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National Health Corps Highlight: Yuliya Goykhman

Volunteer Stories 
  • Photo Credit: Milton Lindsay Photography
NSC is always coming up with ways to make our services better!

In order to highlight the vital work, energy, and perspective that our staff and volunteers bring to NSC, communications staff interviewed Yuliya Goykhman, one of the National Health Corps Members at NSC!

Tell us about yourself. Where are you from? Where did you study?
I’m from Holland, PA in Bucks County. I went to Cornell University and my major was called Human Biology, Health and Society.

How did you get connected with the National Health Corps?
I knew I wanted to pursue a service program that helps people from vulnerable populations, and that involves working and gaining experience within the health system in some way, and I found this program through the Americorps website!

Briefly describe your experience with NSC’s Health Team as a Health Corps Member, including your day-to-day tasks, responsibilities, and assignments.
As part of the Health Access team, my job essentially is to connect clients with medical care or any kind of health resources. This could be in the form of appointment scheduling at clinics/doctor offices, connecting with health insurance enrollment, or referring to other social services such as WIC. If needed, I accompany clients to their appointments to ensure that things go well and clients understand how to navigate health appointments. I also coordinate several different partnerships we have with outside organizations, such as Villanova University College of Nursing and Drexel University medical school, to host free on-site health fairs and screenings to provide to clients doing legal consults or English classes at NSC. Occasionally, I also help my fellow Health Corps member Katie and the resettlement team with the healthcare needs of our newly arrived refugee clients.

What are some of the challenges you face in your day-to-day work?
Sometimes, you cannot avoid getting emotional when clients share things that they are going through. It can also be difficult giving bad news to clients, especially when having to navigate some of the systems that are in place in U.S. healthcare. There are times when there is nothing more you can do. In these situations, it is crucial to practice self-care and mindfulness whenever possible.

What are your future plans and how has your work with the Nationalities Service Center impacted you?
I plan to go on to medical school and pursue a dual MD/MPH degree. I want to focus my work as a physician on populations with the highest need and work on improving the health of communities as a whole in addition to seeing individual patients in clinical practice. Working at NSC has inspired me to want to work with immigrant and refugee populations in the clinical setting, being mindful of the issues they face when moving to the US and providing trauma-informed, comprehensive care. As a physician, I want to create partnerships with organizations such as NSC that focus on fixing such issues for clients and their communities.

What advice would you give to another individual who is interested in working with the Health Team at NSC?
There is a lot to learn, so it is okay to feel stressed or overwhelmed, especially at first! You have a support system that is able to help you, whether it is the health team, your supervisor, or any staff member in general. Sometimes there is no perfect, clear-cut solution to every situation and you learn to work with the resources you have available.

What do you want folks to know more about NSC--the work we do, the clients we serve, and immigration and refugee services in general?
NSC is always coming up with ways to make our services better! Our clients are wonderful and constantly inspire us, and the staff members here go above and beyond to provide everything they can for clients.