Notes from the Field: Home Runs and Health with Harlem’s Youth
Dr. Bamidele Olatunbosun is a third-year resident in the Harlem Residency in Family Medicine program, set to graduate this month. As part of his residency training, Dr. Olatunsbosun and a few of his fellow residents assisted local nonprofit, Harlem RBI with health-related intiatives.
Harlem RBI is a year-round youth development program based in East Harlem. Since it was founded in 1991, Harlem RBI has grown to serve more than 1,700 boys and girls, ages 5 -22, annually in both East Harlem and the South Bronx. The organization provides youth with year-round sports, educational and enrichment activities. Harlem RBI opened DREAM Charter School, a K-8 charter school on 101st St and Second Avenue. The facility is state of the art and has the mission of addressing the achievement gap faced by East Harlem children.
I began volunteering with Harlem RBI during my first year of residency. My initial placement was with a local shelter and although I had a great experience there, working with youth in the neighborhood was an attractive opportunity. During my time with Harlem RBI, I was also able to work with my co-residents, Dr. Sergio Guiteau, Dr. Anthony Chu and Dr. Lanre Adedokun. We worked directly with two of Harlem RBI’s great mentors, Kalila Hoggard and Jillian Green. Our first presentation at Harlem RBI was to 25-30 students about knee injuries in baseball. When we shared the stories of famous athletes that had knee related problems, it caught many of the students’ attention. We had great student participation. We were also able to answer questions about what it’s like being young minority doctors in the community. One of the benefits of working with the youth is being a positive role model for them to emulate. We were invited back multiple times to give presentations and younger residents such as Dr. Tamer Kamash and Dr. Alexandra Aarons made much needed contributions. As my time in residency winds down, I hope that the Institute for Family Health continues to build our relationship with Harlem RBI. My time spent working with such an effective community based organization provided great value to my residency experience.