Celebrating Child Health at home and at CFC
This month we turn the spotlight on Jessica Keshishian, a pediatrician who volunteers at CFC. Dr. Keshishian had her first son 2 weeks after completing her medical residency and immediately made an unlikely decision; she decided to stay home with her children rather than join a practice right away.
Having volunteered in the community since her teens, Jessica began looking for a volunteer niche that would allow her “the opportunity to practice medicine without having to compromise my decision to stay at home with my kids.” She heard about the clinic from her best friend who rotated through the clinic as part of her Morton Plant residency program.
Jessica started volunteering at the Clinic on Wednesday mornings, and she was hooked. “On one of my first days, I cared for a young girl with autism. At the end of the visit, the girl’s mom looked me in the eyes and said she couldn’t believe her daughter took so well to me as she normally does not do well with doctors, let alone strangers. It really made my day. Her sincerity has always stuck with me.”
“As much as I love being home with my boys (Jameson , Jayce [15 months], and a third baby due in late March), I love medicine, too. I greatly enjoy imparting medical advice and anticipatory guidance to families, helping them care for their child’s health. Plus seeing the kids smile at the end of each visit, getting hugs and high-fives are some of the best rewards.”
Dr. Keshishian knows that the Clinic operates through the simple generosity of people. “I am so grateful to have found the Clearwater Free Clinic, as it truly fills a huge need in our community: providing quality healthcare to those who are uninsured,” she says. “The employees and volunteers are so compassionate and selfless; it is a place I feel honored to be a part of. I would strongly encourage anyone to get involved and volunteer. For those who cannot physically volunteer, what better way to give back than to donate to the Clearwater Free Clinic that is making such a difference in people’s lives every day?”
Dr. Keshishian offers her best advice for all adults…
“Everyone can do their part to improve the health of children by setting an example themselves. This can be done by getting vaccinated, choosing healthy food options at the grocery store, being physically active, limiting screen time, and using proper safety gear such as seatbelts and helmets. Children look up to the adults in their lives, and they will model the behavior, actions, and values of those around them.”
Dr. Keshishian does her part every time she volunteers here at the Clinic; we are so grateful for her and all the other volunteers who help our pediatric patients to grow strong and healthy