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Free Clinic Student Perspective: Lauren

June 1, 2021

Lauren, our May pharmacy extern from Cedarville University, started her nine one-month rotation schedule as a part of her final year of school, with us here at Health Partners Free Clinic.  Though we ask that students be open to the needs of our patients, many have no clue what that truly mean.  Clearly, Lauren got it and shares her thoughts about a month spent at a free clinic in this month’s Student Perspective:

Say yes as many times as you can. That is what I heard at the free clinic. Nobody is turned away for inability to pay and nobody is turned away for what they present for. You never hear the word no. Which shows the love and support the entire staff has to the community. You hear so many other organizations say no, especially to the uninsured or underinsured, but here at Health Partners they invite these people in with open arms. My month here has taught me that everyone deserves a chance. Everyone deserves to be heard and treated fairly.

Understanding the social needs of every patient not only helped me better understand the needs of the patients, but also helped me develop a relationship with them. Even though I only saw them once, maybe twice not a single patient had the same needs. Social determinants of health are thrown around many times in the clinic. Their goal is to have holistic healthcare, which allows the patient to have access to many necessities in one place. Being able to apply for insurance, have access to food, and access to healthcare in one place is awesome especially for people who have issues with transportation or finding these resources.

The interactions between the office staff, clinical staff, and the patients was so educational. Not only did I learn how open the staff was, but also how family friendly they are. Everyone welcomes you with open arms and answers any questions that you may have. They genuinely care about my future and want to see me succeed.