As a lifelong student, I felt compelled to find solutions to the theoretical problems I’ve been learning about in the classroom for the past several years. As a young professional, I’ve been searching for a career that allows me to contribute to a scope much larger than myself. I chose to serve with the National Health Corps Pittsburgh to guide my interests, build a network, and improve the care of underserved communities. In my short term so far, I realize I have stumbled upon so much more. I have found inspiration in a team of compassionate, hard-working, and determined individuals both in my fellow Corps members and my healthcare team at my host site, Primary Care Health Services.
As a Michigan native, my move to Pittsburgh has been a bigger shock to my system than I anticipated. Luckily, almost everyone in our Corps was going through similar adjustments and the support has been unwavering. At the University of Michigan, the block “M” is a source of great pride. As a student, my heart would swell anytime I entered the stadium on game day or got a random wave from a fellow alum at any international airport. Now, that feeling is replicated when I wear my AmeriCorps “A”. I am now part of an entity of more than one million members that have assisted millions of Americans since 1994. There is a powerful unity amongst my Corps, but I am also proud to serve with a national community under one mission.
At my site, it was difficult not to be overwhelmed with the amount of information, responsibilities, and new faces. I have been incredibly fortunate that the previous Corps member from my host site is still a part of the healthcare team, as she has been extremely patient and kind to help me gracefully transition into my role as a Health Educator. I have witnessed the many working pieces it requires to provide holistic care to the wide reach of patients at Primary Care Health Services. The nine satellite sites consist of social workers, therapists, care managers, nurses, medical assistants and office managers who go above and beyond for their patients every day, providing a vast amount of services and care with limited time. The welcoming providers have taken the time to educate and orient me despite their busy schedules. I contribute by providing chronic hypertensive and diabetic patients with resources, information, and support. I will lead a Healthy Lifestyle Program with group exercise classes, nutrition workshops, and progress tracking. Most importantly, I hope to provide these patients with a network of support to maintain healthy lifestyles. From my time as a National Health Corps member, I have experienced how effective and influential that support can truly be.
This post was written by NPHC member Sirisha Pasupuleti.
Sirisha serves at Primary Care Health Services, Inc. as a Health Educator.