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Student Perspective: Bret

February 28, 2020

Have you ever had one of those moments in your life or career where you experience or see something that just cannot be “unseen”.  A moment that sticks with you and forever changes the trajectory of your life.  Well, that is the kind of moment we hope to inspire in the lives of the students that spend a little time with us here at the Clinic.  Bret, our February pharmacy extern, is no exception and he shares with us here his Perspective of a month spent at HPFC:

My time spent at Health Partners Free Clinic has been a truly humbling and eye- opening experience, to say the absolute least. The impact on my life from my short time with this great organization is immeasurable. The exposure Health Partners provided me to the various opportunities that are available for helping those in need will have a lasting effect on me as a pharmacist as well as a member of the community.  The services and resources offered by the great employees and volunteer staff at Health Partners are unmatched by any prior experience of my life thus far. The word “free” was seemingly not present in my healthcare vocabulary until this life changing experience came before me.

Health Partners showed me that it is not only possible, but it is imperative to offer and give care to those who may find themselves in desperate situations while falling through the cracks of the healthcare system. The concept of caring for those less fortunate is the reason behind every minute of the daily workflow at Health Partners. I enjoyed coming in every day throughout the month of February to work with such a caring staff that went well above and beyond to help others in need.

I was able to grow as a healthcare professional tremendously while at Health Partners providing care to others in a space essentially free of financial worry. On a daily basis I was able to care for patients while working alongside other students from various fields, social workers, nurses, nurse practitioners, and other healthcare professionals at the clinic. Focusing on medication management and the social determinants of each individual patient’s therapeutic plan allowed me to better understand the full picture regarding the genuine care of other human beings by best suiting their healthcare needs to their current life circumstances.

My month at Health Partners made it more evident than ever to me that the wealth of information to learn about each patient just begins with what each aspect of care can uncover in an exam room and the necessary information needed to best care for a patient extends well beyond what may be found in a provider’s office. Incorporating all aspects of a patient’s needs ranging from healthcare to financial needs as well as any social or behavioral needs is what Health Partners is able to do in a remarkable fashion while providing exceptional care at no cost.

This experience will stick with me for the rest of my days, as I will recall my time at Health Partners to be a great reminder as to not only why, but how those in need have the opportunity to get the appropriate care that they need and deserve. It takes a special group of people, in which Health Partners surely has, to come together and make a free clinic like this happen. Health Partners is a great example of how to help others in the right way and I am hopeful to encounter more clinics like Health Partners in my future career as a pharmacist.