By Anjelica Saulsberry

This blog is part of the Curb Scholars Internship Program.

My beginning days with Boston Healthcare for the Homeless have served as some of my most humble. I began this internship expecting to be in the office making phone calls and assisting the Finance Department; however, I feel as though I will play a vital role to a team of dedicated and inspiring individuals. And even more important, become a more open-minded and serviced-oriented person.

With the changes made under the Affordable Care Act, insurance companies are now billing for medical expenses differently. For example, instead of billing per expense, their consumers are now worth an allotted sum of money for their medical expenses that year. That means it is imperative that each medical provider that provides care for their patients are properly listed so that the practice, like Boston Healthcare for the Homeless, can properly receive funds.
This change created the need for an internship position, to have someone in the clinics talking to patients to educate them on the insurance changes and switch them to their proper medical group. Boston Healthcare for the Homeless has many outreach centers with clinical facilities, but the two that I will spend most of my time at will be St. Francis’s House and Pine Street Inn. One of the unique and just simply amazing components to the St. Francis House clinic is the Foot Care Clinic. In which nurses on rotation and volunteers, wash the feet of any homeless man or woman that enters the clinic each day. This service is incredible, and I feel privileged to be a part of an organization that truly serves their patients.

So far in the office, I have been under the instruction of many individuals namely Rodretta, Julianne, and Pedro. From the very first day, these three members have taken me under their wings to show me their daily operations and assist me in maximizing my contributions to the team. I am working on two projects so far. First, I am working on a Patient Education Brochure that hopefully will be sent to printing, so that our patients understand the need to switch their primary care providers and clinicians to their appropriate practice. Second, I am helping Julie Jones, the supervisor of the Finance Department, create a program wide push to have not only our staff educating patients, but the nurses, medical providers, and front-desk staff at all of their locations making the switches, as well. I look forward to the impact both of these initiatives will have on the organization.

Working with the homeless population is unique and challenging, which makes the work that more rewarding. Most of the patients I have met are thankful to have someone to talk to and really appreciate the services that are offered through BHCHP. As an intern from the non-profit perspective, my experience has already proven to be amazing. I am able to be hands-on in the clinic connecting and helping patients as best as I can. I do not feel that I would have received such hands-on experience in too many other settings.

I am so blessed to be in Boston. From the weather, the food, and the people, this summer is bound to make me one happy scholar. And let’s not forget the World Cup…GO USA!