Anna Dowling

"The National Health Corps provided me with the opportunity to serve directly with patients while meeting other volunteers with similar passions."

Hometown: Atlanta, GA

Educational background: Bachelor of Arts from Pomona College in Molecular Biology

Host Site: Starting Point Behavioral Health

What is your title and role at your host site?
I will work as Health and Wellness Coordinator at Starting Point Behavioral Health, a not-for-profitmental health agency that serves community members suffering from mental health and/or substance use problems. I will provide mental health screening and assessment and plan outreach activities to increase patient engagement. I will also develop and lead health and wellness education programs for the organization.

Why did you join the National Health Corps Florida AmeriCorps program?
I always planned to spend a year serving my community after finishing college. As a pre-med student, I became particularly interested in working to combat the persistent, stigmatized health issues such as obesity, mental illness, and addiction that often plague underserved populations. The National Health
Corps provided me with the opportunity to serve directly with patients while meeting other volunteers with similar passions. I wanted to work in a large, diverse city similar to my hometown, Atlanta, so NHC Florida jumped out to me as the ideal organization to join.
      
What are you hoping to gain from your year of service?
I hope to become more comfortable speaking to patients and working with other healthcare providers. I would like to develop a better idea of how to improve the healthcare system at the community and
national levels. I hope to communicate with and understand a variety of individuals very different from myself, and I want to earn the trust of my patients and fellow healthcare providers.

What are your plans after AmeriCorps service?
I hope to enroll in medical school for allopathic medicine.

Where do you envision yourself in 5 years?
I plan to finish medical school and begin working in internal medicine or emergency medicine. I hope to maintain connections with fellow National Health Corps members and to continue discussing our role in reducing healthcare disparities.

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