Meet the staff: Lawrence Spector

Lawrence SpectorLawrence Spector was working in New Hampshire doing internal medicine but felt as though he was lacking something when it came to providing overall care for patients.

That’s what drew him to Family First Health – the idea of having one organization that has medical, dental and social services. The whole package for the whole patient.

York might seem like a random jump from 25 years in New Hampshire, but Spector has family here. His sister lives in the area and had a baby a few years ago. The rest of the family came down to be close to his nephew. So in a way, moving to York is like moving home for him.

Spector spent time in the U.S. Army in the early 2000s before completing nursing school, working 10 years in an ICU and going back to graduate school for more education. He brings all that background to our Lewisberry Center where he’s just starting as a new provider.

When he’s not working or house hunting, Spector says he’s looking forward to spending more time with his family and checking out the outdoors in central Pennsylvania. From hiking trails to teaching his nephew to fish, he’s excited to see what the area has to offer. He also loves taking his nephew to Hersheypark.

puppy

This is NOT Adam but I had to Google English sheepdog puppies. How cute are they!?

Spector also has his hands full with his old English sheepdog puppy – Adam.

Meet the staff: Dr. Terrence Walker

Terrence-Walker-DDS

Dr. Terrence Walker joined Family First Health in August 2015 – seeing patients at our George Street and Hanover centers. He remembers exactly the month when it puts it into context that it was around the time he injured his Achilles tendon playing basketball and needed surgery. Since then, he’s hung up his basketball shorts.

He received his Bachelor of Science from Hampton University. He received his Doctorate of Dental Surgery from Meharry Medical College School of Dentistry. After doing a residency in Tennessee, teaching back at his dental school and doing another residency in Connecticut, Walker decided it was time to come home to York.

Walker was born and raised here, going to St. Patrick’s, York Catholic and York Suburban for school. It was at Suburban where he discovered his love of dentistry. A high school teacher told them to choose an occupation, shadow someone and do a report. The teacher suggested they choose something they were strong in – and for Walker that was science and art. So Walker decided to shadow his own dentist – Dr. Charles Stein in East York. From there, he knew he wanted to be a dentist.

His favorite part of being a dentist is interacting with patients. “Everyone’s different,” he said. And he works to “connect with patients as people.” It’s been fun along the way when patients come in and say they know his grandparents or aunt. “It’s cool to see how small the unit is,” he said.

When he’s not working in York or Hanover, Walker loves to travel. Mostly, he goes to Atlanta to see his fiancee (they’re getting married this October). The two met while doing their residencies in Tennessee. They’ll be doing their first big trip together after the wedding, when they head to Aruba for the honeymoon.

He loves comedy – too many comedians to pick, though Chris Tucker and Larry the Cable Guy come to mind (he blames living in the South). When it comes to sports – it’s Penn State football, the Philadelphia Eagles and North Carolina Tar Heels basketball. But he’s a giant Penn State fan.

His favorite food is anything Italian – mainly lasagna and pizza. And then it comes to his favorite dental procedures, he admits it’s got to be the restorative and aesthetic work. There’s just something about seeing the immediate turnaround on a patient’s smile and how that makes them feel.

Staff members witness Gov. Wolf’s LGBT anti-discrimination order signing

gov1

Shannon McElroy and Karen McCraw get their photo taken with Gov. Tom Wolf after he signed the LGBT anti-discrimination order.

A week after Family First Health announced its participation in a yearlong collaborative to transform primary care for LGBT patients, three staff members got to sit two rows away from the governor as he signed executive orders saying Pennsylvania would not stand for discrimination of LGBT people.

Because of Family First Health’s work for the LGBT community, Rep. Kevin Schreiber invited us to witness the historical moment that came on the heels of anti-LGBT laws gaining traction and approval in some states.

North Carolina enacted a law preventing cities from creating non-discrimination policies based on gender identity. It also states that students in state schools use the bathroom that corresponds with their born gender.

Outrage over the law was swift, and many businesses and performers are boycotting the state. Gov. Wolf said his executive orders were signed to show the country that Pennsylvania will not stand for discrimination of any kind – but especially against the LGBT population.

gov2

Gov. Tom Wolf signed it!

“I am taking action to protect those that I can and send a signal to the country that Pennsylvania is open for business no matter who you are or whom you love,” Wolf said at the press conference. “What happened in North Carolina, and what is going on in other states, should be a call to pass non-discrimination legislation in Pennsylvania now.”

“We must show that Pennsylvania is the place that William Penn envisioned when he founded our commonwealth on the principle that it is open, diverse, and inclusive for all people.”

