February 5, 2014
2nd year of FrancisCorps
Home: St. Louis, MO
Interests: Soccer, hiking, reading, health-care ethics and African food
Studies: University of Dayton- Religious Studies and Marianist Transformation
Service: Michael works in community liaison at St. Joseph’s Hospital Health Center in Syracuse, NY. He was involved in the Emergency Department as a Navigator assisting people who don’t have a primary physician. His focus now is more on working with the hospital’s outreach to some of the poorest communities in Syracuse. Lately Michael has been working with our Soup Kitchen & Food Pantry at the Franciscan Church of the Assumption to understand the needs of the community and how the hospital can make a positive contribution.
Here is his reflection from one encounter he had while working in the Emergency Department:
A patient came to the ER complaining about back pain. Because he did not have a primary doctor I was called to help finding him find one. In the conversation that followed he informed me that he only wanted a doctor if they would prescribe him narcotics . After spending easily forty-five minutes telling him that this was not possible I was very happy when he was discharged. I clocked out and could not wait to get home. As I left I saw him across the way and thought, “Please donʼt recognize me!”Well he did and he proceeded to strike up another conversation with me. At first I just wanted the conversation to end, but I asked myself if I was really being Christ to this person. I decided to actively listen to what this man had to say instead of trying to zone him out and it made all the difference in the world. At the end of the conversation I told him that I would pray for him which I admit I have never told a complete stranger. His grateful response was more than enough to reinforce my passion for serving the poor.