Humans of NHC: Melinda Harville
This career path chose me. When I started, I didn’t know there was a name for it. Now, I am a Coordinator for Food Farmacy in Community Health.
Seeing people doing better and living well is a great inspiration to me. People generally don’t understand or create healthy lifestyle habits until they have already gotten sick. I take pride in providing preventative measures so that people I care for can change their way of life early on.
I realized this profession was for me when I became a community health worker. People I serve always come back to my Food Farmacies. They appreciate the work my team and I do to ensure they have access to fresh fruits and vegetables. To further my education and career, I am going to be earning a Master’s in Public Health this year.
This position comes with challenges. Funding is a big one. I want to be able to provide things for everyone in need. It's frustrating to want to help everyone when I can't. Sometimes you have to work with others who just do not see your vision. When this happens, I take a step back and realize that the work I do is worth it because the people that I can help greatly appreciate it. They tell me that my Food Farmacies are making a difference in their diet. Their blood sugar levels are decreasing. They’re losing weight. Their diets and health conditions are improving.
I have plans to expand the Food Farmacy program to all 3 southern region Advocate Hospitals. I want to offer healthy meal preparation and food storage workshops for participants. I see my vision, and I can't wait to bring it to life.
Lead Community Health Worker and Food Farmacy Coordinator