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    Why Do You Volunteer at the Leahy Center?

    Clockwise from top left: Dr. Perry; Tomi Toles '21; Cristen Walker, MSN, CRNP; Poul Chinga '21; David Velez '17; Guillermo Martinez '21
    January 8, 2019

    This article originally appeared in Challenges, the PCPS newsletter. You can read it, here.

    We asked volunteers why they chose to serve in the Leahy Center. Read what they had to say.

    “I retired from active practice at age 77, so that I could have some time to myself. But the fund of my medical knowledge is still there, and I hated to see it go to waste. The Leahy Clinic is a good opportunity to remain useful, and help out.”

    – Dr. Perry ’60, Volunteer Provider

    “Now that I’ve been doing it for so long, I just can’t walk away. It keeps me current as a nurse practitioner, and I just feel really, really good about myself after I finish in the clinic.”

    – Cristen Walker, MSN, CRNP, Volunteer Provider

    “The hours I have spent chatting with patients and understanding their symptoms has helped me realize the complexity of treating a patient. Not only are patients struggling with physical ailments, but possibly depression, tough economic times or relationship issues. No patient is alike… I am privileged to communicate with non- English speakers and interpret their words for medical professionals.”

    – David Velez, ’17, Penn State Hershey Medical College ’21

    “I volunteer at the Leahy Clinic to give back. The people we see at the Leahy Clinic do not have health insurance. In addition, many are unemployed, do not speak English, or are one of the millions of people living in our country who are considered the ‘working poor.’ Due to these factors, many have not received health services in years and, therefore, are in poor health. I have been very blessed in my life and want to share the skills and knowledge that I’ve gained through my education and experiences as an educator and nurse. Through the clinic, I’m able to provide clients with all levels of health prevention, which makes a huge difference in their quality of life. I just love being a part of the clinic and the enormous impact it has on our community.”

    – Ann Lousseau, RN, Volunteer Nurse

    “Although I am an accounting major, I have always had an interest in the medical world. One inspiration that influenced me to volunteer for the clinic was assisting my grandfather when he had a stroke seven years ago. Helping him sparked a fire inside of me to aid those who are in need of medical assistance in any possible way, regardless of what profession I choose later on in life.”

    – Tomi Toles ‘21

    “I volunteer at the Leahy Clinic because it gives me the opportunity to give back. Being brought up in a Latino home, I feel it is my duty to help other Latinos. The Leahy Clinic gives me the opportunity to interpret patient visits for them. It has been the best volunteer experience that I have ever had.”

    – Poul Chinga ‘21

    “For the longest time, I’ve had an intrinsic fascination with medicine, and that is paralleled by my desire to help people. Although clinical exposure is something that is both desired and necessary, my greatest influence for volunteering at the Leahy Clinic is helping those who are less fortunate. A couple years ago, my grandpa passed away from a stroke with no prior symptoms; he was in almost perfect health, at least in regards to his heart. While indeed saddening, this event changed me for the better, because it drove me to aid in the prevention of illness and mitigate the suffering of patients and their loved ones. I want to do all that I can to help.”

    – Guillermo Martinez ’21

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