Our days in the Philadelphia Health Corps (PHC) are numbered. With less than a month left at our service sites, these last few weeks have been bittersweet. For the past 10 months, I have served as the Patient Assistance Program Liaison. My position is similar to that of the PAP advocates, but with a few different requirements. I have been lucky enough to be able to travel to different health centers to give other advocates a helping hand. Some of the centers are so busy that it is hard for the members there to get ahead. From calling in refills, to doing re-enrollments, and logging medications, I help them with whatever they need. I have truly enjoyed my position because it has enabled me to get closer with other members. It has also allowed me to see all the unique patient populations at the different health centers. I have learned so much from co-members and patients alike. Although I love traveling to the various health centers, I love going back to my home base at Strawberry Mansion and working with my co-advocate and patients there. It is such a good feeling to know that I have built relationships with these patients. While there are moments of uncertainty, most patients are so appreciative of what we do.
This year has definitely had its share of challenges but there are so many things that I will miss. I will miss everything from the daily Google instant messaging with my fellow members when we have a free minute, to living with four other PHC members, to seeing everyone at member meetings, service projects, and on adventures in Center City. I will also miss seeing my fellow PHC members during “training and competition” for AMERIKICKS, a kickball team formed by the 2011-2012 PHC Members for an adult kickball league in Philadelphia.
What I will miss the most, however, are our patients and talking with them about anything from what they did for the weekend to stories about their children and grandchildren. I have learned so much from these patients. Many of them have an amazing faith that you can see the second they walk through the door. No matter what hardships they have endured, they persevere. They have taught me that no matter where life takes me, as long as I remain happy and faithful, I will make it through. I am so grateful for this opportunity and will carry what I have learned with me forever.