Her struggles were great but her kindness was greater.WATCH DOMINIQUE’S STORY
What causes some people to respond to a crisis with kindness and compassion, not focusing on their own personal struggles but choosing instead to help others?
Dominique Jouacin never imagined going into healthcare, let alone spending her first year as a Medical Assistant working at an outdoor testing site for Crystal Run Healthcare during a global pandemic.
But two years, a different country, a different career, and a different life later, Dominique found her place, being there for her new community when they needed her most.
Growing up in Haiti, Dominique spent the first 10 years of her career working at the UN. Then the 2010 earthquake hit, severely impacting her home and family. While her mother, working in a nursing home in the US, was safe from the tragedy, Dominique helped her country build back. In the process, she forged the resilience and compassion she needed when the pandemic emerged a decade later.
“It was important to me to always try to be kind and to have compassion for everyone,” Dominique said. “No one knows what people are going through in their day-to-day life so it was important to me that I was kind to every patient that I saw.”
Fairly early in the pandemic, Dominique’s mother succumbed to the virus. When she became ill, Dominique and the rest of her family could not enter the US to be with her due to travel restrictions. What did Dominique do? Seeing the urgent need for healthcare workers, she responded. She moved to New York, earned her Medical Assistant certification, and started a new career with Crystal Run Healthcare, testing patients for COVID-19 in outdoor tents.
As the pandemic continued, Dominique would spend her entire shift outside, no matter the weather, to ensure that everyone who needed testing had access to it.
“I was testing hundreds of patients in the morning, taking my break, then testing another hundred more until my shift was done,” Dominique recalled. “It was difficult at first because I wasn’t used to the cold weather and I was still improving my English.”
What got her through these long, sometimes lonely shifts, was connecting with the patients she encountered.
Was it tough? Absolutely.
Did Dominique give up? Never.
Working with a team of compassionate, caring medical assistants, nurses, and providers, Dominique administers COVID-19 tests, performs EKGs and obtains blood work, and assists with minor injuries among many other tasks.
FOR DOMINIQUE, CARING FOR HER COMMUNITY HAS BECOME HER PASSION.
“I’m not going to become a doctor like my mother wanted,” Dominique concedes, “but instead, I am furthering my education in the healthcare field so I can help patients, just as my mother did.”
She credits her mother for her kindness, her father for her humor, and her life experiences for her resilience in getting her to where she is today.
When we, and you, needed her most, Dominique was there. And we’re forever grateful.