A Student Perspective: Jeannette Taylor

January 29, 2015

This past month, we rang in the New Year here at Health Partners Free Clinic with the assistance of ONU Doctor of Pharmacy Candidate, Jeannette.  Like many students before her, Jeannette entered our doors with a list of assumptions about a free clinic.  Some were good, but most were bad.  Lucky for us, Jeannette kept an open mind and began singing a different tune before the end of January.  She speaks to her experience below:


Before arriving to Health Partners, I was expecting an inefficient government run agency with ungrateful patients. After spending just a few short weeks at Health Partners, I understand that it takes the whole community for a clinic like Health Partners to thrive.  Personal and business donations as well as grants fund this organization, and it is overseen by a board of trustees, all helping to smooth facility function.

There are several important aspects to making a site like this operate.  Of course, money is the root of all organizations.  Thankfully, monetary donations and grants provide an outlet for a facility like this to exist.  Beyond monetary aspects, the volunteers are an imperative part of this organization.  From nurses, to clerks, to phlebotomists, volunteers do a thankless amount of work every day at the Clinic.  It is inspiring to see how many people in the community are willing to donate their time regularly to this cause. Each of these people provide a unique role and are committed to helping patients.  Together with HPFC’s employees, the dynamic expressed here creates a desirable realm in which to work.

The environment created by the workers at the Clinic are of mutual respect and understanding. Working closely with these volunteers and employees has shown an aspect of healthcare that is missing in many facilities – patient care centered models.  Many locations say that their focus is the patient, but the health care providers don’t work together.  The hierarchy of many providers precedes the patient focus.  At Health Partners, I was overwhelmingly blessed to be a part of such an amazing group of people who worked together with a common goal. When the patient is truly the focus of the organization, it’s amazing what can be accomplished.

Not only is continuity of care offered by having regular providers offer hours at the Clinic, but a variety of services are offered here to help patients. There are nursing visits to educate patients about certain disease states, phlebotomy appointments to draw blood for diagnostic tests, and even staff available to talk about insurance options. There are also many behind-the-scene workers here helping with prescription assistance programs, technical support, scheduling, and other daily tasks which are often overlooked. It takes hard work from everyone in the facility to make this clinic run smoothly everyday.

Spending time at Health Partners has been a truly humbling experience.  Some of the basic aspects of life I take for granted are wavering for people in my own community. Listening to a patient’s story can benefit their care in countless ways, and it is up to their healthcare providers to uncover any limitations a patient might have from receiving the best care available. The Health Partners model of patient care makes that possible.