organizations providing support to the migrants. Nogales is a rising city and more opportunities are becoming available for its residents. This experience has raised so much awareness for me that the Nogales community experiences such struggles and dangers, yet they don’t let that bring them down and they are continuing to strive for a healthier and stable lifestyle. Another experience I’m grateful to be a part of was attending the Annual PPC Meeting in Washington D.C. During this meeting, there were many discussions on how to network with other trainees, former trainees, and other PPC programs throughout the country. This meeting really tied together my experience and significance being part of the PPC community. I learned a lot about the funding and background from the MCH and how other centers ran their program. It was interesting to have all the centers come together and discuss their passion for working in family centered care. Everyone who attended was very committed to the PPC and I felt inspired and motivated to raise awareness for this hidden gem of the PPC. I hope to use this experience as I become a registered dietitian (RD). I’ve been fortunate enough to work closely with the RD’s in both pediatric and adult CF clinic and experience their role on an interdisciplinary team. Much of what I learned in the traineeship program seems like it would be part of any pre-health curriculum. My goal is to take the skills I’ve learned in family centered care and continue to grow and implement them in my practice as I become an RD. Overall, I have grown tremendously personally and professionally throughout this traineeship program. I have a better understanding of maternal and child health and pulmonary disorders. I am so glad to have been part of this program and hope to stay connected in the future.