NHSC Member Stories: Elizabeth Charlat


ELIZABETH CHARLAT:
THE MOUNTAINS IN MONTANA– IT’S NOT CALLED “MONTAÑA”
FOR NOTHING. IT’S BEAUTIFUL, AND I WOULDN’T HAVE MOVED
TO MONTANA IF IT WASN’T FOR THE NATIONAL
HEALTH SERVICE CORPS. MY HUSBAND’S
A WILDLIFE BIOLOGIST. HE HAD ALWAYS WANTED
TO WORK AT GLACIER, AND SO, THAT’S WHAT BROUGHT US
TO KALISPELL, THIS CONNECTION BETWEEN HIM WANTING TO BE
ABLE TO DO WHAT HE LOVES TO DO AND ME BEING ABLE TO
SERVE A COMMUNITY. MY NAME IS ELIZABETH CHARLAT, AND I’M AN NHSC LOAN
REPAYMENT RECIPIENT. I COME FROM A FAMILY
OF VOLUNTEERS. MY GRANDMOTHER ACTUALLY
HELPED TO EVACUATE BABIES OUT OF VIETNAM,
AND MY MOM WAS A PART OF TEACH FOR AMERICA
AND AMERICORPS. MY FATHER WAS
IN THE PEACE CORPS, SO WE COME FROM A FAMILY
OF BEING PART OF CORPS, AND SO THIS IS MY CORPS. SO, I MEAN, IT WAS JUST
VERY MUCH BEING A PART OF THESE SERVICES WAS
ALWAYS IN MY MIND, AND THEN TO HAVE MY LOANS
REPAID, IT’S LIKE BONUS. I LOVED IT. THERE’S MANY CHALLENGES
THAT I THINK KALISPELL FACES. YOU KNOW, IT’S DEFINITELY
A LOWER SOCIOECONOMIC POPULATION. THERE’S A LIMITED NUMBER
OF RESOURCES FOR A TOWN THAT IS GROWING,
AND THE LACK OF ACCESS TO SERVICES AND TREATMENT
CAN BE QUITE CHALLENGING. BETH: OK. I’LL LET HER
KNOW THAT YOU’RE HERE. PATIENT: ALL RIGHT. THANK YOU. CHARLAT, VOICE-OVER: I THINK
MENTAL HEALTH AND PRIMARY CARE INTEGRATION IS VITAL
BECAUSE THERE IS SUCH A CONNECTION BETWEEN
HOW WE THINK AND HOW WE FEEL PHYSICALLY. I HAVE A LARGE CASELOAD. I DON’T KNOW THAT THEY
KNOW THAT I’M A PART OF THE NATIONAL HEALTH
SERVICE CORPS. I THINK THAT PATIENTS
WOULD THINK THAT IT’S A VERY COOL THING, AND I THINK THAT
THEY’RE GRATEFUL, SO THAT WOULDN’T HAPPEN
IF THE CORPS WASN’T HERE.

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