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Kasey Hemeon Premed PA 20

Spotlight: Kasey Hemeon, Premed/PA ’20

  • Kasey Hemeon, Premed/PA ’20 has a busy summer lined up. In addition to working full time as a Home Health Aide at an assisted living facility, taking a CNA class, and volunteering at Winchester Hospital one day a week, Kasey is continuing her commitment to community outreach in Boston neighborhoods.

    Kasey is an outreach volunteer with The Family Van, a mobile clinic which delivers preventative screenings, wellness counseling, and referrals for treatment or care to thousands of people.

    At the end of June, Kasey wraps up half a year of volunteering with The Family Van. We sat down with Kasey to hear about her favorite moments volunteering and why her experience as a student leader will help her to become a Physician Assistant who patients trust.

    The Family Van delivers care to thousands of people within Boston’s neighborhoods where people lack insurance or are at higher risk for disease due to race, gender, or socioeconomic status. Why is community outreach like this so important?

    Community outreach is important because it targets people that cannot afford healthcare services or cannot get access to the care that they need. With the van’s accessibility, patients do not have to travel far or wait a long time in waiting rooms for their appointments. The van screens for preventable diseases that can be treated if patients are educated, like blood pressure and blood glucose level.

    How are mobile clinics an innovative way to reach under served populations?

    Mobile clinics are an innovative way to reach under served populations because people can step out of their homes and walk to get screened. Many people lack health insurance and without health insurance, people cannot afford to get treated. With the van, people can get screened free of charge, at their convenience. There is no pressure from a doctor. The van also offers referrals if the screener decides that the problem is serious.

    What types of responsibilities do you have at The Family Van?

    In addition to participating in outreach events across Boston, where we educate people with our “STD Roulette” and our cigarette model, I am also responsible for contributing to social media for The Family Van. On Wednesdays, I write two Facebook and two Twitter posts for each day of the upcoming week. I have been working hard on our new social media campaign called “I am The Family Van”. Every week I post three photos of either clients or office workers holding the “I am The Family Van” sign. In each #IAmTheFamilyVan post, I include little bit about the person and their relationship to The Family Van.

    Describe one of your favorite moments volunteering with The Family Van.

    One of my favorite moments was when I went to survey people at the Roxbury YMCA. I was surveying people on whether or not they would attend the van and use the services provided if the van were to park at the Roxbury YMCA. I enjoyed watching my teammate, Tali, survey people in different languages — she is fluent in four! I enjoyed jumping into a diverse community where some people did not speak or understand English well.

    What types of leadership skills are you gaining through your volunteer work?

    Through my volunteer work, I have learned to be open minded to people’s ideas and new situations. I have learned to be a good communicator. Through my work with social media, I have learned how to effectively get the point across, and engage with the community online as well as in real life.

    Why is it important to get involved with leadership opportunities as a student?

    It is important to get involved in leadership opportunities as a student because they allow you to connect with the community. Leadership opportunities allow you to gain valuable medical knowledge and clinical experience that you cannot obtain in a classroom. Volunteering my time makes me feel good about myself. I chose to apply for an unpaid position. I get to walk out of the experience knowing that I dedicated my time to a good cause and helped someone out.

    How will the leadership skills you have gained at MCPHS help you in your future career?

    The leadership skills that I have gained as a student will help me in my future career. I want to be a Physician Assistant that people will trust and look up to. I have learned to have an open mind to different cultures and beliefs, which will enhance the way that I treat patients. I have also learned to be patient and communicate effectively so that people can understand fully.

    Missed our last Student Leadership Spotlight? Check out our interview with Jessie Valensi, PharmD ’18, who shares her personal inspiration for her involvement with MCPHS Colleges Against Cancer and Relay for Life.