Ultimately, my desire for involvement in healthcare for the underserved stems from Jesus' passion for serving the poor, orphaned, and widowed. So much of His life was spent caring for those overlooked by society and I believe we are called to do the same. Practicing medicine gives me a unique opportunity to interact with populations I may not encounter otherwise. Being able to stand with patients in their time of need is a unique responsibility that must be accepted with a willingness to walk alongside individuals throughout their healthcare journey. For patients who are also carrying the weight of insufficient finances, resources, and support, opportunities abound for me to recognize gaps in care and provide for patients in more areas than a single chief complaint. I believe that as healthcare providers, we are called to assume responsibility for our part in exacerbating these issues and choose to intentionally steward our practice in a way that seeks out those who have been overlooked.
I had always considered "reaching the nations" a mission accomplished primarily by those who are able to move overseas, but my current position at Raphael Health Center has shown me that the nations can be found right here in Indianapolis. In my position, I am able to reach many nations on a daily basis as I serve a variety of ethnicities, namely refugees from Burma, the Latino community, and African individuals. Raphael Health Center provides me with the opportunity to reach the nations and seek out those who have been overlooked by society, and I plan to stay there as long as the Lord allows.
The mission of Raphael Health Center, which is posted on a large sign in the entrance of the clinic, is to “provide community-based, full service health care of the highest quality with respect and dignity for all people including the underserved and uninsured within a setting that shares the love and healing of Jesus Christ.” As a physician assistant, I am able to embody this mission in the way I use my faith as a motivation and guide for every patient interaction. It is my goal to not only provide excellent health care, but also to minister to my patients and share my faith in ways that advance the Kingdom of God in Raphael’s patient population. This goal is pursued through prayer, an eternal perspective, and the invitation of correction from trusted individuals. Prayer is prioritized in my personal life, as well as with patients. An eternal perspective is pursued through a continual investment in learning about disciple-making, honest reflection on flaws within my own mindset, and asking for the Lord to help me see my patients through His lens, even on the toughest of days. Lastly, I believe it is important to invite a small, trusted group of individuals to identify and help correct my thinking or behavior if they see a situation in which I am not representing Christ in my work. I want to remain humble and acknowledge that I will make mistakes along this journey and invite others along to sharpen me under the truth of God’s grace.