If you weren’t aware, Community Health Net – primarily located in Erie’s downtown at 1202 State Street – is Erie, Pennsylvania’s largest Federally Qualified Health Center. The organization has served the community for over 35 years. The team at “CHN,” as its staff and patients affectionately call Community Health Net, provides individuals and families with high-quality health care – medical, dental, vision, behavioral health, and pharmacy services – regardless of a person’s ability to pay. The organization, with 7 locations in the region, is home to a cadre of about 100 staff and clinicians who love Erie and live and breathe the organization’s mission: to improve the quality of life in our region by providing professional healthcare services with compassion, respect, and dignity to all.
We could describe any of the many people who make up Community Health Net and their commitment to the community. However, there is the story of one person at CHN who defines the words “heart and soul.” She embodies community, stands for dignity and respect, genuinely loves people, and has given her life to and immersed herself in caring for individuals and families of all walks of life and socioeconomic status. Her name is Alison Davis, LPN.
We asked Mrs. Davis what drives her to help people. “My mother was my role model. She was a pediatric nurse,” said Alison Davis, a 16-year veteran LPN. “She would always talk about her patients and how much she loved them.” So when Alison told her mother about her plans to become a nurse, she replied: “If you can love people, be concerned about them, and put them ahead of yourself, then you can.” Alison has lived by those words. She truly loves being a nurse. However, even more so, she loves building life-long relationships with the individuals she cares for.
Mrs. Davis is a transplant to Erie, leaving her roots in Havana, Florida, over 15 years ago. She worked for Community Health Net most of her career in its Healthcare for the Homeless program. “CHN does not turn anyone away from good, adequate care,” she said as she expressed why she works for the organization. Mrs. Davis sees many people that remind her of her brother, who could not care for himself after suffering a stroke and dementia alone. That learned experience provided a profound perspective that increased her capacity to genuinely and deeply empathize with her patients, often extending herself after-hours to care for their needs. “Many of the patients in the program do not have family members who will support them. They need someone who isn’t going to judge them when they come in the door. They deserve to be seen and cared for with respect. We need to have compassion for people.”
Allison’s genuine love for people, along with the many other professionals of Community Health Net, gives her “Heart and Soul” and makes CHN vital to the place we call home.
If you love this story, consider donating to Community Health Net on Erie Gives Day on Tuesday, August 9th. Your donation helps ensure Erie remains healthy and vibrant and will help improve the healthcare outcomes for people in our communities. Make your voice count! Thank you in advance for your support!
If you have any questions, contact Mary Lynn Slivinski, Director of Administrative Services, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 814-454-4530 ext. 227.