National Health Corps Philadelphia Blog

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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Teamwork is key, details are important, and managing expectations is essential when trying to motivate people to participate in new experiences or to promote healthy behaviors. Outreach efforts have taught me valuable lessons in effective communication. In addition to administrative skills, I have learned communication skills such as active listening and being flexible.
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One thing AmeriCorps has taught me is that even doing seemingly small things to help people matters.While I may not be able to get a patient who is uninsured their osteoporosis medication for free, I might be able to save them $50-$100 for the year that they might have to pay otherwise.
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According to the Susan G. Komen foundation, black women are 40% more likely to die of breast cancer. This discrepancy mainly comes from the fact that many black women don’t get mammograms until the cancer has progressed to a later stage. Keeping this in mind as I walk into patient rooms keeps me determined to make a difference with the patients at my health center
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Through personal daily contact with patients, I have learned the power of speaking to individuals--not at them-- and listening and responding to their personal needs and concerns. There is nothing more rewarding than sitting down with a patient who may be battling chronic pain or food insecurity, and reassuring them we have programs and resources in place to provide them with support and solutions.
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While the population I serve are primarily residents of West Philadelphia, I do get the chance to interact with patients that have just recently immigrated to Philadelphia. Learning about resources like the Philadelphia Department of Public Health-Health Centers, they come with hopes of being connected to healthcare and social services, where we try to help regardless of insurance status or documentation.
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As a student who studied and researched health and medicine throughout college, I do not find the medical lingo and illnesses foreign as I have become accustomed to the norms and terms. I constantly try to remind myself and not taken aback when someone asks me, “Is a blood sugar of 300 high?” or “I only take my blood pressure medication when I start feeling funny."
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