AmeriCorps members getting things done through the years: Melody Fitzgerald

AmeriCorps Week, a celebration of all things AmeriCorps is March 11-17. Each day, we’re highlighting the National Health Corps Florida AmeriCorps alumni that have served at various public health-focused nonprofits and government organizations across Northeast Florida since 2004.

The Coalition has supported NHC Florida since its inception and  has handled the administrative and fiscal responsibilities of the program since August 2013. NHC Florida alumni continue to successfully grow out of a year of service into careers that both meet their professional goals and personally give back to the community.

Alumna: Melody Fitzgerald
Service Term: 2011-2012
Host Site: Medical Home for Homeless Children Project

During her year of service with the National Health Corps Florida AmeriCorps program, Melody  met a physician assistant employed at the health department who she interacted directly with to set up appointments for each of the families we were serving. Melody identified with this person’s persistence and compassion for helping others and recognized role in the health system which allowed for greater access to care. She realized that the role she “had been seeking so tirelessly” by serving a year with AmeriCorps was now right there in front of her.

“I really look back on my service term as the catalyst that drove me to where I am now in my career,” Melody said. She believes that having AmeriCorps experience on her resume allowed her to stand out in the competitive pool of physician assistant school applications.  Melody has obtained her Master of Science in Physician Assistant Practice from Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine. She works now as a pulmonary and sleep medicine physician assistant at OSF Healthcare in Illinois. She takes her experience from AmeriCorps into her career through providing continuous education for her current patients to better understand their medical care.