Our Board Member spotlight this month is Francesca Coxe, Patient Education Coordinator.
“As the Patient Education and Community Affairs Coordinator, I initiate events associated with prevention and health promotion. I’m responsible for coordinating with Weill Cornell Imaging to create our annual mammogram event, which includes educating patients on breast cancer screening and general women’s health. I also coordinate with Heart-to-Heart, WCCHR, and various street fairs to increase the community’s awareness of WCCC services. Currently, I’m working on implementing a tobacco cessation initiative for our patients and also creating a tobacco cessation protocol for future patients to best aid them in their quitting process. We have also recently established an exciting partnership with the Registered Dietitians at WCM, to benefit many of our patients in making knowledgable decisions regarding food, exercise, and other lifestyle changes. It will also give the student volunteers exposure to an additional discipline related to their patients’ care.
The Clinic makes a huge impact on the underserved in New York City. It is a great opportunity to do something tangible by working directly with patients and community residents during the pre-clinical years. Also, volunteering with the WCCC encourages collaboration across disciplines, like pharmacy, nutrition, and social work, and allows for early exposure to and appreciation of the teamwork required to deliver high quality medical care.”
We are excited to announce two of our board members, Megan McGeehan (the current Women’s Health Clinic Co-Director) and Rebecca DeMaria (the current Clinical Co-Director), have had an article accepted for publication!
Back in 2013, Rebecca, as the patient services coordinator, and Megan, as the insurance enrollment coordinator, set up a new system to help guide patients through insurance enrollment after the roll out of the ACA. Because medical student-run free clinics are an important entry point to the healthcare system, but often do not have a standardized method for navigating enrollment, a project was undertaken by Megan and Rebecca in 2015 to evaluate the WCCC enrollment model. After assessing WCCC enrollment outcomes and comparing with student-run free clinics throughout New York City, they found that WCCC stands out with approximately half of the eligible patients gaining coverage during the study period (October 2013-September 2015), due in part to the more structured approach.
They have presented their findings at the national Student-Run Free Clinic Conference in February of 2015, and the national Society of General Internal Medicine Conference in May 2016, and are publishing in the Journal of Community Health in 2017.
Congratulations Megan and Rebecca, thank you for all your hard work!
Our first board member spotlight of the year is Eric Zhang, Research and Quality Assurance Chair:
As one of the two Research and Quality Improvement Coordinators, I am responsible for overseeing all of the research projects here at WCCC. I also work my co-coordinator on assessing patient satisfaction and working on improving quick reference material for the clinicians who work here. I believe WCCC is doing a great service for the uninsured community in the New York City area but like any organization it has room for improvement, and that’s why I wanted this role. I’m very proud that we have a large handful of projects currently ongoing. While we learn in class about the patient perspective and the caretaker’s perspective, for me, working at WCCC has shed so much light on the complexity of providing healthcare as a system and how important it is to coordinate and cooperate with colleagues and other members of the board, as well as our clinicians. I think this is a unique opportunity to view healthcare from that angle.
Our Student Clinician Spotlight this month is Amanda Garfinkel, 3rd Year Medical Student:
Amanda is volunteering at WCCC as a part of her Primary Care clerkship. As a senior clinician she is responsible for collecting a history and developing a plan to address the acute or chronic needs of her patients and assessing risk and long term prevention strategies. She described WCCC as a unique educational opportunity because it really helped to synthesize all the different things she has learned and apply them in an active and comprehensive way. When asked why she chose to volunteer at WCCC, she noted that she wanted a chance to undertake a service experience and provide resources for these patients. She really enjoyed her time volunteering, and one experience that really stood out to her was seeing a patient that came in for a visit during her first week for a follow up. She developed a good relationship with the patient and the intervention she prescribed made a positive impact. The second time around the patient was very open with her and the modifications she made to the health care plan due to their established relationship. She really appreciated the trust that came with the continuity and the overall emphasis WCCC places on continuity of care.
This month’s board member spotlight is Brittany Abel, one of our Patient Services Coordinators:
“As one of three Patient Services Coordinators for the clinic, I help ensure that our patients get the appointments they need and that the clinic is scheduled each week. Patient Services is one of our patients’ main point of contact with the clinic and we work to make sure our patients receive continuity in their care. It is extremely gratifying to be able to contribute to the clinic’s functioning each week in such a vital way, and to interface with our patients as well as the clinical leadership on a nearly daily basis. When I can lift the weight off of a patient’s shoulders over the phone by helping to resolve a billing issue, fitting them into a booked clinic for urgent concerns or just offering some kind words, I feel like I am able to do just a little good each day. This real-world interaction also helps me put my medical education into perspective: these patients are why I want to be a doctor, and at the end of this long road I will be able to care for them.”
Over the past month WCCC has been transitioning to our new board members. They have all taken up their responsibilities and begun integrating their own ideas and skills into their positions. Our first spotlight of the new Board is from Daniel Poston, one of the Pharmacy Chairs:
“I got involved with WCCC because I wanted to help make a difference in patient’s lives. I’m one of the Pharmacy Chairs—we are involved with helping patients find low-cost prescription medications, subsidizing the cost of those medications through our reimburse program, and connecting patients with programs that can assist them with obtaining low cost or free medication. Given the increasing cost of pharmaceuticals in the USA, I feel very gratified by helping patients access medications they need and educating them on navigating medication costs to allow them to continue to manage their conditions. Overall, I think helping our patients secure the medication they need is an essential component of the clinic providing quality, comprehensive, and compassionate care to all of our patients.”
You can meet the rest of our board members here: http://www.weill.cornell.edu/wccc/about-us/clinic-leadership.html
Recently the Weill Cornell Community Clinic was featured in the Weill Cornell Medicine Magazine, the second of such articles since the WCCC opened its doors ten-and-a-half years ago. The WCCC was recognized for its work as a free clinic, providing high quality care for uninsured patients in New York City, and because of the role we serve as a philanthropic outlet for students, physicians, and NYP social workers. WCCC provides an innovative and engaging source of service learning for the student clinicians, who noted that the immersive experience and direct attending oversight enables them to take a “lead role in diagnosing… and providing care.” We are honored to be recognized for our work and continue to strive to provide our patients with the quality of care they need. The full article can be read here: weill-cornell-medicine-vol-15-no-4-wcm-article
The WCM Magazine is released quarterly and highlights the work of faculty and students. It can be accessed in full here: http://news.weill.cornell.edu/publications