Wesley Ha

National Health Corps is a great way to get involved with public health. Ever since I committed to working with patient populations, it has become clear to me with every experience that public health and clinical medicine is inseparable.

Hometown: Greenwich, CT
 
Educational background:
BA in Political Science from Binghamton University (SUNY)
MS in Physiology & Biophysics from Georgetown University
 
Host Site: Clay Behavioral Health Center
 
What is your title and role at your host site?
I will be serving as a care coordinator. I will be screening patients for mental illness/substance abuse, taking vitals, screening for health insurance, providing information about our programs, assisting in facilitating evidence based programs, and helping develop these programs. I will be working to help promote healthy living within Clay County. Our mission is to contribute towards primary prevention, prevent the onset of chronic illnesses, and improve the overall quality of life for community members through our programs.

Why did you join the National Health Corps Florida AmeriCorps program?
National Health Corps is a great way to get involved with public health. Ever since I committed to working with patient populations, it has become clear to me with every experience that public health and clinical medicine is inseparable. Working with patients in my local community as an Emergency Department scribe illuminated the disparities in healthcare that exist, vulnerable demographics/patient populations, and the many contexts associated with the onset of chronic illnesses. In graduate school, I was taught the importance of holistic medicine or curing the person as a whole. Through my experiences, I have interpreted this Jesuit notion of holistic care as combining an understanding of social causes of disease with compassionate care. These past few years, I have been traveling and gathering experiences in different parts of the world in service to different communities. I am excited to be back in the United States and look forward to helping the communities in Northern Florida!
 
What are you hoping to gain from your year of service?
I want to learn about health care short comings through public health work. I want to better understand how public health efforts can help alleviate some of the disparities in health care quality and service availability. I am hoping that these experiences will help me understand in greater depth my role as a future clinician particularly in what I can do in advocating for my patients beyond what is limited to bedside care. I think it is wonderful that there are so many options and services available to people, particularly for those that are uninsured.
 
What are your plans after AmeriCorps service?
I plan to matriculate into medical school and continue working with patient populations.
 
Where do you envision yourself in 5 years?
I am hoping I can use the skills I have acquired through education and the insight I have acquired through my experiences to deliver compassionate care to patients.