This past week, I had the opportunity to go on a home visit to hear the story of Isabelle, a widow who had some repairs done to her house. The Helping Hometown Heroes program, in partnership with Meals on Wheels America and The Home Depot Foundation, helps veterans and their spouses improve their homes to address mobility challenges and avoid unnecessary injuries, hospitalization and homelessness. The improvements included the installation of motion-activated outdoor lighting, a small wheelchair ramp, a new security door, a window with a locking device, and drywall in her bedroom. All of these improvements would not have been possible without the help of LifeCare Alliance. The improvements will allow Isabelle to stay safe and independent in her home, where she wants to be.
As an aspiring physician, I have gained an incredible appreciation for the extraordinary work that non-profits do. If Isabelle’s home was not properly repaired, her health could take a toll; feeling safe in your own home is incredibly important for proper mental health. Throughout the course of this fellowship, I have become thoroughly convinced that in order to most effectively reach the underserved patient population that I am looking to serve, I should work with a health-related nonprofit. This will allow my treatment to encompass the social determinants of health that profoundly affect health outcomes.