This is another in series of profiles of health care professionals who have benefited from the Massachusetts Loan Repayment Program. The MLRP works to increase access to comprehensive primary care in underserved areas, by providing up to $50,000 towards outstanding educational loans for health professionals who commit to work at an eligible health care organization for two full-time years.
Today we’re profiling Kate Lufkin, an MLRP alumna who’s a social worker at the South Boston Community Health Center.
Kate planned to continue to medical school and become a physician after she completed her bachelor’s degree in psychology and neuroscience. After graduation she accepted a job at the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) where she worked in a clinic on a research study.
At HSPH she discovered that she loved interacting with patients. She enjoyed learning about her patients’ medical histories; helping them to go through questionnaires; and learning about their eating habits and lifestyles. She realized that what she loved most about her job – getting to know patients in a personal way – she would not be able to do as a physician. She decided to change career paths, and enrolled in a graduate social work program.
By reducing the burden of Kate’s student debt, the MLRP played a significant role in Kate’s decision to work at the South Boston Community Health Center and has allowed her to continue working there.
“Financially, if I did not have the MLRP, I would not have been able to stay here as long as I have,” she said. “It was a huge incentive to stay at the Health Center, 100%.”
Participating in the program has allowed Kate to continue to do work with a community and a population that she finds personally rewarding and professionally fulfilling. Although she completed the MLRP several years ago, she continues to call the community health center her professional home.
Kate works with a diverse population at the center. While the facility serves all South Boston residents, Kate tends to work mostly with low-income, underserved patients. “We serve all across the socio-economic spectrum. Our underserved population is not any different from a normal population going into a doctor’s office. People that come into the office want to make changes in their lives, which is a common theme among people and isn’t necessarily dependent on their socio-economic status.”
Working together, we can ensure that all Massachusetts residents – regardless of where or how they live – have access to health care and health services. Learn more about the MLRP and find out whether you or someone you know may qualify.
Weekly Flu Report, December 19, 2014 posted on Dec 19
Rates of flu-like illness increased slightly over the past seven days in Massachusetts, as indicated in the latest weekly flu report. Flu season doesn’t tend to peak until later in February or even March – so there is still plenty of time to get vaccinated …Continue Reading Weekly Flu Report, December 19, 2014
Weekly Flu Report, December 12, 2014 posted on Dec 12
This week’s flu report shows a slight dip in rates of flu-like illness since last week’s report – which is entirely in keeping with the unpredictable nature of flu season. One thing we know for sure is that no matter what, the single best way to …Continue Reading Weekly Flu Report, December 12, 2014
Highlights of the Public Health Council Meeting, December 10, 2014 posted on Dec 10
The December monthly meeting of the Public Health Council featured the consideration of one Determination of Need (DoN) request, two votes on final amendments to existing regulations, and an informational presentation to the Council on a key DPH community initiative. First, the Council took up …Continue Reading Highlights of the Public Health Council Meeting, December 10, 2014