Volunteer Spotlight: Will Bassett
Will Bassett is a volunteer who works closely with RFHC’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Jaime Chavarria, to help manage patient scheduling and assist with Family Practice’s implementation of changes to the chronic care model.
Having grown up nearby in Menlo Park, Will is active in his surrounding community. He graduated with a degree in biology and a minor in ethics at Stanford in June 2012. His father is an urologist at Palo Alto Medical Foundation, and his mother works in the Lean Consulting Office there as well. His family’s relation to healthcare has influenced his own goals. His interest in health continues to expand as he learns more about it. Working at Ravenswood allows him to stay connected to the EPA community while continuing his exploration of healthcare.
Will has previously volunteered as a Development Intern and as a Health Educator here at Ravenswood. Currently Will is working with Dr. Chavarria’s care team to “develop rapid improvement cycle-styled experiments to improve workflow and team cohesion while providing quality care at a lower cost. This involves crystallizing sources of wasted resources, designing improved workflows and experiments to test them, data collection and data analysis.” He really enjoys his work because he gets a privileged look into the “future of chronic disease and primary care, and [gets] to experience firsthand the benefits and stressors that come with electronic health records.” To him, the clinic is exciting, and the staff is full of amazing people who believe in the mission of RFHC.
Outside of Ravenswood, Will balances working at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation Research Institute conducting research on shared decision-making and patient decision aid delivery systems while also traveling the country to interview at medical schools. He hopes to find the right medical school for himself and is currently planning to go into primary care or oncology, and to eventually practice as a research clinician.
Volunteer Spotlight: The HCC Interns
The Health Careers Connection (HCC) Internship assists undergraduate students and recent graduates in pursuing careers in healthcare by providing exposure, experience, and mentoring to empower them to advance their healthcare and public health careers. This summer, RFHC was matched with four talented interns to help us in a variety of ways.
Pictured from Left to Right:
Daniel Valencia: The first of his family to go to college, Daniel will be entering his last year at CSU East Bay pursuing a degree in Biology. Thanks to the HCC program, he’s had the opportunity to find others that share and support his dream. At Ravenswood he discovered a passion for direct patient-interaction and patient service. His work ranged from working in medical records to being a patient services assistant. Daniel’s goal is to become a primary care provider with a focus in preventive care and management. He’s had the goal of being a doctor for as long as he can remember.
Aisleen Moya: A Senior at San Jose State University pursuing Health Science, Aisleen hopes to get her MPH and work in health administration or clinical work. At RFHC, Aisleen was part of the Health Education Promotion Department and Chronic Disease Management team where she worked with patients who needed Diabetic Retinopathy Screenings and coordinated their physician appointments. She feels that she benefited from this internship by discovering the impact of preventive care on patients socially, mentally, and physically, and is inspired by RFHC’s emphasis on quality service. Aisleen is currently a peer health educator at SJSU, and will be doing public health work in Oaxaca, Mexico, this year.
Nadia Rojas: Born in Mexico City, and raised in Fremont since the age of 2, Nadia studied Integrative Biology and Ethnic Studies at UC Berkeley. Coming from a low-income Latino family, Nadia’s goal is to eliminate health disparities for underrepresented minorities. At RFHC, Nadia has been working with patients through the Women’s Health Department, assuring access to specialty care and support services by coordinating with providers throughout the area. Nadia will be pursuing a Master of Public Health degree at UC Davis this year and hopes to one day work somewhere like RFHC.
Monique Mejia: A recent graduate with a degree in Health Administration from San Jose State University, Monique will begin nursing school this fall in hopes of becoming a nurse administrator at the Santa Clara Valley Medical Center. Here at Ravenswood, Monique has been working on four projects including assisting with the federal government data system tool in compliance with RFHC’s regulations as a federally qualified health center, working with disaster preparedness in assuring the clinic follows OSHA guidelines, assisting in the implementation of electronic health records by creating work flows, and preparing two Women’s Health events. Monique has enjoyed her time at Ravenswood Family Health Center and learned a lot especially in her opportunity to shadow our very own primary care provider Rebecca Pinto.
Ravenswood Family Dentistry Give a Smile Day
Dental Volunteers with Heart and Skill
As our dental clinic approaches its 2nd anniversary, Ravenswood Family Dentistry’s goal is to expand the impact we make in our community. While our patients pay on a sliding fee scale, many of our low-income patients must choose between providing food for the month or their dental healthcare. Thus, we find many of our adult patients with long standing untreated dental issues cannot afford the recommended treatments to maintain their oral health. In response to this need, Ravenswood Family Dentistry hosted two Give A Smile Days for the first time ever on Saturday, February 4th and Friday, February 10th, where we provided these treatments free-of-charge.
Along with Ravenswood Family Dental staff, we had the support of 12 volunteer dentists, three dental assistants, two dental hygienists, and five sterilization technicians, to surpass our goals of servicing fifty patients on each Give a Smile Day. In total, we provided treatments ranging from root canals to extractions for 118 Ravenswood Family Dental patients!
It was a successful day of providing dental care to those who need it most as well as an opportunity for the local dental community to learn from each other and serve the community. Volunteer, Dr. Alan Peterson, states, “I love to see people that are excited about dentistry…it stirs my enthusiasm all over again. The patients were all great and the facilities are excellent. I look forward to coming in again.”
On behalf of our patients and Ravenswood Family Health Center, we thank all the volunteers and staff who contributed to the success of Give a Smile Days and look forward to seeing you again next year!
Volunteer Spotlight: Paola Luna
Paola and her family were refugees from Chile when she moved to the United States in 1976. Growing up in San Jose, CA, Paola obtained her Bachelor of Arts in English at UC Berkeley and went on to obtain her teaching credential at San Jose State. When she had her eldest son Cameron in 1998, she traded teaching to be at home with her son. Paola learned many of her advocacy and public health skills working with Cameron and his severe autism. “There is much more awareness around autism now, but back then I had to actively research how to work with Cameron on basic behavior skills,” says Paola.
Paola teaches dance classes and other fitness courses with RFHC patients twice a week. “The class sizes are small enough (three to nine students), where I can focus on individuals. I emphasize to the clients to have fun, because it is one of the rare times these women are doing something for themselves.” Paola is innovative in teaching patients to exercise with easily found items, such as kitchen chairs or even using canned food as light weights.
Paola exudes excitement and energy when discussing her passion for advocacy, nonprofit work, and public health. Paola recalls one patient who initially could hardly move at all, but in the next two months, this patient was leading the exercises, singing the songs and talking about a fitness space she would create for her home in Mexico. Paola was overjoyed to see that physical activity was truly becoming a part of this patient’s daily routine. “I want to continue making a difference in people’s lives.”
Paola currently lives in San Jose with her husband and two sons, Cameron (13) and Dylan (11). She enjoys reading, dancing, and traveling (warm and tropical, please!). Juggling it all, Paola looks forward to this summer where she will take Dylan to venture the roller coasters of Great America and delve into some new books!