Student Perspective: Kelly

January 31, 2020

The first month of the year is always a hectic one. Typically, folks are coming down from the high of the holidays and reality becomes just that little bit sharper. This is also a time for us here at the Clinic to ramp up for another year of service to those in need and we were blessed with the helping hands of our January pharmacy extern Kelly, who lent helping hands. The Clinic may have even helped her gain new Perspective which she shares here:

As a pharmacy student in my last year of school, I have seen several pharmacies and clinics take care of the underserved population, but the Health Partners Free Clinic went above and beyond those expectations. The amount of dedication, drive, and compassion that the volunteers at Health Partners Free Clinic have for each and every patient cannot be put into words. This clinic addresses every obstacle that stands in the way of a patient maintaining a healthy lifestyle or receiving proper healthcare. For example, they are working on a diabetic food pantry with healthy dietary choices, a group of social workers that address housing, insurance, and transportation needs, and volunteer clinicians to address specific health concerns. The facility provides every possible step to help each and every struggling person in this community to have the chance to live a healthy lifestyle.

Health Partners Free Clinic doesn’t just work during their business hours either. They also spend several weekends reaching out to the community at different soup kitchen events. The members of this clinic frequently provide free screenings and services outside of the clinic at these events, so they can try to reach every person in the community. In particular, the outreach events held by this clinic served a greater and more special purpose than other events that I have participated in, seeing that they have a place for ANYONE to go to address health concerns that may arise during the screenings.

The medical professionals at Health Partners Free Clinic work hand in hand as a team with the patient and the pharmacist to provide the best and most affordable care possible. There is a common mindset in today’s world that medication is needed for every condition, but the healthcare specialists here know not to overlook a very important first step in treating certain diseases: lifestyle changes. This is a vital step for any patient when looking at their specific disease states, because prescribing medications doesn’t always solve the problem. Without a change in habits, more health concerns will arise and gradually worsen over time.

This experience at Health Partners Free Clinic will forever play an important part of my pharmacy career. It has reminded me of the real reason I became a healthcare professional and why I continue to strive to make change in the healthcare industry.