National Health Corps Pittsburgh Blog

"This is a short example of learning from the bottom up about the systemic inequalities which exist in our healthcare system. It takes much longer than an hour to build a relationship with a patient who has a barrier built on a long history of macro and microaggressions which led to this point. Being an NHC member gives you privileges not available to clinicians with even the purest of motives, such as spending long amounts of time with patients."
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"You see, when public health is working you don’t actually see it, in my opinion, making it hard for people to pay close attention. Today, everyone around the world can see public health. During this pandemic, we have learned terms “social distancing” and “flatten the curve”—part of the public health magic."
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"By staying inside, I’m limiting the contact they have with others and lower their risk of getting sick. By staying inside, I’m able to talk to patients on the phone to ease their frustrations and anxieties surrounding the whole situation. By staying inside, I’m keeping myself safe so that I can continue to serve my patients."
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"However, you don’t need to go to the internet to see the positivity and support. Here in Pittsburgh, numerous organizations and businesses are attempting to alleviate the great strain that this pandemic is putting on many of our neighbors."
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"To me, Paige is a reminder of many things: that the barriers to good health that individuals face are real and damaging and constantly reinforced by society and those in power, that organizations like Birmingham, and the rest of the NHC host sites, although they are underfunded and understaffed, can provide people with small but effective ways to overcome these barriers, and that resilience, kindness, and optimism, although they may be at times hard to find, are what we need most."
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"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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