Whenever someone asks me about what Philadelphia is like, I tell them that it’s great place to go if you want to make a difference in someone’s life. I’ll give a healthcare-related example of what I mean. Recently, my coworkers and I attended a yearly update in which we learned that Philadelphia had the some of the highest incidence rates for diabetes cardiovascular disease, asthma, COPD, as well as various types of cancer and STI’s among the top ten largest cities in the United States. There’s so much need in this city, and so anyone who wants to help will be able to do quite a lot.
As a prescription assistance advocate, my job is to help uninsured, low-income individuals and families obtain vital medications that they would otherwise not be able to afford. I work in a city health center, that, along with one of of the other city health centers, receives the highest volume of patients out of all the community health centers in Philadelphia. It’s located in south Philadelphia, where many immigrants and refugees are resettled. As a result, I get to workwith many vulnerable populations, making a real, significant, and positive effect in their lives. Although the actual work is not terribly glamorous, and there are days when you don’t really feel like you did anything useful at all, it’s easy to be reminded of how important you are to people when someone offers a heartfelt “thank you” for everything that you do.
The pictures below show the amount of medications a city health center receives on a weekly basis.
-Stephen Yang, Philadelphia Department of Public Health