Hometown: Hampton, VA
B.S. in Psychology (concentration in Neuroscience), minors in Biology and Healthcare Studies, from the University of Richmond in Richmond, VA
Barnabas Health Services
What is your title and role at your host site?
I’ll be serving as the Care Coordinator at Barnabas Health Clinic in Fernandina Beach, FL. Barnabas serves individuals in Nassau County that are 200% below the poverty line by providing a variety of health services, including medical and dental care, behavioral healthcare, crisis assistance, and a food pantry. My role is to meet with patients in our primary care program and provide them with discharge planning education and follow up care after meeting the providers. I also complete and track specialty care referrals, and provide education materials for the primary care patients.
Why did you join the National Health Corps Florida AmeriCorps program?
In college, I learned a lot about the many components to providing quality, effective healthcare and ensuring overall patient health that a healthcare provider is unable to address in their office. I was immediately drawn to National Health Corps Florida because I saw that the positions that the members hold really work to fill that gap. I wanted to gain more life experience, and get more exposure to the lived experiences of a variety of different communities and demographics. My original goal was to stay in the Northeast, closer to home, but after talking with past members and host site mentors of the Florida program, I knew that NHC Florida was a great opportunity for friendships, personal growth and challenge that I could not pass up.
What are you hoping to gain from your year of service?
Over the next year, I want to gain as much experience as I can learning about these communities, interacting with individuals and helping others fulfill their health needs. Behavioral and mental health is also very important to me, and I want to gain a better understanding of an individual’s experiences with these, as well as treatment. From there, I can come to understand what my contribution will be--how I can be of greatest service to them, and hopefully translate that to my future patients. I know that it will take time and much more experience to be able to improve healthcare access and quality to underserved communities than just this one year of service, but I hope that this will be a good starting point. I am also looking forward to making strong friendships with my fellow corps members, and experiencing a lot of personal growth.
What are your plans after AmeriCorps service?
I hope to start medical school, specifically in a primary care-track program. Public health is also an invaluable field that I really want to delve deeper into so, if I could, I would also love the opportunity to gain my Masters in Public Health in addition to my medical degree.
Where do you envision yourself in 5 years?
As of right now, hopefully, I’ll be graduating from medical school and headed into residency/doing a few years of service in an underserved area. But, who knows? The future is open—I’ll go wherever I am guided. Also, I really hope to have a dog. Or a hedgehog.