March 3, 2022

Volunteer Spotlight: Terros Dilworth, 2021 Lab Volunteer of the Year

Meet Terros Dilworth, a lab technician and veteran from Glendale Heights! Terros completed his laboratory training while enlisted in the Air Force and earned the title of Staff Sergeant, which indicates his skill level and the specific NCO supervisory responsibilities he was granted. Terros continued to pursue medicine after his Air Force service was completed, and he now works at CDH in Winfield as a hematology lab tech. He hopes to eventually become a practicing physician, namely in emergency medicine, though he also has interest in nephrology with post-transplant care. We’re so grateful to have Terros in our lab! Read more about him below:


If you could have any superpower, which would you choose?
The power to give and take superpowers.


Do you have any special talents/skills you’d like to share?
I can make the secret family fudge recipe.


Outside of volunteering with Community Health, how do you like to spend your free time?
During the summer, I have a family garden at my grandparents that I enjoy taking care of with them. I also enjoy being around friends and family. I am really big into movies too.


What’s your favorite book or movie?
Favorite book is The Alchemist, it helped solidify my decision to become a physician. Favorite movie is Quentin Tarantino’s Django: Unchained, the only movie I have been to the theatre multiple times to see.


Why and how did you begin volunteering at CommunityHealth?
After my decision to not re-enlist into the Air Force, I started to get worn out from medicine. I needed a way to stay motivated and feel like I am contributing to something, not just working for money. I needed purpose again, so I looked into places to volunteer, came across Community Health, after a few shadow shifts I realized this place helps and sees the patient.


Do you remember your first day? What surprised you?
I do remember my first day. I was shadowing in lab, and everyone was so polite. The patients were respectful, and just seemed happy to be here. It’s hard to describe on paper, but you know the patients have an appreciation for our clinic and I felt that. Even when not speaking the same language you can understand body language. That’s never happened to me before, at least not so many times in a day, except for here. CommunityHealth has unexpectedly taught me more about human interaction despite language barriers, and how much more powerful physical interaction can be.


What has kept you volunteering all this time?
Knowing there are people who depend on us, knowing that we have a whole team interdependent on each other to do our part so we can treat the whole patient. It’s a positive feeling to help others and follow the golden rule “treat others the way you would like to be treated.”


What is something you’ve learned from volunteering at CommunityHealth?
The power of body language, when you don’t know enough of language to have a full conversation, but knowing how to universally interact and make someone smile or laugh a little with you, it brings to light that we are unique and yet there are common things we also all share.


What has been your biggest takeaway from your time with CommunityHealth, and how does this impact your other life or career goals?
How people can come together to make access to healthcare for everyone a possibility, and do it from the heart. I would like to start my own clinic someday too. So the more time I get to spend here and take in the little details to fit in the bigger picture the more I think about in what ways I would like to start a mission similar to one that CommunityHealth has.


How has working with CommunityHealth influenced your perception of healthcare?
It has given me hope that we are still patient-focused in medicine. Lately, in my opinion, I have noticed large healthcare corporations taking a profit first approach rather than a patient oriented one. CommunityHealth has given me hope that people are actively out there still focusing and pushing for patient advocacy, and making decisions on how to best help a patient, not a budget.


How can CommunityHealth be more supportive of your journey?
Helping me network with physicians so I can really understand the mission of each of those physicians and see how it aligns with what I would like to accomplish if walking the same path.


What does being a healthcare professional mean to you?
Caring for another human in a way you would want your loved ones cared for or yourself.


Why is volunteering important to you? What do you get out of it?
Volunteering is an indirect answer to a question of “who will step up?” You communicate to people, with the two most important things we have in this world, time and actions, that you are here to help with no expectation of a return. This communicates to those who observe, with no words needing to be said, that you are willing to do what must be done. My hope is that this inspires others to do the same, and continue to follow the golden rule.


What advice would you give to a new volunteer at CommunityHealth?
Find your own reason to do it, and do it the best you can.