Director of Social Services Karen McCraw, Shannon McElroy from Caring Together and I got to sit two rows away from the governor as he signed the orders. While we were there, Karen also spoke to the state Physician General Rachel Levine who said she was aware of Family First Health’s LGBT efforts and wanted to be kept in the loop.

It was an honor to represent Family First Health and the great work you all do during a historic moment for Pennsylvania.

Watch Gov. Wolf’s speech here.

Meet the staff: Victoria Lorenz

Victoria-Lorenz-PA-C
Michigan native Victoria Lorenz was looking to try something new. So she left the only place she’d ever lived to move to Pennsylvania and attend school at Salus University. She wasn’t totally alone though, since her sister – 4 years her senior – lived in nearby Lancaster.

Once she graduated from school, she started looking around for options. She knew she wanted to work with the underserved. And she was always interested in family medicine. She stumbled across Family First Health online, liked our website and the rest is now history – or at least the start of a new story.

“I always wanted to do this,” she said. So far, she’s loving what she does working with patients at our George Street Center. She thinks the staff is pretty great, too.

When she’s not working at George Street, Lorenz admits she’s a Netflix addict. Some of her favorite shows to binge watch include The Walking Dead, Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal and The Vampire Diaries. She also loves watching movies, reading and shopping. When it comes to sports, Lorenz played volleyball in school and is also a fan of basketball, baseball and soccer.

Her teams? All Michigan, of course.

Dr. Go on her dream of being a doctor

On Doctor’s Day last week, our CEO Jenny Englerth sent out a note thanking our providers for choosing Family First Health and for the work that they do.

Our Medical Director Asceline Go responded to Jenny to say how working at a community health center like ours fulfilled her dream of being a “village” doctor. Read more below.

Thanks to Dr. Go and the rest of our providers for everything they do! Asceline Go 046

Growing up, I have always dreamed of being a “village” doctor and always had a feeling of guilt having chosen to practice in a first world country. Unbeknownst to me, serving our community and working in a Community Health Center actually fulfilled that dream.

Years ago when I did my citizenship examination, the CIS/Citizenship and Immigration Services officer hardly asked me any exam questions in order to pass for citizenship eligibility which I had painstakingly prepared for and was ready to sing the Star Spangled Banner on his prompting. When asked, he merely thanked me for doing my work and deciding to serve my chosen community.

I appreciate the recognition given to physicians today. I believe though that it is a collective effort with not one more important than the other and so everyone needs to be recognized and appreciated.

I am blessed to find my niche.

Thank you Jenny for your leadership and support.

Dr. Filer wins Women Leaders in Medicine Award

filer

Our very own Dr. Wanda Filer has been a busy doctor lately.

You may remember that back in September she was named to be the president of the American Academy of Family Physicians. 

And today, she received a  2016 Women Leaders in Medicine Award from the American Medical Student Association (AMSA).

She was in Washington, D.C., today (Friday, April 1) to receive the award at the AMSA’s 66th Annual Convention & Exposition.

According to the AMSA (who received an “impressive” number of nominations this year:

To have been nominated is an honor: It represents the fact that one or more members personally identified you as a source of inspiration, leadership and support during their time in medical training.

AMSA says the nation’s oldest and largest independent association for physicians-in-training, created the award in 2007 “to recognize women physicians and educators who serve as role models and sources of inspiration for women who are currently in their medical training.”

Congrats, Dr. Filer! 

Meet the staff: Dentist Maria Fletcher

3.16 Fletcher
Maria Fletcher was pretty much destined to become a dentist – a fourth generation one, actually. Third generation female dentist, even.

“It’s in my blood,” she says with a laugh. “But Dad always encouraged us to do what we love. And I fell in love with doing it. I felt like it was my calling.”

Dr. Fletcher moved to York from Chicago, where she was born and raised. It was during her master’s program at Midwestern that she met her now husband. And he’s the one who brought her to York when he started his family medicine residency here at York Hospital.

How she ended up at Family First Health is actually a little bit because of him, too – and Dr. LaJuan Mountain’s mother’s fault. Fletcher’s husband was on rotation with Dr. Mountain’s mother who told him all about Family First Health. From there, she applied and said she came to learn all the great benefits to working here.

Her favorite part of being a dentist is getting to know new people and help them with their smiles. They are, of course, one of the first things you notice about a person.

When she’s not working, Dr. Fletcher and her husband like to visit his family in Dover and visit Rehoboth Beach. Her favorite hobby is geocaching, and says there are always a lot of places around to find it. Her dog, Lana – a half Pomeranian and half Chihuahua mix – often tags along to help find things.

When asked about her favorite things or a random fact about her, Dr. Fletcher could only say she loves it here!