Thursday, November 6, 2014

What Do You See?

Never before has an experience touched my life as deeply as my experience as an intern at Crossroad Health Center. I have learned many important lessons during my time here, but the most important lesson has been seeing a person for who they truly are. Only when we allow ourselves to open our hearts to our fellow man can we truly reflect on the amazing qualities of each and every person around us.
Over my time at Crossroad, I have been blessed to have many patient interactions. I have met the middle schooler who took two city buses all alone through dangerous areas just to make an appointment; the single mother with two jobs taking online college classes and raising four children; and the man battling financial debt and numerous health ailments. The common bond connecting all of these situations is strength. By opening my heart, I realized the strength that each of these patients possess.
When a patient walks through our doors, I don’t see just another patient or another task to be completed in the cog of the healthcare machine. I see an amazing person reaching out for help, care, kindness, and compassion. When I work with my fellow staff members, I see amazing people offering help, care, kindness, and compassion. Every day I am surrounded by outstanding people who are strong; maybe stronger than I will ever be.
Every shift as an intern at Crossroad Health Center contains profound lessons about life.  I find myself appreciating others, seeing the good in all, and understanding the importance of compassion.  I have received so many blessings from this wonderful opportunity, and it has deepened my connection with my fellow man.  My experiences and relationships with patients and staff members have opened my heart wider, expanded my soul, and enhanced my life.

-Evan Franz

Thursday, October 16, 2014

A Patient-Centered Medical Home

“Crossroad is the only place I go that has doctors who actually care about how I’m doing”

This was a direct quote from a patient I spoke with during my last shift. After just over six months with the Crossroad Volunteer Internship Program, I can honestly say that his statement is a perfect depiction of Crossroad Health Center. Crossroad Health Center is a Patient-Centered Medical Home, but what does that really mean? 

In my opinion, the patient was spot on. Crossroad Health Center is a place where the doctors and staff have the patient’s overall health and wellbeing in mind. Every week when I go in to work, I find out about a different service that Crossroad offers their patients. From regular, yearly doctor visits to visits with the diabetic specialist or one of the psychiatrists, there is someone on staff who can handle whatever issue a patient is dealing with and who wants to take the time to make sure the patient leaves feeling better about whatever it is. As interested as I am in seeing the different illnesses or problems that patients are facing, I am equally as amazed by how Crossroad always has a service to deal with the problems. This hands on, holistic approach to patient care has certainly affected me as a volunteer. 

Crossroad has instilled in me a desire to see to it that patients are taken care of beyond just getting in and out of their exam room. Few other doctor’s offices will call patients’ homes to ensure that they were able to schedule appointments for the referrals that were made for them at their last appointment. It was through making these referral calls and working in the Pre-Visit Planning Room that I have learned how to interact with patients one on one. For all of the amazing medical practices I have seen and all of the new medical illnesses and procedures I have been introduced to, I have gained just as much knowledge about how to treat people that come in to the doctor’s office. 

Crossroad serves as a constant reminder to me of why I want to go into the medical field. I have seen numerous patients come in to the office who have completely given up on their health. But just because they have, it does not mean the providers or the staff has. Not a week has gone by that I have not been impressed by Crossroad’s dedication to their patients. I know how cliché it is to say that a person becomes a doctor “to help people”, but that is exactly what Crossroad Health Center does. People are getting the medical attention they need and they are seeing changes in their health because of this place. It is rare that someone gets the opportunity to be a part of a place so amazing. I am so grateful that I have been able to return to Crossroad every week and continue to learn more and more about the inner workings of a true Patient-Centered Medical Home.

-Katie Woebkenberg