On a crisp fall day last year, after receiving her flu shot, one of our FHPC employees made an incredible discovery. It turned out she had a medical record with the clinic dating back many years! Karla recognized immediately what had happened because it was the same year her family immigrate to the U.S. Her family had come to the clinic to get physicals to enroll in school. It was a significant opportunity to her family because of their limited resources and finances.
Flash-forward to today, Karla is thoroughly involved at FHPC, having started as a volunteer upon graduating from Marquette University and later accepting a position as Health Coach. Just as the clinic once helped her, Karla not helps many of the clinic’s hypertensive and diabetic patients regain control of their conditions through health coaching. Health Coaching is a wellness service that provides patients with knowledge, skills, tools, and confidence regarding their hypertension or diabetes. Karla sees the impact that the program has on its patients first hand and one patient in particular. Karla has seen this patient go from having been unaware of how to properly take her medication, lack of confidence with follows ups, and lack of knowledge about her condition, to now being proactive in her care with confidence in her ability to control both her hypertension and diabetes.
Karla’s story represents the amazing impact that affordable and accessible healthcare can make on the success and wellbeing of people in our community. In the moment of this discovery, Karla realized her deep-rooted connection to the clinic and added, “Truly, this experience reinforces the mission at FHPC because it shows how important it is to have access to affordable healthcare for the uninsured in our community. With this access, our community can avoid health-related economic setbacks.” In retrospect, Karla believes this serendipitous realization is something that was simply meant to be and is thankful for the opportunities the clinic has provided, both as a patient and now as an employee.
Karla smiles when she thinks about how she has come full circle. “This makes me even more thankful for the clinic – both as a former patient, and now someone who can give back.”