I’m Chris Perez, and I serve on the Board of Directors of the Mercy Health Clinic. In 2014 I’ll be honored to take on the role of Chair of the Board. I’ve been humbled and inspired as I’ve watched the Clinic grow and establish itself as a beacon of compassion in our area. I’d like to share a few personal observations about the Clinic and what it has come to mean to me.
I’m proud to say that I was present at the ribbon-cutting for the original Clinic location in Germantown back in 2000. Like many people, my wife and I first became involved as financial supporters of the Clinic. From there it was a natural progression and I found myself volunteering on various Clinic committees. Board service soon followed. At some point I realized that the Mercy Health Clinic had quietly worked its way into my heart. It has a way of doing that.
We give and receive
Mercy Health Clinic asks for no payment in return for the medical services it delivers. Yet many transactions take place every day we’re open. Our patients bring their illnesses and anxieties, and they exchange them for specialized care and renewed hope. They bring their pain and sometimes their tears. They leave with comfort and a caring smile. In each and every case, the people we treat leave behind more than they take. Their overwhelming gratitude is palpable and it keeps our volunteers energized and uplifted.
Those who support the Clinic as donors and volunteers benefit in other ways, too. We find that our view of the world is lifted upward and outward. Our own worries and concerns are put into stark contrast with those of the people we serve. The Clinic helps us focus on the needs of others.
In speaking with our physicians and clinical staff, I often hear that some patients are reluctant to ask for help. There are many possible explanations: cultural mores, pride, even denial about the severity of their illnesses. As the stewards of the Mercy Health Clinic, we can’t afford to be reluctant in asking for YOUR help on behalf of all our patients. We hope we’re able to touch your hearts in a way that opens them to the needs right here in Montgomery County. Please consider getting involved in some way, as a donor, committee volunteer, clinical caregiver, translator, greeter; there are many entry points.
The Clinic’s tagline is “Quality health care from the heart for those in need.” That’s a theme that you will see woven throughout this website. We’re doing our best to embody those words with every patient we treat.
The low-income, uninsured adults we serve are facing ongoing challenges. Even with the changes sweeping our healthcare system, many of them are still left on the sidelines. Ironically, even though we live in one of the most affluent areas of the U.S., there are tens of thousands of our neighbors who rely on Mercy Health Clinic as a safety net.
In future posts I plan to tell you more about the good works of the Mercy Health Clinic. We’ll feature our patients, profiles of our volunteer staff, and other stories from the heart that show how we’re helping people. I hope you’ll decide to be a part of one of these stories.