It never ceases to amaze me that when my mind becomes present, more centered, how many “moments” and “stories of PCBH” there are on a daily basis. Yesterday was a great example of this, as, gratefully, my mind was primed to notice the amount of unique, incredible, and meaningful moments being a BHC provides. My mind was also struck yesterday and in awe of the context that primary care creates for a community. It started early, as it usually does, with a meeting with a new BHC and hearing their passion and innovative ideas on how we could innovate the way we train future family medicine physicians and BHCs. The conversation was rich and full of energy, resulting in both of us leaving the 7 AM meeting excited and enthused for the day. Approaching the medical pod and talking with all the MAs and hearing how their Thanksgivings had gone, particularly the people they spent their valued time with, all the while reviewing the PCPs’ schedules and identifying patients that may benefit from a BHC visit. To observing a BHC talk with an MA and PCP about cold-crashing a visit, as well as seeing them collaborate after the visit. To an MA requesting a handoff for a monolingual Spanish speaking individual who was clearly going through a tough time and being so willing to stop what she was doing to interpret for me during the visit. To walking by a patient in the hallway that I had seen before. The patient was with their daughter and as we chatted for a few seconds, the patient said to her daughter, “this is the (BHC) that I was telling you that I come to see.” My mind was struck by this moment, as it thought about the normalcy of what the patient said to their daughter, how it was creating a context that seeing a BHC was something that was as normal as coming to see your PCP. From walking out to get another patient and seeing an individual waiting in the check-in line that looked familiar. The individual stepped out of the line and as they approached, my mind was able to remember the patient was someone I had seen a year or so ago. The individual informed me with tears in her eyes, “(my husband) died Saturday.” As we stood there holding the moment together and worked to get her in the next day, as she was unable to stay for a visit, my mind thought, “even in the depths of despair, (the patient) thought to come here. (They) thought to come to their primary care clinic. (They) thought to come to us.” The honor that still lingers in my spirit as my mind reflects on the moment remains palpable. And, as I was bringing my last patient back, a kiddo that had been through a lot and has been making great strides, asking at the end of the visit if I could come to his birthday party, I observed one of our BHC trainees running to get a 4:45 PM handoff. While I could tell the trainee was tired, it was their third handoff of the day, there was still a sense of pride, of vigor, of excitement to meet our community.
I ended the day talking to Bridge who had lost a patient she had been working with for a number of years to a long-battle of a number of health concerns. As we held the moment together and talked about the progress the individual had made, how they commented to her, “if I would had one of you all (i.e., a BHC) when I was young, I would not have struggled as much as I have,” my mind immediately went to the patient I stopped in the hallway with who told their daughter about seeing me as a BHC. How the two stories crossed each other, that maybe the kiddo who was now in a clinic that normalized seeing a BHC could ripple out in an exponential way. My mind ended the day as it does most days, saying, “damn, these moments are incredible. This idea of PCBH, while simple, ripples out exponentially. And, the moments we get to share with individuals, providers, and a community are profound.” My gratitude to you all doing this work and transforming healthcare for so many communities and, as always, for creating a context and space to share stories of PCBH.