News

Student Perspective: Becca and Chuck

October 27, 2016

Former U.S. House of Representatives member and Chief of the World Food Program, Tony Hall spoke last year about his time in office during the 25th anniversary banquet for Partners in Hope.  During this talk, he highlighted his first encounter with Mother Teresa.  Tony didn’t fathom that he would even get to talk with her during this trip but, in a moment he had come face-to-face with the woman that would eventually be known as a Saint.  She grabbed his hand, and pulling down a finger with each word she simply said, “for the least of these”.  That’s all she needed to say.  

This past month, the Clinic had the pleasure of hosting two pharmacy externs, Chuck and Becca who received a 30-day lesson on what St. Teresa instructed Rep. Hall.  They were open to each and every interaction, and truly stretched themselves to meet our patients where they were.  We at Health Partners are proud of their actions over this month and have looked forward to reading their Student Perspective:    

Becca  chuck-becca

Working with underserved populations has been a passion of mine since the start of pharmacy school, and I enjoyed the opportunity to be a part of what Health Partners is doing in the community and what they stand for. They genuinely care for each patient that walks through their doors. They work to learn where that person has come from and what they have been through so that they can better treat them holistically. They care about their physical, spiritual, and emotional health. They connect each patient with resources that are specifically helpful to their circumstance so that they can move forward. I recall Justin, the director, talking about Health Partners and he mentioned that it is a goal of the clinic to no longer be needed in the community. It sounds crazy, but the true heart of the people there is to take in people who have found themselves in an unfortunate circumstance and be a support. They give them what they need to get back on their feet. While the goal of the clinic may be to run out of business, it is quite obvious that there will always be people in need of their services due to the fact that we live in a fallen and imperfect world.

This need may not be so clear to middle to upper class Americans who are comfortable. I know for a long time that I didn’t think there was much need in our own country; or I thought that the reason people were in need was due to their own laziness. As I have gotten more involved in serving underserved populations, I have seen how many people are in great need of medical assistance. More than I ever imaged, and a different population than I had previously thought. My experience here at Health Partners has reinforced this changing perspective I have had over the past few months and years. There was a couple that came into the clinic who were originally from another country. We learned that whenever they are in need of serious medical care, they fly back to their original home because it is cheaper for them to buy plane tickets than it is to afford medical care. Another gentleman came as a small business owner. My time here at Health Partners has shown me that the people that are in need of the services at Health Partners are not far away from me. They are hard-working people. They are neighbors, people at church, and many people I come into contact with daily.

The main reason I chose to pursue a career in pharmacy was the door this service offers to help people who are in need. I discovered this on a missions trip I was a part of in high school that significantly impacted my perspective. It is easy to see the dire need for medical care in the third world countries, but we so often forget that right here in our own backyard are neighbors struggling to make ends meet. It amazes me that we will get on a plane and travel around the globe to provide basic services to those populations, but we can easily walk past someone asking for money on the side of the road in a close city without a second thought. We are callused from this idea that people who struggle in America are lazy and live off of hand-outs. We think that because we are better off than other countries that we don’t have to be concerned with this problem. If you have ever had this thought I urge you to come and see what Health Partners Free Clinic is doing here in Troy.

One of my favorite bible verses in James 1:27 “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” While not all the patients here are orphans and widows, the concept here is to take care of those who have no one else to take care of them. This is exactly what Health Partners strives to do and was an encouragement and a blessing for me to be involved in. By taking a part of this mission, we keep ourselves from being polluted by the misconceptions of the public regarding issues of the underserved populations and we are able to better love them as God has called us.

Chuck

Health Partners Free Clinic is an incredible gift to the residents of Miami County. They provide first-class care while giving back to a community of need. I have been able to experience not only great healthcare, but also a genuine desire to make a difference in the lives of the patients during my time here.

My month at Health Partners was an absolutely incredible experience.  The interactions I made, and skills I acquired will help me to become a better pharmacist and a better person for the rest of my life. Throughout the month, I had the opportunity to interact with many different patients and healthcare professionals who each had a different background and story. Each patient who walked through the door had a unique situation, and I was able to assist in providing high-quality care and offering them piece of mind regarding their medical conditions.  I learned that life can look very different to each patient, and that everyone needs to be treated with the same respect and level of care. Some patients just need to be counseled on their medications, while others need someone to take their hand and tell them it’s going to be okay.

I wanted to join the healthcare profession because I wanted to help people, while making a genuine positive impact on their lives.  This rotation, and the staff at the clinic allowed me to do this and reminded me why I love what I do.

The staff at Health Partners Free Clinic made coming to work each day even more enjoyable.  I was often reminded of Matthew 25:40: “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’”

The volunteers and staff at Health Partners exemplify this verse each and every day. They selflessly give their time in the name of the Lord and they would do anything to help our patients. They look beyond the financial implications of our patients and treat them based on what their needs are regardless of their circumstances. These are the type of people I hope to emulate in my career, and it has been a tremendous honor working with them for the past month.

During my short time at the Clinic, I was able to form relationships with several different patients. Everyone I interacted with was willing to listen and eager to learn. They were truly appreciative of our care, which made everything worth it. The patients I worked with were truly great people who wanted to improve their lives and weren’t afraid to ask for help. The courage and respect that these patients showed gave me a desire to work even harder for them, and put a fire in my heart to do even more for the community.

I have learned that being a pharmacist is so much more than medication counseling and recommendations. Being a pharmacist means being available to help patients no matter where they come from or what their needs are. It means giving back and taking the time to understand each patient’s situation. It means doing everything possible to improve their life and making lifelong connections.  This is what happened at Health Partners Free Clinic and I am blessed to have had the opportunity to spend time with them.