Community Health nurse has winning essay

An article in April 4th’s edition of the Independent caught National Health Service Corps(NHSC) judges’ attention on the East Coast. Local Family Nurse Practitioner, Susan Mix, had expressed high praises for the service and mission of her employer, White City’s Community Health Center, (CHC). “The Corps asked me to write an essay,” Mix said. “I did, and it’s titled ‘Living the Legend: Why I love working with the NHRC.’” 

Under a branch of the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, The Corps makes it possible for selected individuals to get student loans paid back while also earning an income. The “Most Spirit” prize arrived in the form of additional financial reimbursement toward such loan obligations.

A veteran of over four years with CHC, Mix makes good use of the Spanish she learned in school. She helps an average of 22 patients daily. Her appreciation for opportunities to alleviate pain and illness, especially among persons who wouldn’t otherwise receive medical care, shines through. “A few months ago I applied for and became an Ambassador of the NHSC,” she said. “Ambassadors promote the Corps’ cause–to provide medical care to the underserved.” 

White City CHC is one of two area sites served by NHSC because of location, the economy and number of uninsured residents. The second, according to CHC’s Marketing Director, Karen Elliott, is La Clinica.

Mix emphasized that CHC tries to help anyone. “We do accept all valid insurance plans; we take payments. On a sliding scale, we serve those who can’t get medical care elsewhere.” 

In her winning essay, Mix wrote, “…I was inspired to see the glass, not empty and broken, as some would suggest, but potentially overflowing.”  She elaborated on the financial struggles her family had endured under economic downturns, shrinking income, and increasing debt. “I will always remember the day my husband called me at work to tell me the letter had arrived. I held my breath as he opened it. I remember screaming into the phone, and crying the day I found out I qualified for the loan repayment.”

Mix now also recalls the same joyful tears she sees on the faces of patients. They’re often the ones who learn they qualify for medical attention, even though other plans and programs had denied them. “Our work can make a difference,” she continues.

“One by one we can serve people who…have given up hope. …We can say with confidence, ‘Yes, there is help.’”
By F. C. Blake
Of the Independent

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