Today’s blog post comes to us courtesy of our friends at Piedmont Health Services in Carrboro, NC:
Saying that Melba Jones is part of the patient family at the Carrboro Community Health Center is an understatement. The 83-year-old Chapel Hill resident has been a patient at the center as long as it has been there, and she used to work there. Four generations of her family are also part of the Carrboro Community Health Center family. Jones has three sons and five daughters. She also has 10 grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren. Most of her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren are patients at the Carrboro Community Health Center. Jones said she simply has no reason to go anywhere else.
“I really think I get quicker service at the health center,” she said. “There’s not a long waiting period and it’s close to where I live.”
Jones said she gets personalized treatment at the health center. She said she likes the center’s environment; it has a smaller staff that works with fewer patients than other medical facilities. Jones also appreciates the fact that the Carrboro Community Health Center – like all of the centers in the Piedmont Health network – charges patients according to their ability to pay and provides care regardless of ability to pay.
“Why pay much more for care?” Jones said.
Jones also worked as a certified nursing assistant, also known as a CNA, for almost 25 years, including time spent as a CNA at the Carrboro Community Health Center. She retired in 2010. Most of Jones’ daughters are now also certified nursing assistants.
“I had a lot of compassion for people,” Jones said. “I really liked it. I figured someone might have to take care of me.”
Jones, a life-long resident of the Carrboro/Chapel Hill area, was a patient of the Carrboro Community Health Center when it was one of three centers that started Orange-Chatham Comprehensive Health Services, Incorporated in 1970. After 45 years, the Carrboro Community Health Center still provides quality health care to its patients.
Jones said hard work and personally relating to patients are important when helping people.
“Do your best to take care of people,” she said. “You’re there to take care of the patients. Those people are there to get the very best care they can get. They’re depending on you.”
As a patient at Carrboro Community Health Center, Jones said, Dr. Christopher Tobin has been one of her favorite doctors. “He was just like a family member,” she said. “He was just so kind and so sweet.”
Now, Jones enjoys spending time with her family. Along with the care she receives at Carrboro Community Health Center, gardening plays a major role in keeping her healthy. “That’s my stress pill,” she laughed.
Note: The folks at Piedmont have established Community Health Center Alumni Association (CHCAA), a nonprofit organization for current and former providers, staff, patients, donors, vendors, volunteers, interns and elected officials – anyone who has had a relationship with Community Health Centers. Staff, patients, elected officials, advocate and everyone that supports health centers are encouraged to sign up. We signed up already! To learn more & register for membership, visit: http://chcalumni.org/.