Written by Charlene Mae Rocimo, Biology ’18
Upon graduating with a Biology degree in Fall 2018, I wanted to continue my work with the vulnerable and further develop my knowledge and skills in medicine by doing a post-graduate service year. I am currently participating in the Marianist PULSE (Partners in Urban Leadership, Service, and Education) program in Dayton, Ohio. This wonderful program is rooted in the Marianist charism. I am growing through living in solidarity, in intentional community, through leadership development, and service to the marginalized.
As a PULSE volunteer, I serve at Brigid’s Path, a newborn recovery center that provides residential care for drug-exposed newborns, and non-judgmental case management care for families. My job as a volunteer coordinator is to screen Dayton residents who desire to be a source of medical and emotional comfort for drug-addicted mothers and drug-exposed newborns suffering from neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS). As the youngest employee at Brigid’s Path, I have been fortunate to experience taking care of NAS babies under the supervision of neonatologists and nurses. It is my job to communicate with volunteers about Brigid’s Path needs, as well as with the other staff members about how volunteers should be utilized. This communication has allowed me to understand each staff member’s perspective in treating an NAS baby.
I always enjoy working at Brigid’s Path. While it is difficult to witness newborns suffering from high pitched cries, tremors, and hyperactive reflexes—symptoms of NAS— it is a humbling experience to witness mothers and their newborns receive effective and efficient care and/or treatment(s). Every mother that has gone through rehab has always come back to Brigid’s Path to thank the staff and volunteers for the unconditional love and support they have received from our facility. This makes me realize how helping someone, whether it’s big or small, can greatly influence an individual’s life. I am blessed to be part of Brigid’s Path because it is a facility that is finding one response to the opioid epidemic. Likewise, Brigid’s Path is providing awareness about the opioid crisis, by being part of the bipartisan CRIB Act and the documentary, “Not in Vein.” I am grateful to be a part of the Marianist PULSE program because it has given me many opportunities to learn about humility, compassion, and dedication. Overall, thank you to Chaminade University of Honolulu, Marianist PULSE, and Brigid’s Path for giving me many opportunities to grow in all aspects of my life.