Mony is a junior Bonner Scholar who grew up in Egypt. She is double majoring in Healthcare and Society and Psychology. She has been serving at Crossover Clinic for the past two years. CrossOver Healthcare Ministry is Virginia’s largest free health care clinic, serving more than 6,815 patients every year. The majority of the population they serve are the working poor who often have to choose between food, shelter and health insurance and cannot qualify for Medicaid.
So what work do you do at CrossOver?
“I work as a patient advocate. I am usually in the front office: checking patients in, making appointments, if they had questions about bills or questions about physicians, I answer them. If they have concerns, I talk to them and see how I can help and if I can’t help, I talk to my supervisor. I also translate for Arabic speakers. I love the experience of seeing what happens inside the exam room.”
Did you find anything surprising when you worked at CrossOver last summer?
“When I translated for Arabic-speaking patients, it was shocking how many details got lost because I couldn’t necessarily translate word by word into English. There are words that don’t directly translate. So that was a little bit tough because sometimes there were some medical terms in English that are very different in Arabic.”
Did you volunteer back home?
“Ya, I volunteered a lot back home. I worked in first aid organization that certifies people in first aid and CPR. I also volunteered during the revolution [in Egypt] with the Red Cross and I volunteered with the doctors and nurses in Tahrir square. People came with injuries, and I also listened to people’s stories and saw the proof of their stories.”
Do you see any of the skills or experiences from your service relate to what you want to do in the future?
“We work with people who are uninsured or have really low income. Well, since I started working at CrossOver, my ultimate goal is to work on national healthcare policy and provide insurance for as many people as possible because it is really awful not to have insurance. The government is supposed to help people–all of the people–and the doctors have an oath to not do any harm. My time at CrossOver has also taught me about how to be dedicated to one task and how to build a backbone and communicate effectively with patients in the clinic.”
This interview was produced by Bonner Senior Intern, Aarti Reddy, and Junior Class Representative, Raef Lambertson.