By Kellie Perkins, Research/ Data Associate, NACHC-Community HealthCorps®
Each year, the Superstar Foundation highlights and rewards individuals demonstrating exceptional achievements in the areas of direct service and performance measurement. Award recipients embody the organization’s philosophy of keeping the transformational relationship with clients at the core of human services work and demonstrating the effectiveness of that approach through measured outcomes. Last fall, Martin Garibay Jr., a Community HealthCorps® AmeriCorps alum who served with the 2013-2014 Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic (YVFWC) team, was nominated for recognition by the foundation for his passion, leadership, and enthusiasm in his service.
Rosa Ortiz, the Community HealthCorps® Program Coordinator at YVFWC, praised Martin’s dedication to helping underserved communities, explaining that he always went above and beyond for his patients and took every opportunity to learn about those he served. For example, Martin met with an 85-year-old patient who could not provide the necessary documentation to apply for prescription assistance and receive the insulin she desperately needed. Martin refused to accept the obstacles in his patient’s way, and after talking with the pharmaceutical company, persuaded them to allow a signed note from her physician as a form of documentation. After submitting the application, she was approved within a few days. Martin recalled her gratitude and relief for his help. Because of his perseverance, Martin was able to develop trusting relationships with his patients and help them overcome the social barriers blocking their access to health care. Martin enjoyed helping people and believed that doing so helped create a better America:
“I was raised to be passionate about what I do, always give it my best, no matter the task, have a strong work ethic, and always be a service to others—never to do things for recognition or monetary value.”
Martin’s performance measurement data shows that his focus on empowering his patients by going above and beyond was impactful, resulting in him being awarded $500 as a 2014 Rising Star from the Superstar Foundation! Out of 500 Members, Martin had one of the highest success rates in administering the Community HealthCorps® outcome measures, a testament to the success of his philosophy to inform his service with data. At YVFWC, Martin had the largest percentage of patients improve their health-related financial knowledge, at an amazing 80%. Even though the outcome measures were introduced about 10 months into Martin’s service, he was willing to take the challenge head-on and prove that he was making a difference because he believes
“That’s what being an AmeriCorps member is about, being adaptable to change so that we can be a service to our communities.”
In addition to Community HealthCorps® measures, Martin also tracked and utilized data for the Prescription Assistance Foundation to intentionally build transformative relationships with his patients. He determined the amount of money his patients saved by receiving medications through the Prescription Assistance Program (PAP) in comparison to the amount they would have had to pay out-of-pocket, and when compared to his three other teammates serving with the PAP, Martin was able to save his patients the most money overall, at $1.2 million, nearly $5,000 per patient! Martin was constantly updating the status of applications to determine which patients needed follow-ups, which were approved for medications, and which were ready for their 6 month renewal. His diligence in ensuring each of his patients was completely supported paid off.
Martin thanks Community HealthCorps® national staff, Rosa, and his supervisors, Andrea Jimenez and Amy Brown, for the nomination and award:
“I’m lucky to have had the opportunity to have been a part of AmeriCorps, and to not only serve the patients but also to be serving with Rosa, Andrea, and Amy. Like I would always say during my evaluations, they were more than supervisors. They were also our mentors. I can say that I’ve learned a lot from serving with them and [my Community HealthCorps®] team.”