My experience within the VIP program began during the summer of 2016. I was between my sophomore and junior years at Xavier University and eager to begin an opportunity that I have heard about over and over again, during presentations in my first year science classes. I was excited and could not fully anticipate what was in store for me at the Crossroad Harrison location. What I walked into was a deeply rooted community that spanned across Harrison and the surrounding areas, to help neighbors achieve their best health. I was immediately struck by the kindness of each staff member, the eagerness of the other VIPs and the perseverance of each patient I interacted with. The referral appointments were rolling in and I was feeling pretty confident. The tipping point for me was when I realized that Crossroad is not “just a doctor’s office,” although that is where I used to tell people I was spending my time, “a doctor’s office.” I began to realize that the services Crossroad provides go so much deeper than a well-check once a year.
In the community I grew up in, there was no question about whether or not we would be going to the doctor each year. After coming to Crossroads, I found myself discovering that not everyone has the luxury of knowing that their medical care is taken care of, no questions asked. Not everyone has a parent able to schedule for them, not everyone has a parent able to take them to their appointments. To me, this was an unanticipated and surprising realization that I found myself grappling with at the conclusion of my first rotation. After postponing a semester and returning during the spring 2017 rotation, I again found myself getting into the ebb and flow of referral calls. But the realizations from the previous summer stuck with me and have been amplified over the past months. Medical care, at Crossroads, is not just the check-up with a doctor or scheduling one appointment, which I always took for granted. Medical care is more direct, all-encompassing and time-intensive at Crossroads, to assist those who are experiencing many circumstances that are out of their control. Never did I realize how important getting to work on time, not missing a shift, not missing the bus was, but to our patients, it is essential. That is where I would like to come in. As a VIP, I feel it has become my responsibility to help them get to their work shift, take care of their sick child and make the bus, when they need to. I strive to be a resource for our patients, one that they can utilize and rely on, rather than being another hurdle to conquer. I am extremely grateful for this experience, as it has opened my eyes to the intricacies of medical care and the leaps and bounds some must go through to attend an appointment I always took for granted.