National Health Corps Pittsburgh Blog

"My experience in Americorps has promoted self growth and aided me in being able to help promote growth in others. Learning my role as a Patient Navigator has enabled me to delve into the myriad of resources that help integrate people into more functional lifestyles. My journey has opened my eyes to the systems put into place to aid those in need of housing, food, transportation services, and care coordination. As someone who is college educated, having an understanding of these systems has helped me to realize how important it is to advertise the systems and the resources they offer further, in order to make sure that people have the necessary tools to sustain healthy lives."
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"I love the Food Bank, and the many different pantries I work with who are meeting urgent needs and helping stabilize communities throughout southwestern Pennsylvania. And, still, my real hope is for the day that every single one of them is obsolete. "
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"At first glance, it may seem like a daunting task to bring public interest to a program, but NHC members have many pillars of support. Through the NHC staff, my fellow team members, and my mentor, we learned to convey the passion that we have for our service in various mediums such as blogs and photos. The NHC team encouraged us to practice our communication skills with each other, and thus we developed the skills to communicate with a wider host of audiences."
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"When I first joined National Health Corps, I was excited for the new perspectives and experiences I would be exposed to, but I had no idea the extent of the web work of opportunities that immediately fell into my grasp. As I began to find my interests as I settled here in Pittsburgh, I had the privilege to explore events and organizations that aligned with my career goals, and much to my surprise, plenty that also sparked new interests. National Health Corps has given me everything I sought out for my year of service; direct contact with local communities, an extensive network for professional development, and unending sources of inspiration."
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"Before beginning my term as a National Health Corps Pittsburgh member, I was often asked, 'So, what exactly are you doing this year?' While the details of the daily activities as a Patient Navigator remained cloudy, I felt confident describing my 10 and half month engagement with National Health Corps as a 'service year.' However, throughout the first half of this program, I have realized that working in a health related profession is a life-long continuation of a 'service year'. I have observed this in all aspects of my experience, from the daily work that I do at the Lawrenceville Family Health Center to my community volunteer projects and health education opportunities. I am continuously surrounded by a community of people that have made a commitment to serving others."
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"The age old debate of nature vs. nurture has always been one of interest to me. The basic dilemma that I have continued to deliberate is as follows: Am I shaped by my environment and how I was brought up, or am I a product of a multitude of hereditary factors? Although it is widely accepted that the nature of our beings is an intricate combination of the two, the realization that my “nurture” is often quite different than that of others was something that started to intrigue me."
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"As a Community Health and Prevention Coordinator serving at UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, much of my work revolves around supporting after-school programs on health and wellness initiatives. Specifically, I help implement a national program called Healthy Out-of-School Time (HOST for short) at after-school programs all throughout Allegheny County. The aim of HOST is to provide support to out-of-school time sites so that they can create healthier out-of-school time environments for their kids. Participation in the program is free, which is essential, as the after-school sites I work with are often extremely underfunded and under-resourced."
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"As a Patient Navigator on Squirrel Hill Health Center’s mobile medical unit, I travel to areas of Pittsburgh that are home to some of our city’s most underserved populations. In any given two-week period, we visit two neighborhoods of predominantly Nepali-speaking Bhutanese refugees, two predominantly Spanish-speaking neighborhoods, a behavioral health center, an opioid addiction recovery center, and an old Pittsburgh steel community. Each of these sites is located in an area of the county where access to primary care services is severely limited."
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"One thing that has become progressively evident, is how easy it can be as a healthcare worker, to oversimplify someone else’s barriers to appropriate care. At surface level, it seems easy; if someone does not have insurance, then connect them to insurance, if someone does not have transportation, then give them bus passes. However, while we currently live in a society that values efficiency and clear answers, healthcare is not an area where one size fits all. Serving at Pittsburgh Mercy Family Health Center (PMFHC) has shown me how important it is to work with the patient to find the most comprehensive, patient-centered solution to the barrier, rather than commandeering the situation with a solution you think is the best."
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"In my role as an Outreach Coordinator at Women for a Healthy Environment, I get to facilitate workshops related to lead, asthma, air quality, and the use of personal care and cleaning products, all of which are topics that aren’t the first ones that come to mind when thinking about environmental health. However, these topics are ones that have a bigger effect on us on at an individual level then recycling."
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