Did you know? CrossOver’s biggest volunteer needs are for interpreters and for nurses and nursing support (RN, CNA, MA, and EMT). In fact, our ability to accept more volunteer providers and see more patients depends upon our ability to support those providers and patients with nurses and interpreters.
Read on to learn about two of our volunteers who serve CrossOver patients in these roles. If you know someone who would be an excellent addition to CrossOver’s volunteer team, please forward this email to them. If YOU would be an excellent addition to CrossOver’s volunteer team, please email Rachel Yowell, volunteer manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you!
Mirtha Buchillon grew up attending her mother’s medical appointments and interpreting for her. As a result, “CrossOver is a cause very near and dear to my heart,” she says. “Being part of an organization that focuses on solutions and ease of healthcare access despite language barriers really fills me.”
Most of the time, Mirtha’s interpretation role calls on her to “experience healthcare from the eyes of others,” a challenge she enjoys. “My assignments are to understand exactly what the patient and the provider are thinking or feeling in order to deliver the information to the other party.” But on her first day volunteering for us, the provider had to step out of the room briefly, and Mirtha had a conversation with a patient that confirmed her passion for interpreting at CrossOver. The patient told Mirtha that, because of CrossOver, she had been able to diagnose and treat her illness just in time. Prior to coming to CrossOver, she hadn’t sought out medical care for five years due to concerns about her immigration status. “She expressed so much gratitude for the healthcare team at CrossOver and for their advocacy for healthcare,” Mirtha says. “I knew I wanted to stay right then and there.”
Sahana Tharakan also had a personal connection to CrossOver. Her mom started volunteering as a pharmacist in 2014, and Sahana helped out in the pharmacy in 2016. When she completed her certified nursing assistant certification in college, her mom urged her to apply to volunteer at CrossOver. “I jumped at the opportunity,” she says. “During my undergraduate education, I became aware of the disparities present in the healthcare system, and I love being able to give back to a community from which I have gained so much.”
Sahana also loves volunteering at CrossOver because of the diversity she encounters here. “CrossOver is a crossroads of people from so many different backgrounds, and my life has been enriched by hearing about the experiences of others.”
Her work at CrossOver has impacted her plans for the future as well. “I have learned so much about primary care while volunteering. Additionally, my time here has given me the opportunity to understand the complexity of communicating through a language barrier, which I am confident will make me a better healthcare provider in the future.
“The staff at CrossOver have inspired me to pursue a similar path after graduate school,” Sahana says. “I believe I have found my life’s calling through volunteering at CrossOver. I love that CrossOver serves individuals in the community in the name of Jesus Christ.”