January 22, 2024

January Volunteer Spotlight: Kelley Baumann

CommunityHealth shines the Volunteer Spotlight on Kelley Baumann during January.

With over 292 hours served, Kelley has volunteered as a lab technician, leader, and trainer since June of 2022.

For her inspiring leadership and irreplaceable service, Kelley was awarded 2023 Clinic Volunteer of the Year in Lab for the 2023 Volunteer of the Year Awards.

CommunityHealth sat down with Kelley to learn more about her as both a revolutionary health care professional and as a compassionate, openminded, and reliable individual who values Quality Health Care For All in and outside of clinic doors…

In a few sentences, tell us more about yourself and your background.

“I grew up in southern Wisconsin and moved to Chicago in the summer of 2022 for graduate school.”

What is your favorite memory from your time with CommunityHealth?

“I really miss Jazmin and her decorations in the lab! It was so fun to walk in and see the lab decorated for various holidays and it just brightened my day every time.”

Why and how did you begin volunteering at CommunityHealth?

“When I moved to Chicago, I knew I wanted to find a way to continue using my phlebotomy skills while also serving the community. The staff at CommunityHealth made it so easy to get started!”

What has kept you volunteering all this time?

“The staff and patients at CommunityHealth are all so nice and welcoming. The staff in particular are really trusting of all of the volunteers, and it makes for a great environment. I really feel like CommunityHealth is a team and I can contribute every day that I volunteer.”

What is something you’ve learned from volunteering at CommunityHealth?

“I have really improved my Spanish speaking skills, and this has helped me a lot in my personal and professional life!”

What has been your biggest takeaway from your time with CommunityHealth, and how does this impact your other life or career goals?

“When people come together under a shared mission for health justice, we can really do great things. The quality of care provided by CommunityHealth is so inspiring. Being at CommunityHealth has motivated me to apply to medical school and find additional ways to serve my community. I can’t wait to continue on this career path with CommunityHealth by my side.”

How has working with CommunityHealth influenced your perception of health care?

“Our healthcare system leaves so many people out. It is sad to me that we have to create parallel health systems for people who are uninsured or underinsured. That being said, CommunityHealth and other free clinics are doing great, essential work.”

What advice would you give to a new volunteer at CommunityHealth?

“Bring your ‘A game’ as a volunteer and you will get so much out of the experience, and your patients will, too. But don’t worry if you don’t know something; every staff member and volunteer at CommunityHealth is committed to watching you grow and succeed and will help you at the drop of a hat.”

Outside of volunteering with CommunityHealth, how do you like to spend your free time?

“I love to spend time outside, roller-blading, running, and geocaching! Really any way I can explore the city by foot (or wheels), I love to do.”

What’s your favorite book or movie?

“Everyone who volunteers at CommunityHealth should read Mountains Beyond Mountains by Tracy Kidder. It tells the story of the life of Paul Farmer and his work providing free medical care to people in rural Haiti. It’s such an inspiring story that I think many of us can identify with.”

What’s your favorite Halloween costume you’ve ever had?

“I once dressed up as a fish tank!”

CommunityHealth is More Than A Free Clinic thanks to devoted volunteers like Kelley.

As the largest volunteer-based free health clinic in the nation, serving over 20 specialties to people living without insurance, access, and documentation in 3 languages, our care is based in cultural competency.