You can find Grant Van der Voort (and his amazing smile) in CommunityHealth every week, fulfilling his ambition to become a qualified physician and provide care to his community.
In 2017 Grant enrolled as a Medical Student at Loyola University’s Stritch School of Medicine. As part of the program, Grant spends Monday evenings here at the health center, learning the tools that will no doubt equip him to one day run his own student clinic evenings. If Grant looks more at home at CommunityHealth than his fellow cohort, more comfortable navigating the bustling hallways, it might just be because Grant has actually been walking the hallways since 2015.
Before Grant donned the lab coat he would often sit watching those in lab coats all around him, waiting for his expertise to be called upon. Volunteering as a translator, Grant gained valuable exposure to the people of CommunityHealth; the physicians determined to improve the health of their local community, the volunteers just like himself, each with wonderfully unique reasons for wanting to help, the staff’s dedication to helping each and every person who entered the clinic, and most importantly of all, our amazing patients, who were always so gracious for Grant’s time and translation talent.
For Grant, it has always been about the patients.
During a mission trip to Mexico, Grant was shocked and saddened by the lack of accessible health care of those he met. The issues facing the individuals were numerous; there were no medical professionals in close proximity, medication wasn’t accessible or affordable, and there didn’t appear to be any solutions being proposed at a state level. It was an eye-opening experience, and one Grant would not forget.
Returning to the U.S., Grant was determined to become involved in health care and make a positive contribution to those in need. Upon researching the state of health care within Chicago Grant was simultaneously dismayed and empowered: Dismayed that the very problems he had witnessed while in Mexico were prevalent on his doorstep and yet he had never known prior, and empowered because he knew could make a real impact upon people’s lives through volunteering his time. In his capacity as a translator at CommunityHealth Grant certainly fulfilled his desire to better the lives of those around him, Grant, however wanted the opportunity to give more to CommunityHealth.
That opportunity arose this year with Messages For Meds.
Messages For Meds is CommunityHealth’s online giving campaign that raises funds to offset the medication costs associated with our patient’s health care needs. By personally contacting friends and family and asking them to spread the message, the campaign aims to raise $25,000.
From his time spent both in Mexico and at CommunityHealth, Grant knew that accessing medication was one of the largest obstacles to maintaining good health for low-income uninsured individuals. Equipped with experience of the anxiety that a lack of access to medication can cause, and the elation experienced by patients when told their medication would be provided for free, Grant was resolute in his ability to fundraise. Even Grant however did not foresee the generosity of those he would reach out to.
Grant’s Messages For Meds campaign has, so far, raised an astonishing $2,150.
Grant’s messages, a powerful mixture of passion, experience and a belief in better, clearly resonated with those he’s contacted. Knowing Grant’s ever-growing involvement and commitment to CommunityHealth it’s no surprise that he is a fundraising superstar: his desire to help his community has cleared rubbed off on those around him. The incredible generosity of those giving to Grant’s campaign has touched not only Grant but also in a very real sense, numerous lives of patients here at CommunityHealth.
We are immensely grateful to Grant not only for his amazing fundraising efforts in support of #MessagesForMeds, but for the time he spends volunteering at the health center as an interpreter and during his time as a medical student, and for fully buying into the CommunityHealth mission: to serve those without essential health care.
In Grant’s own words:
“Ultimately I give back because I feel a real connection with the patients I see at CommunityHealth, I see Messages For Meds as a way to improve the quality of life of those I come into contact with”