Student Perspective: Maddy

December 31, 2018

Our December Pharmacy Extern, Maddy, had to travel from the campus of Ohio Northern University to come back home for a one-month rotation here at Health Partners.  That’s right, Maddy is a local!  This Troy native had the unique experience of not only impacting those lives in a time of need, she also was able to make a change in her own community.  For that, we here at the Clinic feel blessed.  Maddy shares here, her Perspective of a month spent at her hometown free clinic:

Being able to help someone is great—in fact, it is agreed upon that everyone should help each other. But being able to impact a life is where the real difference is made. Helpful and impactful are two very different adjectives to describe encounters, but sometimes we only see the former. Being able to aid patients in picking up their medications is helpful. Why? Because now they have their medications and that will help them get better (assuming they take it). But inspiring patients to take charge of their life, educate them on their disease states, and implore them to raise questions—now you’re being impactful. If you make an impact, you start a trickling effect that will consistently yield positive results.

As my time concludes with Health Partners, I have spent a month meeting wonderful people, serving the community I grew up in, and “flexing my clinical muscles”, as Justin puts it. With Health Partners being my first pharmacy rotation opportunity to directly meet with patients alongside other clinicians, I was not disappointed in what I was able to learn. Our nurses, nurse practitioners, and doctors were never hesitant to teach me. But, as the days went by, I noticed a shift in my outlook as the patients were changing me more than I was changing them. For the first time, I truly wanted to see what barriers each patient had in their lives that made it difficult for them to receive healthcare. Despite Health Partners eliminating as many barriers as possible to assist patients, it is true that the hardest, most stubborn barrier is the human barrier: that inner belief within patients that they are not worthy, deserving, or able to improve their health. This barrier is one that the Health Partners staff and volunteers do an incredible job at overcoming with the utmost quality of care.

Although a free clinic, Health Partners successfully uprooted the idea that higher cost reflects better quality. The quality given to each individual patient is reflected in the successful stories patients were able to share with me about their healthcare journey, as well as their clinical improvements. Health Partners employs a comprehensive approach to serving patients from the moment they check in. Each patient is accounted for and prioritized; the individualized care for each patient is undebatable. Amiee, our social worker, summarizes our patient-centered service with, “How can you send a patient home with a refrigerated medication if they don’t own a refrigerator?”

Nonetheless, the patients are what makes Health Partners what it is today. The impact they have on everyone here is what allows us to serve other people in such a valuable way.  This rotation is something I will always keep in the back of mind as pharmacist. And as I leave here, I can’t help but selfishly feel like a big impact was actually made on me.