National Health Corps Pittsburgh Blog

"When I begin to reminisce on my time in National Health Corps, I think back on the AmeriCorps pledge I read out loud on my first day. The same pledge I stare at everyday above my desk. As I read the first line, I think about how my position and other positions in NHC all work to make the people of Pittsburgh safer, smarter, and healthier. Within my position I take on many roles that work towards achieving that goal."
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"As the service year begins to draw to a close, I am left reflecting upon the experiences and growth that this year has given me while still trying to soak up as much as I can in my last two months here. My experiences with the Birmingham Free Clinic have undoubtedly been a catalyst for growth for myself and have pushed me to think, learn, and do things differently each day. I have learned so much about the healthcare system, the people it serves, and the people who slip through its cracks. My understanding of underserved populations has grown ten-fold along with my knowledge of barriers and social determinants of health. My love for public health continues to grow each day, as well."
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"As the service year begins to draw to a close, I am left reflecting upon the experiences and growth that this year has given me while still trying to soak up as much as I can in my last two months here. My experiences with the Birmingham Free Clinic have undoubtedly been a catalyst for growth for myself and have pushed me to think, learn, and do things differently each day. I have learned so much about the healthcare system, the people it serves, and the people who slip through its cracks. My understanding of underserved populations has grown ten-fold along with my knowledge of barriers and social determinants of health. My love for public health continues to grow each day, as well."
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"For many, sexually transmitted infections (STIs) is a term that is important to use instead of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). The idea of an infection is much less scary than that of a disease, and considering how many STIs do not necessarily turn into a disease, many feel that this term is more accurate. There have been numerous times throughout this year where I have met with community members and those in academia to discuss the services offered at Allegheny County Health Department’s STD/HIV Program, and I have been corrected and told that I should be using the term “STI” instead."
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"Overall, these three new initiatives are true testaments to the power of connections and tapping into established networks to reduce barriers to accessing preventative health services. Simple things like obtaining free and easily accessible condoms, clean water, and more time for doctors to listen and patients to feel empowered really go a long way."
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"Over the past few weeks, it has become increasingly difficult to miss news headlines covering the high and rising prices of insulin. It is a point of scrutiny for pharmaceutical companies as many patients with diabetes need daily doses to survive. Yet many of these same patients find themselves in a difficult place: their insurance will partially cover the cost, but they are responsible for covering an often stifling out-of-pocket portion."
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"Because of my AmeriCorps position at the Shadyside Family Health Center, our patients with depression and other mental illnesses receive additional follow-up and support that they wouldn’t otherwise. The patients I connect with gain an additional supportive person on the team to answer questions, help connecting with a behavioral therapist, help scheduling psychiatry appointments, additional treatment recommendations from our psychiatrist, and/or a supportive group environment to learn more about their disease."
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"My experience in Americorps has promoted self growth and aided me in being able to help promote growth in others. Learning my role as a Patient Navigator has enabled me to delve into the myriad of resources that help integrate people into more functional lifestyles. My journey has opened my eyes to the systems put into place to aid those in need of housing, food, transportation services, and care coordination. As someone who is college educated, having an understanding of these systems has helped me to realize how important it is to advertise the systems and the resources they offer further, in order to make sure that people have the necessary tools to sustain healthy lives."
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"I love the Food Bank, and the many different pantries I work with who are meeting urgent needs and helping stabilize communities throughout southwestern Pennsylvania. And, still, my real hope is for the day that every single one of them is obsolete. "
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"At first glance, it may seem like a daunting task to bring public interest to a program, but NHC members have many pillars of support. Through the NHC staff, my fellow team members, and my mentor, we learned to convey the passion that we have for our service in various mediums such as blogs and photos. The NHC team encouraged us to practice our communication skills with each other, and thus we developed the skills to communicate with a wider host of audiences."
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