Fillmore Physician Assistant Recognized Nationally
By Gazette Staff Writer — Monday, July 30th, 2012
Emem Ekpenyong, who works at Fillmore Family Medical Group, is part of the National Health Service Corps (NHSC), a team of qualified health care providers who care for communities with limited access to care. In celebration of the NSHC's 40th anniversary this year, the program is featuring one dedicated provider each week for his or service. This week, that provider is Emem Ekpenyong in Fillmore, CA.
In your community, and in communities around the country, many local health care sites are staffed and supported by members of the National Health Service Corps (NHSC), a team of quality providers who bring services to communities with limited access to care. As we celebrate the 40th anniversary of our program this year, we are featuring one clinician a week, and this week our outstanding provider is Emem Ekpenyong at Fillmore Family Medical Group!
For many without medical coverage or reliable income, primary health care providers are essential to the prevention and treatment of major health conditions. Emem is one such provider.
Even before she decided to become a physician assistant, Emem Ekpenyong knew she wanted two things out of a career in medicine: To work in primary care and to work with underserved communities. Growing up in Nigeria, Emem always was surrounded by people in need. “When I moved to the United States, I was aware of the need for additional health education here,” she said. “People with limited access to care don’t always have enough information to make healthy choices. Since I’m lucky enough to be trained in health care, I want to pass along my knowledge. Most diseases are preventable, and as a primary care provider, I can manage patients before they become really sick.”
“I’ve been with the NHSC for almost three years, and the loan repayment has been a huge help. For me, it wasn’t about working for the money. I just wanted to learn to be the best primary care provider possible and I knew working in a community with a shortage of health care providers would accomplish that goal. It’s just icing on the cake that my loans are repaid.”
Working in a community in need teaches you how to manage a patient with very limited resources, Emem said. “You have to work with what you have, and it makes you a more versatile clinician,” she added. “I love the community I serve, so I think I’ll always work here, or somewhere with people who have limited access to health care. Not only do I love my work, but I also enjoy living here.”