While interning at C-TAC, I have had the opportunity to immerse myself in the world of social justice work. Throughout my experience, I gained new perspectives on what it means to bring advanced care planning to the most vulnerable populations. C-TAC’s social justice work is trying to ensure that all aspects and participants in advanced care planning have a seat at the table. During my time, I have learned that the best way to approach the complexities of healthcare is to address each aspect of the problem head-on.
During my internship, I was given the opportunity to support and be a part of C-TAC’s advanced care planning work. While interning, I participated in over thirty outreach calls to discuss potential partnerships and collaboration events. I had the opportunity to meet with death doulas, large hospices, volunteer hospices, virtual planning organizations, and many more. Through these calls, I have been working to make sure that everyone has an opportunity to be a part of the change and reform of the healthcare system.
After a discussion with the Greater Illinois Pediatric Palliative Care Coalition, the C-TAC team is working to set up the “2nd member-only meet up” to discuss The Pediatric Palliative Care Bill (SB.2384). As discussed in the article linked below, the bill would allow more families in Illinois to get benefits sooner rather than later. The bill is aimed to make community-based, interdisciplinary palliative care services more accessible to patients and reimbursable for providers. I have been working to promote the event to C-TAC’s 180 members, in which we will be discussing the bill. After the virtual event, I will work on a blog post for the C-TAC website in which I will interview participants and take a deeper look at the impact the event had on the C-TAC community.
I feel that my outreach to potential members, calls with other interns and C-TAC members, and promotions of the organization have given me the opportunity to have a larger impact on the world of advanced care planning. I am spreading the word that advanced care planning and comprehensive health care should not be a privilege, but rather accessible to all individuals.
Before I started my work at C-TAC, I wish I would have known the magnitude of different resources needed for comprehensive advanced care planning. If I had known more about the different branches involved in advanced care planning, I feel as if I would have had a better understanding of the issues C-TAC is working to address. Although I did not know the complexities before, C-TAC gave me the opportunity to be immersed in each facet of this field.
For everyone who is interested in pursuing an internship or career in public policy or public health, I would advise them to keep an open mind when looking at the field. The world of public health includes many different pathways and lenses in order to create comprehensive change. By keeping an open mind about the world of public health when pursuing an internship, students may find a sector of public health that speaks to them. Throughout my internship at C-TAC, I have had the opportunity to learn about and talk to many different organizations in the world of advanced care planning and public health. Through these different lenses, I have a better understanding of the complexities involved in advanced care planning.