Personal Narrative: The Parker West Side Clinic

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Today is June 1, 2019. It is an anniversary of sorts for me. I have been working full-time at the Parker West Side Clinic as family nurse practitioner for five years now. It was still a small grassroots program back when I started here in 2004. I began as a volunteer nurse, doing free health screenings and vaccinations for the uninsured and undocumented members of our community on the weekends. The clinic was designed as free health care facility where local residents who do not have medical insurance or the ability to pay for medical care can be treated. In 2007, “20/20” did a special about us and we have been on a roll since then. Back then, free health clinics still made the news. Rock stars like Jon Bon Jovi and Bruce Springsteen were our benefactors. All of my co-workers were volunteers who did our work completely free of charge. This was…show more content…
The Hispanic community is no longer fearful of the medical system. When we first started, 30% of the African-Americans in our town was under or un-insured. Our doors remain open to all. We have never turned anyone away who asked for our assistance. Our outreach programs have expanded our client base to include the elderly, most of whom who couldn’t afford their Medicare co-payments. In the past fifteen years, I have worked with an increasingly diverse community. We have seen an increase in the Mexican, Pakistani, African American population. I like to think we have made a positive impact on the teen pregnancy rate here because of our educational offerings. I have dealt with gang members and mosque members with the same level of respect. We want to represent a safe place to seek health care without the trappings of financial concerns, red tape and HMOs. I am grateful for the opportunity to provide health care to so many different members of our society. This helps us to remember why we got into medicine in the first place. This is what I celebrate on my anniversary at the Parker

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