Rebecca Ratusnik

"I hope to gain the skills and real-life experience that will enable me to better serve my future patients with compassion and understanding of their diverse backgrounds and determinants of health"

Hometown: Winter Park, FL

Educational background: Bachelor’s Degree in Biochemistry from Smith College

Host Site: UF Health - Healthy Start

What is your title and role at your host site?
I am excited to be serving as a Women’s Services Outreach Associate at UF Health - Healthy Start. I will be serving with the team at UF Health to improve pregnancy outcomes and increase healthcare access for pregnant mothers and their babies by helping women navigate the resources available for prenatal and postpartum care, aiding in enrollment in several initiatives, conducting health screenings, and providing health education on healthy pregnancy-related topics.

Why did you join the National Health Corps Florida AmeriCorps program?
As someone who aspires to enter the healthcare field, I think it is incredibly important to understand both the successes and challenges of providing healthcare and public health services within our communities. NHC was a perfect fit for my love of volunteering and interest in gaining experience in public health and patient care, and offered a mission of learning by serving that was inspiring to me.

What are you hoping to gain from your year of service?
I hope to gain the skills and real-life experience that will enable me to better serve my future patients with compassion and understanding of their diverse backgrounds and determinants of health. As an NHC member, I hope to learn how to navigate the healthcare field and advocate for increased healthcare access and education for those underserved, and to carry this knowledge and passion into the community. I hope to grow both professionally and personally by encountering challenges and working collaboratively and creatively to solve them in the coming year, and in my future.

What are your plans after AmeriCorps service?
I would like to attend medical school to earn an MD, and possibly an MPH as well. I plan on making the health and wellness of women and children the focus of my career.

Where do you envision yourself in 5 years?
I hope to be beginning a residency in Pediatrics or Obstetrics/Gynecology.  I also hope to make increasing access to health services and community outreach work a large part of my future practice in these fields.
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