Benjamin Borgert

"I am hoping first and foremost to positively impact the community in Jacksonville"

Hometown: Gainesville, FL

Educational background: B.A. Chemistry, Virginia Tech

Host Site: Sulzbacher Medical Center

What is your title and role at your host site?
I will be the Patient Navigator at Sulzbacher Health Center, where I will be serving primarily with the Patient Assistance Program.  This program allows for access to free medication for patients who desperately need assistance with prevention of chronic diseases.   I will be assisting in the application process through patient screenings and completion of the required documentation.  I will also be responsible for leading Life Skills Classes as well as Tobacco Cessation Classes.
Why did you join the National Health Corps Florida AmeriCorps program?
I have been blessed in a myriad of ways, and I would consider one of my biggest blessings the opportunity to be a student athlete at Virginia Tech.  As an athlete, I was encouraged to stay at school during the summer in order to train.  During those summers I also enrolled in classes, and as a result of my summer classes, was able to graduate a year early.  I feel like I have been blessed with an extra year to pursue passions of mine.  AmeriCorps and the NHC provide an opportunity for me to grow personally, as well as be exposed to the challenges associated with community health, which is something I am deeply passionate about.  I believe my experience with the NHC will provide me with insight I will employ for the rest of my life. 
What are you hoping to gain from your year of service?
I am hoping first and foremost to positively impact the community in Jacksonville, but also to learn as much as I can from my time with the NHC.  I believe a year of service with Americorps and the National Health Corps lends a unique opportunity to gain perspective.  I would argue that most pursuing a career in healthcare have served their community in one form or fashion, but to spend an entire year immersed one community learning about the specific healthcare disparities and where improvements in our current system must be made is truly unique. Outside of my service with the NHC I am hoping to meet new people and learn what has drawn them to this program and understand what drives them to serve in our healthcare system.
What are your plans after AmeriCorps service?
My plan is to become a physician, and use this platform to spread information about prevention of chronic diseases, and healthy lifestyle choices.  I would also like to serve overseas in a developing country for at least some period of time. 
Where do you envision yourself in 5 years?
In five years I hope I will be finishing up medical school, preparing for my board certification exams, and preparing for my upcoming residencies.  I hope to maintain a healthy lifestyle, and begin plans for how I can promote healthy lifestyle choices on a larger scale.  Outside of those things, I am unsure what my life will look like, or how I want it to look, but as long as that foundation is solid, I will be in a good place.
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