I serve as an Insurance Specialist in the Philadelphia Health Corps (PHC) at Health Center 10 which is part of the Philadelphia Department of Public Health. As an Insurance Specialist, my responsibility is to increase the percentage of insured patients that visit the health center. I interview patients who are uninsured to determine eligibility of medical insurance programs. My service position places an emphasis on coordinating enrollment of newborns and prenatal patients to promote the Pennsylvania Healthy Beginnings program. I am responsible for bridging the gap between prenatal patients who had Health Center 10 as their primary care provider (PCP) during their antepartum care, and the continuous use of Health Center 10 as the PCP for their newborns.
In addition to service at my site, I also serve on the PHC’s Professional Development Committee. The committee is responsible for organizing trainings during our monthly member training meetings. I am responsible for the June training which will focus on mental health. Thus far, the committee has planned HIV/AIDS, LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender) Cultural Competency, and Workplace Personality Assessment trainings. In addition to planning monthly member trainings, the committee has been planning the second annual ‘Philadelphia Health Corps – Speed Networking Event’. This is mentorship opportunity for PHC members that will allow them to interact with manifold healthcare professionals. For this event, I am responsible for the acquisition of food donations from local establishments. So far, I have secured food donations from Tootsie’s Salad Express, Market Bakery and Allegro’s Pizza in University City.
As a member of the Philadelphia Health Corps I have many responsibilities at my service site and committee, which can sometimes be overwhelming. However, the past eight months of being an AmeriCorps member has reinforced my endurance, time management skills, patience, selflessness, and most of all my affection to help disadvantaged populations. As a service member, I have continued to be self-reliant without forgetting that I am a viable entity within a community composed of college graduates improving the accessibility of healthcare services to those who are medically underserved in the Philadelphia area. I continuously receive positive energy from my fellow Philadelphia Health Corps members, the staff at my service site, and the patients at Health Center 10. I am happy to belong to the benevolent, supportive community of the Philadelphia Health Corps!
-Edinah Chikunguwo, Insurance Specialist