We’re back to close out July with a second Monthly Volunteer Spotlight! (Catch the first July Spotlight here if you haven't yet.) Meet Bec, who has volunteered at Central City Concern’s Old Town Clinic for nearly two-and-a-half years. We sat down with Bec to talk about her experience volunteering and the lessons she’ll walk away with as she winds down her time with us to pursue further professional and educational opportunities.
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Name: Bec Lazan
Position: Old Town Clinic Referral volunteer. The referral team at OTC processes referrals for clinic patients, coordinates specialty appointments and medical referrals for patients, and even assist patients in acquiring medical equipment when a provider deems it necessary for the patient.
What are your volunteer duties?
I mostly sent referrals to outside clinics and followed up with the clinics to see if patients had gone to their post-referral appointments.
I also called our clinic patients to let them know that their OTC provider had put in a referral and that they should be hearing from the referred clinic. I got a chance to be a part of most aspects of the referral process, basically creating a circle so that everyone knew what was going on with patients.
What drew you to volunteer at Central City Concern?
I was interested in medical volunteering in some sort of medical environment. I looked online and found Central City Concern, and a friend who has a degree in public health also mentioned that CCC was a great organization.
What did you expect when you first started volunteering?
I was hoping to be spending my time at an organization that was doing really good things in the community – an organization that did it with respect for the people they were serving as well as for its employees. And I feel like I found that here at CCC.
What parts of your volunteer role did you particularly enjoy?
The entire referral team – Becky and Linda, and later on Mandy and Joel – were all really awesome, helpful, and supportive.
And seeing how everyone interacted was nice: from how the referral coordinators knew their patients and developed a relationship with them, to the Clinic’s team-based model.
What will you remember most about your time here?
Talking with the patients and letting them know about their referrals. A lot of our patients had been waiting for these referrals for a long time. The process isn’t always so easy because insurance can be frustrating and sometimes the clinics are booked way out in advance, so just letting them know that they had an appointment coming up was a relief for them and I felt nice to be a part of that.
And just reaching out to this population of individuals who are typically not served very well by systems or have fallen through the cracks. To be part of the simple act of letting people know that they’re being taken care of is rewarding enough. To let them know that there’s a chain of people making sure they’re being cared for.
What did you learn, or what surprised you, during your stint?
I think it’s safe to say that I had some preconceived notions about CCC’s patient population before I started. It’s really nice that the clinic serves a varied population as far as backgrounds go, and I got to know more about that.
I also remember thinking, when looking at a call I needed to make on paper, “this is going to be a tough call.” But the person on the other end of the line ended up being totally lovely.
What does the future hold for you?
I’m thinking of applying to medical school. It was so nice to interact with everyone and see how this clinic functioned. There were doctors and physician assistants who allowed me to shadow them, which was really influential.
What would you tell someone who was on the fence about volunteering?
Well, specifically at the Old Town Clinic, the people who work at OTC are there because they really want to be there. They’re passionate about what they’re doing, so you’re going to meet nice, passionate people.
If you’re interested in any sort of medical work or working with a certain population, you’re going to meet and work with people who are experienced and excited about their job.
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Bec’s work with our Old Town Clinic referral team has been indispensable over the last two years, and we are very grateful for the dedication and willingness she has shown since day one. Thanks for everything, Bec!
If you are interested in learning more about ways to volunteer at Central City Concern’s healthcare, housing, or employment programs, contact Eric Reynolds, CCC’s Volunteer Coordinator, at email@example.com.