Making a Difference

My position in the Philadelphia Health Corps is a Prescription Assistance Advocate at a public health center in North Philadelphia. I assist primarily uninsured patients in applying for free or discounted medications that the health center doctors prescribed to them. Some of the medications can cost hundreds if not thousands of dollars so our program certainly saves our patients and the city of Philadelphia a great deal of money.

I joined the Philadelphia Health Corps back in September of 2011 with one goal in mind, to help people in need. I didn’t really know what to expect in my year of service or how my experiences would influence others as well as myself. Overall, I’ve learned so many valuable lessons that I’ll be able to apply to all aspects of my life as long as I’m alive.

One of the most important lessons I’ve learned while serving in Philadelphia is to provide the highest quality of care at all times regardless of the situation. It’s obviously extremely difficult to maintain such a level of energy, but I’m building on my abilities constantly. Every single day, I awake with an insatiable appetite to develop as an individual and to strengthen the people I come in contact with. No matter how large or small of importance a situation is, I strive to make a meaningful difference. Over my year of service, I’ve realized that this is where my true happiness lies. I can’t put into words my passion for this subject.

One of the reasons it’s tough to maintain such a high quality of energy is that patients can be difficult to deal with. Often times, they are dealing with a multitude of issues that accumulate to form a barrier. This causes certain patients to be harsh and unappreciative. Despite the occasional setbacks, I also meet with very appreciative patients. When a client looks into your eyes after you’ve helped them and says a simple yet sincere “thank you”… it quickly makes me forget about the angry patients. In addition, it helps to affirm the deeply rooted belief of soaking in life by the moment.  I’ll always believe that it’s great to keep long-term goals in mind, but the best way for me to make an impact on an individual, is at this very moment.

-Will Frappaolo, Philadelphia Department of Public Health

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