National Health Corps Philadelphia Blog

The role has been defined and fine tuned by the numerous Patient Advocates in the service years before mine, and for most of my service term I felt fairly comfortable in my role. I knew the assistance programs well and felt confident in my ability to advocate for my patients in order to get them their needed medications at an affordable cost. I felt good about where I was and the service that I was doing. Insert a pandemic.
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There have been so many stories along the way of how partnerships such as this one, in which both sides have only the best for those they serve in mind, can bring joy, confidence, calmness to those in our community who may not otherwise find it in a dentist’s office.
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My service term has provided me with the opportunity to directly support community members and organizations within school-based health centers (SBHCs) and more volunteer settings. One of the most impactful experiences from the very beginning of my service in one of the SBHCs has been witnessing the interactions between the school nurses I serve beside and the scholars and families we support.
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And while I continue to work through the tough emotions that inevitably surface, I now focus more on the resilience and strength of these individuals ... Now when I communicate with my clients, I strive to actively listen and discuss their health without judgement and assumptions. I try to enter conversations prepared to tackle questions and misunderstandings, and share tools and resources, with the goal of giving back autonomy and empowering my families to access and navigate their own health care here in Philadelphia
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