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A journal of social practice & professional engagement for the Antioch community
 

Shadowing the PH AIM team: Alison Zimmerman ’19 at Premier Health Fidelity Health Care

I am spending my first co-op in Dayton, OH with Premier Health Fidelity Health Care. I am working specifically with the Premier Health Advanced Illness Management (PH AIM) program. The PH AIM program is a branch of the Fidelity Home Health Care system. The program tends to individuals diagnosed with one or more end-stage terminal illnesses. The program consists of a specially trained team of physicians, nurses, social workers, and health coaches. The team’s goal is to assist patients in managing their illness and improving their quality of life. As an intern with the PH AIM program, I have had the opportunity to shadow multiple members of the PH AIM team.

Dr. Katz, my supervisor, was the one who had suggested that I shadow different members of the team. Shadowing gave me an insight into the different and the overlapping roles of the different members. In discussing the plans to shadow, Dr. Katz said something to me that really stuck out. She explained to me that home visits are important and unique because you are going to have the chance to personalize the patient’s care. Seeing a patient in their home is personal and insightful to their everyday life. Our health is impacted by our surroundings. The condition of one’s home. The neighborhood one lives in. The people and the situations in one’s life. Through shadowing, I have seen that the members of the PH AIM team have developed relationships with their patient’s and the patient’s loved ones. I believe that this relationship helps them to better care for the patient because they know the patient better. These people are making a difference in the lives of their patients. That is something powerful, and I am pleased to have witnessed it. I have deeply enjoyed getting to know Dr. Katz and the other members of the PH AIM team, as well as the patients I have met on home visits.

While I have not been shadowing, I have been in the office. I have been given multiple tasks to complete in the office, such as creating information guides, updating patient charts, organizing and creating data tables, making survey packets and schedules for distributing, and recreating orientation manuals. While I don’t enjoy the office work as much as I do shadowing home visits, I feel that learning the office part of the job is essential to my understanding of the job. I feel as though I have learned very much from this co-op already. I’m excited to see what else this co-op (and future co-ops) has to offer.

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<p>As a child, one is often asked, “what do you want to be when you grow up?” As a child, I always had an answer. Over the years, ranging from elementary to high school, I had responded with “astronaut”, “veterinarian”, “firefighter”, “social worker”, “teacher”, “pediatrician”, “EMT”, and finally, “I don’t know.” In the final years of my high school career, I realized I didn’t know what I wanted to be. Now was the time to know, and now was the only time I didn’t know. By my junior year in high school, I knew that I wanted a career within the medical field. I knew I wanted to help people. I wanted to be important. I wanted to have a purpose. So, that’s where I am. I’m studying biomedical science at Antioch College. Through my studies at Antioch, I plan to decide what I want to be when I grow up. Getting to Antioch was no easy task. First, I had to explain to my family that I wanted to leave home. My being a first generation college student made this even more difficult. While my family knew that I would never be satisfied with a high school education, they were reluctant to let me go. Leaving with my family’s blessing was extremely important to me. I’ve lead a very family-oriented life so far, and I had planned to continue it, because I have the best family anyone could ask for. I had the advantage of growing up with the inspiration provided by my mother and my grandfather. These two people have truly inspired the person I am today. One of my goals in life is to be at least half as strong, caring, and independent as these two. They were, by far, the hardest people to explain to that I wanted to move away from Athens, Ohio. Not because I thought they would disapprove, but because I knew that they would feel as though I would never return. And this was true, but in the end, they knew that this was something I had to do. I cannot express how difficult it was to leave. I would like to think that I didn’t only do it for myself, but for my little brothers and sister. I would like to think that I am giving them yet another example of someone being strong, caring, and independent.</p>

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