In addition to serving at my host site Health Center 5, the Service Committee and I have had the opportunity to organize service events for the PHC members. PHC has volunteered with a variety of nonprofit organizations, such as Philabundance, Sunday Suppers, the Philadelphia Zoo, and many others. We were also given the task of planning our own signature event that would take place on May 18th.
The Service Committee decided to help children in North Philadelphia get access to health insurance through the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), which allows any child under the age of 18 receive coverage regardless of his or her family’s income. In order to plan this event, we had to contact participating health companies and other exhibitors that would be of interest to our community. We had 13 organizations that came out and educated families on programs they would be eligible for. During our planning, we hoped to have 300 families attend, with a goal of enrolling as many children as possible into CHIP.
The day that we had been waiting for approached faster than we had expected. Amidst some of the chaos and the multiple tasks to complete, at the end of the day, I was happy that I had my Corps for support. Although the event was not as big as we had hoped, when I heard that two mothers had come running in, saying that they wanted to enroll their children in health insurance, it reinforced the reason why I wanted to serve in community health. I joined PHC thinking that I could change the world, but once I served in the health field, I realized that it takes baby steps to make an impact. This event made me realize that I cannot always expect the biggest results, but if I have helped change someone’s life for the better, then I have made the impact that I have always wanted.
Name: Chelsea Safran
Position: Patient Advocate at Health Center 5
Why did you join the health corps: To experience the problems in healthcare first hand and find ways to overcome them while directly interacting with patients
Favorite thing about Philly: Rittenhouse square and public transportation