SRFCC in San Antonio, Texas

by Transpharmers

“What?  Where are you?  I don’t see you!” Sarah exclaimed.

“I am here, right at baggage claim #2, where are you guys?”  I responded

“We are at baggage claim #2 too!  But we don’t see you!”

“I am right here.  Next to the car rentals area.”

“Let’s try going outside and see if we can see each other,” Sarah suggested.

“I am right outside now by the pickup area.  Do you see me?” I asked

“No!  Where are you?  Are you at the wrong airport?”

“No!  I am at the Austin, TX airport!” I said

“Austin?!?…  Phat!!!  The conference is in San Antonio, Texas!”  Sarah shouted.

That was the beginning of my trip to the Annual Society of Student-Run Free Clinic Conference!  Apparently, while looking at flights to San Antonio, I somehow ended up booking and thinking that the conference would be in Austin, Texas.  Yes, I know that sounds crazy but hear me out.  This probably happened because since the flight prices went up, I was looking at other airports nearby San Antonio as backup options.  I kept looking, and apparently, my computer saved my last info so I ended up kept looking at flights to Austin, Texas.  From there, my mind got tricked into thinking that the conference was in Austin, Texas.  Two weeks away from the conference date, I booked my flight and now here I am lost and stranded, one hour away from San Antonio.  I swung by the information desk and talked to the sweetest couple ever!  They gave me great advices and told me that the cheapest option was to rent a car and drive to San Antonio.  I ended up renting a car from Enterprise Rent-a-Car and drove around for lunch, ate pho (Vietnamese noodle soup), had my Vietnamese iced coffee, got some Starbucks and headed to San Antonio.  Amazingly, I was quite calm and relaxed throughout this entire dilemma.  I truly think that God was testing me because besides flying to the wrong airport, earlier in the day, I also arrived a little late to the Minneapolis airport and checked in just in time for boarding.  Then my suitcase broke so I couldn’t stroll it around.  I arrived in Charlotte within 20 minutes of my next flight so there I was with one heavy, broken luggage on one arm, a heavy garment bag on the other, a laptop backpack and running from terminal B to E in my Aldo boots.  They even paged my name on the intercom at 10 minutes before my flight departure from Charlotte to Austin so I had to make a mad dash to catch my flight!  Luckily I made it in time and then the whole fiasco of flying to the wrong airport… What a morning eh?  However, I thoroughly enjoyed all the events that morning!  I enjoyed my lunch and the drive was quite nice.  As I drove through interstate 35, happy memories of my previous trips to Texas and to my friends’ wedding arise.  The sun was out, it was 70 degrees (100 degrees difference from Minneapolis), and lots of good scenery so despite the fact that everything went wrong that morning, I felt at peace and happy knowing that nothing happens without God’s providence.  After 2 hours of cruising around, I arrived at the Grand Hyatt hotel in downtown San Antonio.

After checking in, we went out to the riverwalk bar right outside of our hotel and had a few drinks with the fellas to celebrate.  Yes, the riverwalk!  There was a man-made moat that they created running through downtown San Antonio.  There are lots of restaurants along the side and great scenery.  We then headed towards the main restaurant area for dinner and met up with one of my best friend in college and his wife, Thien & Thom!  It felt like yesterday when I attended their wedding in TX and now here they are expecting their first child!

Saturday was the main day for the conference.  Both Sarah Timm, Phillips Neighborhood Clinic (PNC) Management Chair, and I, PNC Operations Chair, had an oral presentation and poster presentation on our Electronic Health Records (EHR) system titled “Quest for Optimum Patient Care & Interprofessionalism through Implementation of a New EHR System” to share information with other clinics about a new EHR installment at our clinic.  We aim to share our unique experience of rolling out Epic, the new EHR system, into the student-run free clinic in only four months as opposed to the one year transition period most clinics use.  Our goal is that other clinics will be able to relate and benefit from our experience; to be able to successfully implement a new EHR system in their clinic without losing focus of an interprofessional team approach to care for marginalized populations who present with unique needs and challenges.  The rest of our PNC Admin Board also had poster and oral presentations on Saturday as well.  Collectively, PNC had 4 posters and 2 oral presentations to over 350 students in the health professions like dental, laboratory science, medicine, nursing, pharmacy, physical therapy, public health, social work, and other health professions as well!  We also attended many presentations and learned so much from other student run free clinics around the nation.  We even had a few students that came from the first and only student run free clinic in China!  There was so much to learn and we all felt so inspired by our colleagues through their work, passion, motivation, and enthusiasm to help others.  Hopefully we will be able to apply some of these great ideas and help to improve the PNC!

Saturday evening we went to dinner at Acenar with Dr. Sick, our PNC Medical Director, and a few of family medicine physicians from MN.  We all had such a great time talking and getting to know each other on a more personal basis.  I wished that this event was later in the year so that we can send our incoming Admin Board and the outgoing to something like this.

Sunday was our last day with one talk and discovering that the conference will be held in Opryland, Tennessee next year!  We then headed out for lunch by the riverwalk and went to the Alamo!  After dropping off two of the guys at the San Antonio airport, I headed back to Austin to return the car and fly home.  You would think that my crazy weekend adventure was over but NO!  I’ve previously tried to see if my friend can give me a ride to the Austin airport after I drop off my car at that Enterprise location.  However, due to some last minute conflict my friend was unable to come and give me a ride.  This was during after hours on Sunday so I was quite flustered and lost as I didn’t know what the cheapest option to get to the airport was.  To make matter worse, my flight was leaving in one hour!  Luckily, one employee was hard at work afterhours and offered to let me drop off my car at the Enterprise airport location for no extra charge!  He will get a big thank you letter soon 🙂  So I drove the car to the airport and make it just in time for my flight home.  This was quite the trip that I will forever remember!  Now I’ll just need to catch up on my Zzzs and head back to the back to school mode 😦  On well, at least I can say that I am now a PD3.5!  Below are some pictures from this weekend.

Enjoy! 🙂

Until next time!

Phat

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