Volunteer Spotlight for October:
Dr. Richard Slevinski
Q: How did you start volunteering at the Health and Hope Clinic?
A: I met one of the other retired docs I know in a parking lot and he asked me what I missed most about my retirement. It was joy of medical problem solving. He suggested I call Health and Hope so I did...
Q: What department do you work in at the clinic, and what makes your work meaningful to you?
A: This may be too long of an answer.... I work in the medical department as a volunteer physician. I enjoy the contact with other staff and interaction with patients. My work is meaningful because I grew up poor, had to leave home and drop out of High School to work . I was lucky to go to a school called Nova...it was experimental and a Ford foundation project in Dania Florida. I did all of my high school work in a year....when I had to quit, they kept me on the books while I actually worked full time...I was in the path to be a professional waiter and lived in a hut behind a French restaurant....my teachers, the waiters and the owners of the restaurant got together and gave me $600 and told me I was cut out to be something else. Nova got me into Florida State with a phone call so I went. I eventually was in the FSU circus, had to drop out to work again, graduated from University of Mass in Boston, then went to University of Florida for Medical School, and became the EMS Medical Director for the State of Florida, and many other adventurers in my career... but all along the way people gambled on me and so I have tried not to let them down. I owe back for all the luck and support of people during my life. Working at the clinic is one way I try to give opportunity to people who are just like me.
Q: What skills have you learned from working at the clinic?
I have learned how complex it is for people with limited resources to get health care. I have also reviewed some aspects of practice like blood pressure control and a lot of new and different medications used by the patients.
Q: What is one of your favorite memories and/or experiences during the time you have been at the clinic?
A: My favorite memory to date is the act of watching the other staff with their dedication and real sense of responsibility to the patients. I really enjoy talking to all of the other people serving the clinic and observing the future leaders of health care while in their early careers. It is fun to me to describe the way we practiced in the past.... we were barbarians and Shamans.... the changes for the next 40 years will be as exciting and challenging for them.
Q: What do you enjoy the most about being a part of the team at the clinic?
A: The team makes the patient care and problem solving so much easier than I had anticipated. The paperwork and referral system are very cumbersome but everyone helps this happen.
Q: What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
A: In my free time I read and try to keep learning. I was going to be a Nuclear Physicist before I decided to be a Doctor and have spent time going back to study math and Quantum Mechanics. I dabble in photography; I build things and mostly do what my wife has on her list....