Sunday, May 13, 2012

Walk-a-thon for West Philly's health center! June 2nd!

Here's a fun turn of events: I have never met Pier even though we share friends, heritage, and a similar family structure (possibly), live in the same city, and will have gone to the same school working in the same general field of healthcare. Pier casually mentions friends I ought to meet, who turn out to be my cousin.

Then I got this. I won't be able to go, but you should!
Family, friends and colleagues-

As some of you know, I did Americorps the year after college and more specifically I worked as a patient advocate in a health center in West Philadelphia operated by the local health department. The health center was always crowded, often understaffed and usually a bit hectic but for reasons that even I didn't entirely understand, it was a place where I thrived. Now years later, when I run into former patients on the subway they still greet me, warmly, and it's a nice reminder that working with them meant something to them too because working with them certainly meant a lot to me. Honestly, I'm not sure if I would have invested all of my emotional energy in recent years to reapplying to medical school if I hadn't of known, from my experience working at the health center, that becoming a primary care physician is what I want to do with my life.

And I now have the pleasure of serving on the Board of the health center, as the Fundraising Chair and Secretary, which clearly has much personal meaning for me. But it also means a lot to the folks in Philadelphia who depend on this health center for free and low-cost healthcare, an essential safety net for those who otherwise wouldn't have access to the basic healthcare services that many of us are so fortunate to take for granted.

So please consider attending the annual fundraiser, which is a walk-a-thon (or, optionally, a run-a-thon) suitable for people of all ages and fitness levels. I realize that walking around a park is nominal exercise for those of you who regularly run 5ks and Broad Street's 10-miler, but it's a neat chance to meet folks in the neighborhood from all racial, ethnic, religious and SES background. Ours is a diverse but rather segregated city and only rarely do we have the opportunity to truly get to know our neighbors while strolling around the park, dogs and kids in tow, for a common cause...

And if you can't make it, then please consider making a donation via the "Donation for Non-Participants" option on the registration website. We'll put it to good use to fund programming focused on preventive health services for the children and adults in my community who need these services the most.

Register at the following website, y'all, and c'mon down!


P.S. And, if you're really wonderful, RSVP on the facebook event page because somehow these silly things actually matter for word of mouth...

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