1. What is your role/position with NHCLV? At which location do you work? How long have you worked for the organization?
I am the Chief Medical Officer and have worked at NHCLV for the past 8 years, first in a part-time capacity and in the past four years as a full-time employee. I provide clinical patient care mostly at our downtown Allentown office, but also do part-time clinical work at our Southside Bethlehem and West Ward Easton community health centers.
2. Why do you think a Federally Qualified Health Center is important in caring for members of the Lehigh Valley community?
Our FQHC is an important part of the health care systems that exist in the Lehigh Valley as our mission is to specifically serve medically underserved communities. The hospital systems exist to serve all patients, but their mission is not like ours. The other important thing that sets us apart is that we are lead by a board of directors whose members come from within the communities we serve.
3. What’s the most important thing you have learned working for an FQHC?
Before working at NHCLV I’d always heard about and learned about the importance of team-based care, however I didn’t always buy into this concept. At NHCLV I’ve come to realize the value of all members of the care team. Together we really are able to meet all of our patients needs, including behavioral health, counseling, psychiatry, enabling services, medical care, dental care, and care for patients with substance use disorders.
4. What do you love most about your job?
I love the variety of patients that I see. We provide full-scope family medicine at our health centers. Going back to team-based care I think what makes this a really exiting place to practice is that we can almost always connect a patient to a service they are needing right on site.
5. What one piece of advice do you have for patients when it comes to caring for their health?
Don’t be afraid to ask your care providers questions about your health. We are here to help!