Michael ZhuBack to Member List

Michael Zhu is standing in the center of the frame, smiling at the camera, with his right arm crossed over his left. He is wearing a black blazer over a grey shirt, yellow tie, and white pants. Behind him is a tree and shrubs.



Position Title:

Opioid Use Disorder Care Coordinator

Where are you from?

Seneca, South Carolina

Why did you decide to join NHC?

This past year, I’ve been working at an ophthalmology clinic. While it was a joy getting to know patients, seeing the gaps in care has been striking. People would defer vision-sustaining treatments due to cost and have problems that extended beyond a single treatment. These situations left me deeply concerned and wondering what more I could do. More than ever, a whole-person approach to care is necessary to engage with the complexity of the human experience. As a result, I applied to NHC to find different ways I can engage with patients and hopefully provide meaningful ways people can work towards health.

What are you hoping to gain or learn during your service term?

I studied in Denmark to learn about different healthcare models. In doing so, I met people with mental health problems and saw the intersections of addiction, homelessness, stigma, and more. It struck a chord as one of my best friends in high school grappled with depression and addiction. He struggled with finding the right balance of medications and felt like a lost cause. How could I help him more than as a friend I thought? As a care coordinator for people with substance and opioid use disorders, I want to find answers to questions like these. I hope to learn more about health inequity and develop actionable skills in addressing social determinants of health.

What are you most looking forward to during your service term?

I’m excited to make new friends with people who are striving to make the world a better place and believe change is possible. I look forward to building connections with patients and exploring all that San Francisco has to offer.