HomeStudentsADHCE Student Scholarships ADHCE Scholarships 2018-2021


For 2000-2021, The Alliance awarded two scholarships, both projects were presented at our June 3, 2021 Annual Meeting.

One scholarship was awarded to a group of students at Harvard University for their project:
“Interdisciplinary development of a guidebook for clinical trainees to optimize care for patients with disabilities project”.

Ethiopia Getachew (1st year Harvard Medical School [HMS] student), Camille Herzog (3rd year Harvard School of Dental Medicine [HSDM] student), and Claire Rushin (1st year HMS student) reviewed the existing literature, interview healthcare professionals, and conducted needs assessments with people with disabilities.

Wunghee “Christina” Lee (2nd year Doctor of Physical Therapy student at the Massachusetts General Hospital Institute for Health Professions) compiled best practices within physical therapy and advised the medical and dental students.

Dorothy Tolchin, MD, EdM (Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Harvard Medical School) provided expert guidance and review of materials, connected the developers with individuals living with disabilities and experts in the field of disability, and oversaw the completion of the project.

“At Harvard Medical School (HMS) and Harvard School of Dental Medicine (HSDM), through the efforts of the Disabilities in Medicine and Dentistry Working Group, we have developed a longitudinal disability curricular thread with multiple touchpoints integrated into the preexisting medical and dental school curricula. These efforts have begun to equip future physicians and dentists to reduce healthcare disparities experienced by people with disabilities, and to foster provision of high-quality care to all patients regardless of disability status. Several sessions and modules have been introduced to educate students about key disability concepts and skills; however, many of our peers have expressed need for more guidance in constructing an inclusive clinical environment that adapts to and satisfies the care needs of patients with disabilities. Specifically, students have felt unprepared to modify the standardized physical exam sequence for patients with varying degrees of physical, intellectual, and sensory functioning… We aim to create a guidebook for adapting the physical exam to accompany clinical students as they learn to navigate encounters with patients with disabilities. The guidebook will emphasize a patient-centered approach to clinical interactions and include directions on how to maintain patient comfort and ensure the highest standard of care during a comprehensive physical exam. The content will be informed by multiple stakeholders, including patients and inter-professional clinicians, and developed by an interdisciplinary team of students. Use of equipment, adaptation of common medical and dental exam maneuvers, and communication techniques will be emphasized.

The second scholarship was awarded to Carol Adams, a PhD student at Duquesne University for her “Nurses’ Self-Perceptions of Competence in Identifying, Assessing, and Reporting Sexual Violence in Adults with Intellectual Disabilities: A Grounded Theory Study”.

Here is a brief explanation:

“Individuals with ID are sexually assaulted at a rate more than seven times higher than the rate for persons with no disabilities.  Underreporting, both by self-report and health provider report, is a significant problem for adults with ID who have experience sexual violence.  Nurses caring for individuals with ID are ideally positioned to alleviate barriers and act as facilitators to improve treatment of individuals with ID who have experienced sexual violence.  This study seeks to discover nurses’ understanding of their competencies in caring for and managing cases of sexual violence in adults with ID.”

        About the association

        The Alliance for Disability in Health Care Education, Inc. (ADHCE), is a “501 (c) (3) Public Charity”  organization of healthcare educators and professionals who are working to integrate disability-related content and experiences into healthcare education and training programs.

        Copyright ©2023 Alliance for Disability in Health Care Education.


        General Inquiries:  Rebecca Kronk
        Membership Dues / Donations:  Andrew Symons

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