I have been volunteering this semester at a health clinic in South Philly that primarily serves Mexican immigrants. It is a great program, and seems to provide great services to a community who otherwise would probably not have access to health care, which translates to them waiting until they have serious medical problems landing them in the ER. This program encourages prevention health care and easy access to doctors, so that ER visits are minimized and the population stays healthier.
Almost all the workers in the clinic are volunteers, myself included. With a few attending doctors, and then medical students and a mix of others such as myself. I decided for 2010 that I want to commit myself more to this program, as I really believe in their mission, and it will also give me a great opportunity to develop my skills in public health outreach and hopefully Spanish!!
So, I applied and was accepted as one of the Programming Coordinators. Which basically means that I will be on a team who develops and organizes health education and outreach programs for the community. I think this will be a fantastic experience for me, and I hope to develop relationships with the other volunteers as well as members of the Mexican community.
My ideas right now include workshops such as:
Agriculture / migrant workers healthy habits
Stress management, including learning about blood pressure, anxiety, depression, etc.
Parenting healthy children
we shall see what can be developed. I'm very excited for new challenges and experiences in 2010!
Learning it: Spanish!!
Unlearning it: Over committing myself -- I think this program is a great fit for me, because I will be working with other people to develop programs, I won't be on my own. I think I'm establishing a good balance: work, school, yoga/exercise & volunteering (with some socializing in the mix!)