The SOAR Student-Run Free Clinic welcomed a new manager in 2019 and spoiler alert — she’s no stranger to Northeast Ohio Medical University.
For more than 35 years, Janet Raber, B.S.N., R.N., served as a clinical instructor for Physical Diagnosis Lab sessions for NEOMED College of Medicine students. Over the last three decades, she also helped administer clinical skills assessments, volunteered at MEDCAMP, and helped third-year medicine students prepare to enter the clinical environment through what is known as “M3 Boot Camp.”
When the SOAR Student-Run Free Clinic opened its doors to the community in 2016, Raber was there to teach students how to draw blood and provide information on diabetes education.
A new role at the University
The SOAR clinic has steadily increased the number of patients it serves since it opened in Fall 2016 to help people who are underinsured or uninsured. In July 2019, Raber joined NEOMED and the SOAR Student-Run Free Clinic part-time as its first manager, thanks to support from multimillion-dollar grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration’s Geriatric Workforce Enhancement Program.
“The Community response to SOAR has been tremendous and we are grateful that we have been able to contribute to filling a vital need of caring for uninsured people. Adding a clinic manager with Janet’s breadth of experience allows us to continue growing to serve the underserved,” said John Boltri, M.D., professor and chair of NEOMED’s Department of Family and Community Medicine.
In her new role, Raber supports the students in their day-to-day duties, helps connect patients with specialists and manages a large portion of the Clinic’s paperwork and administrative tasks. She also has the opportunity to practice direct patient care as a member of the education team.
Working with students is what makes her job so rewarding, says Raber.
“They are phenomenal, especially their work ethic, volunteerism and their social aptitude. They’re very socially conscious,” she says.
A job with a purpose
At this time in her life, says Raber, she’s all about volunteerism — whether it’s professionally or personally.
With a passion for serving the underserved, Raber volunteers with her church’s A Stich and A Prayer group and parish nursing program, the Lake County Clergy Association’s food pantry and at the Hartville Migrant Clinic, where she helps welcome migrant workers when they arrive.
“As I was transitioning into this new role with the SOAR Clinic, I stopped to think how this organization really aligns with my own personal mission,” says Raber. “It’s a perfect fit.”