By Alana Babers, Community HealthCorps Member, Community Health Integrated Partnership
Since beginning our AmeriCorps term with the Community Health Integrated Partnership (CHIP) only several months ago, our Community HealthCorps team of 14 is excited about the progress we have made so far. We have assisted patients’ enrollment into various health programs, insurance plans, and other financial resources; provided outreach at our clinics, disease-specific causes, and collaborated with county supported health initiatives such as, B’more for Healthy Babies- a program implemented to reduce rates of infant mortality. Outside of our clinic assignments, we have participated in multiple service projects and had opportunities to partner with the District of Columbia Primary Care Association’s Community HealthCorps team as well as other AmeriCorps programs. Embarking on a journey of learning and growth, we have not only dedicated ourselves to our service, but also to each other as reliable support and teammates. Below are snapshots capturing highlights from two of our recent service projects.
Our team was excited to take part in this year’s Make a Difference Day on October 26. We spent the morning with kids of all ages at the Annual Marine Corps Healthy Kids Run, in Arlington, VA. As the kids crossed the finish line of their one-mile races, they grabbed some fresh watermelon and headed over to the FitKids play area. Here, our team engaged the children in various physical activities; including hockey, foam Frisbee, hoola-hoops, obstacle courses, and more. Community HealthCorps Members around the country strive to encourage healthy lifestyles in communities. That is what this day was all about, with an extra piece of FUN!
A few days later, we joined two AmeriCorps members serving with CapacityCorps, at Montgomery College in Germantown, MD to talk about AmeriCorps with local undergraduates. We delivered a presentation to a group of young, enthusiastic leaders in their communities. Our presentation illustrated the structure of AmeriCorps and its various underlying service programs, as well as the valuable benefit AmeriCorps can offer an individual with ambitious goals and the desire to serve communities of need. Amongst the attendees were business and management majors, aspiring engineers, nurses, and accounting students. The presence of such diversity and genuine interest in investing toward their futures is a promise in what our youth has to offer. Whether they make the decision to join an AmeriCorps program or not, they are sure to be a force for “GETTING THINGS DONE!”