National Health Corps Pittsburgh Blog

"A lot of my time this service year has been spent thinking about questions like these. For instance, partaking in this AmeriCorps service year is an experience that lends itself only to candidates who are privileged enough to either have the savings or help to live on a governmental stipend. My fellow members and I talked briefly about this during our training, but this is something I’ve grappled with since."
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"Being in National Health Corps, it came as no surprise to me that all our members shared my compassion for vulnerable populations and were determined to find solutions to empower individuals and communities to improve health outcomes. What has really stood out to me, however, is just how much heart they have put into their service."
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"Although I still don’t know what I’ll be doing post-NHC, I think about how lucky I am to do impactful community-based work that I never would have envisioned myself doing a few years ago. I never thought I’d want to work in schools, and now doing health presentations in schools is one of my favorite parts of my position. That’s the beauty of National Health Corps- I’ve surprised myself in learning what I want in a career, don’t want, and areas I want to continue pursuing work in."
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"Even as a woman of color, I do not have the same life experiences as my patients. However, I want to learn more to serve them to the best of my ability and help change the detrimental statistics in maternal and child health. I want to do this by attending monthly talks regarding healthcare or cultural events around Pittsburgh where I will be able to interact with different communities in my area."
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"That is when it dawned on me that some people may not even attempt to navigate the health care system. Whether they feel it is a language barrier or patients do not know what to ask or who to call, all patients deserve access to healthcare services. The unique positions at SHHC have made me realize the necessity in offering patients the option of having someone schedule their appointments to improve their access to specialty services. "
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One thing that I really admire about the center that I serve in is that no matter what a patient’s immigration, insurance, or financial status is, that patient will be served. Many patients have called the center concerned about their immigration status and worried that they would not be able to come in for an appointment. However, I have always been elated to inform them that all health services are available to them at the center despite their lack of insurance.
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"When people think of healthcare, the most obvious examples given are the physician, the nurse, or the hospital. However, healthcare is much more than that. In the arena of healthcare and public health, there lies a web of clinicians, community organizations, support services and more that strengthen the connection between the healthcare providers and the populations they serve."
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"My first couple of months serving at BH Medical Respite were especially important because I learnt what it meant to meet clients where they are and the importance of empowerment. I am incredibly thankful for the BH Medical Respite team in showing me how to provide holistic, patient centered care with the homeless population."
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"Why do people volunteer? When asked this question, I think most people would answer with something along the lines of, “Because it feels good to help others.” But where does this “good” feeling come from? Is it because it truly feels good to know you are helping make someone’s life better or meeting a need in an underserved community? Or, is it because volunteering allows us to absolve ourselves of some of the guilt we feel for being more privileged than others?"
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"When I look back at myself as a brand new AmeriCorps member during PSO, I am struck by how formative this year has been for me. I knew that time in National Health Corps was likely to be impactful, but I never expected to learn and evolve as much as I have. Rather than this happening through distinct, dramatic moments, I think that I have learned the most through my small, day-to-day tasks and interactions at my host site."
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