Kaitlin N. Erickson, RN, MPH, is an MSN’19 student at the Yale School of Nursing, and the executive director of the HAVEN Free Clinic. She shared with us some of the reasons why working at the HAVEN clinic is a passion for her and how it influenced her decision to come to Yale.
“Monday is my most colorful day. It is a full spectrum day: red for Primary Care 1, blue for Women’s Health, green for Advanced Pathophysiology. My own personal grad school palette. Taking a quick glance at my Google Calendar though, you would think it was all in the same color: yellow. I spend most of my Monday, and week for that matter, in the yellow.
The yellow blocks dominating my calendar represent the time I spend volunteering for HAVEN, Yale’s student-run, free clinic for uninsured residents of New Haven. For the past year, I have had the honor of serving as one of the clinic’s executive directors. Together with the other 29 students sitting on the HAVEN board and the 200-plus volunteers from across the university, we deliver quality primary care services, along with a variety of other services from the behavioral health, reproductive health, social services, education, lab, pharmacy, research, and referrals departments.
HAVEN epitomizes why I came to nursing school, and why I ultimately chose Yale. HAVEN stands for Healthcare, Advocacy, Volunteerism, Education, and Neighborhood, elements that I hope will be part of my future career as a Family Nurse Practioner. Being part of this valuable program has allowed me to apply my public health background, along with my current clinical studies, to improve access to healthcare services for those who need it most. And for that, I am eternally grateful for the tremendous amount of yellow.“