Family Health Partnership Clinic
September 13, 2012
In 2007, I graduated from nursing school. I started my very first nursing position at Woodstock Memorial Hospital. As a new grad I was very eager to attend symposiums and lectures. At each one, there were always tables of vendors and one table for the Family Health Partnership Clinic. It was there I met Kathy Rauch for the first time. She was so warm and inviting. I could tell she had such a strong passion for the clinic. She was so enthusiastic I felt it, too. I made an appointment to visit the clinic and get a tour. It wasn't the latest and greatest of anything but the people there were so welcoming. I started volunteering for pediatric days since I had started working on a pediatric unit. While the patients weren't so happy to get their vaccines, the parents were so very grateful. Eventually, I'd get some smiles from the kids. My schedule changed and I could only commit to Saturdays. On Saturdays, the clinic helped patients get their medications through the a special program with pharmaceutical companies. Patients were able to get their much needed medication at either a fraction of the cost or for free. This is a huge help for so many people. If it weren't for that program, many of them would not get their diabetic medications, heart medications, or even psychiatric medications. With this program, these patients can help keep their conditions under control and stay healthier. Working in the hospital within miles of the clinic, I was able to talk to patients and other medical professionals about the clinic. Sometimes, I even had the pleasure of taking care of patients in the hospital that I had taken care of in the clinic. The clinic often has fundraisers and events to raise money and awareness for the clinic. I always love attending those events. Every Spring there is a themed gala. I love getting my friends together to have a night of fun and help a good cause. This year I started a new position at another hospital about an hour away from the clinic. I live near this hospital, too. The commute is very difficult for me so I have not been able to volunteer much at the clinic. I still strongly support the clinic and look forward to their fundraising events. I still talk to patients and other professionals about the clinic. The medical field is well networked. I wish there were more people like those at Family Health Partnership Clinic and I wish there were more clinics like it!
Would you volunteer for this group again?
For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?
Did the organization use your time wisely?
Would you recommend this group to a friend?
When was your last experience with this nonprofit?
What one change could this group make that would improve your volunteer experience?
While my experience with the Family Health Partnership was great, I think a more organized orientation to the clinic would be helpful. I know there is never a day that is like any other. But having a guideline of what their procedures are would be helpful.
Did your volunteer experience have an effect on you? (teaching you a new skill, or introducing new friends, etc.)
I can't say that I made a life-changing impact on someone else, I hope so. But I am forever changed. The patients I met had all been through their own struggles. For many of them, they never really wanted to go to the clinic. But it became necessary. The FHPC always treated everyone with respect and dignity. They serve the people of the community. That was important for me to see, especially as a new grad. I carry that with me still today. I treat all of my patients with the same respect. I feel it makes quite a difference in how a patient heals and cares for themselves.
How did this volunteer experience make you feel?
I felt the love the volunteers and other staff members had for each other and their patients. It was amazing. But I also was saddened and amazed by the huge demand for such services. The clinic sees as many people as they possibly can. But their resources are limited. There just aren't enough volunteers, rooms, or other resources to keep up with the demand. They reluctantly turn people away because they just can't take on a bigger load of patients. This is why I always do my best to help raise money and resources for the clinic. I would never want to be the one to tell a person in need I couldn't help them.