In the summer of 2017, I finished my specialty program at Yale New Haven Hospital and began working at StayWell. I noticed a difference in organizational cultural right away. StayWell is smaller and its employees interact as an extended family. The providers, support staff, office managers, CMO, CEO and others know each other personally and interact face to face on a regular basis, before the pandemic. It is so easy to feel lost in the mix when working for a large organization, but the feeling has been quite different working for a nonprofit FQHC.
The patients often experience some significant challenge that impacts their health in some way, such as being uninsured or undocumented, socially marginalized, recently incarcerated, living at a halfway house or homeless shelter, dealing with HIV/AIDS, hepatitis or STDs. It’s gratifying to hear their appreciation and to witness the life changes. Working with the Ryan White program for HIV+ clients has been very rewarding for me. I enjoy working in a multi-disciplinary team to provide preventative services, and can rely on others to offer the wrap-around support often needed to achieve undetectable viral load levels. Together, we see our patients maintain a healthy lifestyle and continued well-being.
The COVID pandemic has been very challenging with many staff shortages and public fear. I feel StayWell has stepped up to the challenge being flexible with the addition of telehealth services, testing and vaccine clinics. Our success is a result of everyone working as a team, from upper administration, clinical and support staff in order to benefit each patient.
Congratulations to StayWell for its 50th anniversary and looking forward to 50 more years of service to the Waterbury community.