Statesboro resident and AmeriCorps National Civilian Corps service member Dana Armel assisted a New Hampshire testing clinic for hepatitis C last week after syringes used to treat patients were intentionally contaminated.
Armel and her AmeriCorps team assisted patients at the Cooperative Middle School in going through a screening process, paperwork and general crowd control. As a part of her 10-month term of national service, Armel, 23, was asked to assist with this special assignment by Volunteer New Hampshire.
Volunteer NH executive director Gretchen Berger-Wabuti said that assignments like this support both the mission of AmeriCorps and the ethics of Volunteer NH by strengthening communities and developing leaders.
"Being that we work with a variety of national service partners, we are familiar with AmeriCorps NCCC training and integrity of providing a team of dedicated individuals," Berger-Wabuti said. "We look to (the corps for excellent teams that are able to work well on large scale operations."
Armel, who is working on her culinary arts degree, was shocked by the actions of a worker accused of contaminating the needles, but said she was happy to make a difference.
"It's important for people to know if they've been affected by this," Armel said. "And we can make it a lot easier with us being there."
The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services Division of Public Health Services will run the testing clinics in four locations. Armel, along with the rest of her AmeriCorps NCCC team assisted at one of these locations.
Armel's AmeriCorps team - Moose 4 - is based in Perry Point, Md., but members are from all across the country. The team currently is working at Camp Lincoln, a YMCA summer camp in Kingston, NH.
AmeriCorps NCCC is a full-time, residential, national service program in which 1,100 young adults serve nationwide each year. During their 10-month term, Corps members - all 18 to 24 years old - work in teams of eight to 12 on projects that address critical needs related to natural and other disasters, infrastructure improvement, environmental stewardship and conservation, energy conservation, and urban and rural development.
In exchange for their service, Corps Members receive $5,550 to help pay for college, or to pay back existing student loans. Other benefits include a small living stipend, room and board and leadership development. AmeriCorps NCCC is administered by the Corporation for National and Community Service, a federal agency. For more information, visit the website at www.americorps.gov/nccc.