Saturday, May 23, 2009

Back in the city

Just to pick up on the last career-related blog:

In the summer of 2007, I started a new job at a Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) Health System community health center on the south side of Richmond. It's been nearly 2 years since I have been working there, and it has presented the challenges and rewards so often seen in working in marginalized communities.

The patients we work with have little access to health care elsewhere. Most of our pediatric patients are from Spanish-speaking families who have very few Spanish-speaking doctors to choose from. On the adult side, most of our patients lack insurance and have qualified for patient assistance from the health system (the VCC program). VCC allows these patients to access primary care service, including preventive care and rotuine check ups for chronic illnesses) at little or no cost.

I feel that, by working at this office, I am able to provide a Spanish-speaking option for our pediatric patients and I can expand the services provided to our adult patients. I think this health center, the Hayes E. Willis Health Center of South Richmond, feels a critical role in the community and has a large potential benefit to the health center in a number of different ways. I'll try to discuss that more in the future.

In the meantime, I am preparing to travel to the Dominican Republic in 10 days for a 2 week medical service trip. You can see more about that at

(to be continued...)