As Office Manager, Maria discusses how she uses her skills to help prepare Health Services to be ready when the next urgent case walks through the door.
Decades after fleeing a life-threatening dictatorship in South America, Cristobal* found himself living on the street. Having grown too old to keep working and facing major medical issues including complete deafness, loss of vision and atrophying in his legs, Cristobal lived in the streets for four years before finally being found and brought to Water Street.
The Medical team at Water Street often have to jump in alongside people who have gone too long with too little help—whether it’s because they are experiencing homelessness or struggling to overcome poverty. To meet their needs, it’s Maria who gets the staff, volunteers and resources into place; helping to keep our Medical programs running smoothly.
Maria uses her gift for organization to love her neighbors
Maria has a huge task, bringing in highly educated volunteers who also want to join in our mission to be the hands and feet of Christ. As Maria sat with Cristobal—translating for his doctors—she learned what a miracle it was that he was found before dying alone on the street. Instead he was able to meet experienced Doctors and Nurses to care for him.
Maria lights up when she talks about connecting all the dots for Water Street patients, putting everything in place for their arrival each day. As volunteers, Water Street Doctors market value in their field is a minimum of $90 an hour. But they do the work of several full time doctors…for free.
But getting them all here takes a lot of spreadsheets, case management for patients and…organizational skills. Maria creates the schedules for our staff and volunteers in the Health and Dental Clinic, making sure consistent care is give and no patient misses out. It’s a huge task to ensure each patient has enough time with a Doctor—especially those who have gone through significant trauma or who haven’t gotten care in decades—while still accommodating the large number of people seeking medical help in Lancaster county.
Even with her accounting background and love for crunching numbers, Maria is really passionate about one thing: “Getting to know individuals, individually.”
That is the only way she knows she is reaching her goals, and that each patient who leaves, leaves with new hope. After years of going on his own, Cristobal not only had major medical needs, he needed to be seen and heard—and finally know he was not on his own.
Maria’s passion for helping people like Cristobal comes directly from Jesus: the most powerful healer. To her, Jesus came not just for our spiritual well-being, but to walk amongst the sick and hurting. As Maria explains, “He’s our best example…We have that power of doing what He has done as well.”
“Great crowds came to him, bringing the lame, the blind, the crippled, the mute and many others, and laid them at his feet; and he healed them.” Matthew 15:30
*Name changed for anonymity