Helping my home community
by Ingrid Correa
Born and raised in Elmhurst and living here for 23 years, I never pictured myself being part of the first medical marijuana dispensary in Queens, but sometimes life takes various twists and turns.
About a year ago I received news that my grandmother was diagnosed with breast cancer. In the process of trying to figure out what medicine or procedures could be used to help her, I stumbled upon an article. The article read, “First Medical Marijuana Dispensary in Queens Opens.” I was happily surprised that the healthcare community was acknowledging the health benefits of marijuana.
After, doing some research, I found that Vireo Health is a physician-led company that follows a medical model. This really impressed me, and so I went on a whim and decided to email directly for job opportunities.
Consumed with college and work, I received an email for a job interview! During the interview process I had the pleasure to meet the CMO, Dr. Stephen Dahmer and the lead pharmacist, Aashna Satija. They both made the entire process welcoming and very exciting. Within a couple of days, I was offered the job as a Patient Care Coordinator for the first dispensary in Queens.
Some might wonder how it feels to be working at a dispensary and I can assure you that the Vireo Health team is like my second family. Working at Vireo Health has been an amazing experience. Within the first couple of months, I met many co-workers who all welcomed me with open arms and taught me so much about the company, our mission and the industry.
The one thing that I adore about Vireo Health is that we all come from different educational and cultural backgrounds. Individually, we bring unique qualities to the table. The diversity within the company has drawn me in even more because it makes an important statement to not only our staff but our patients as well. We are here to safely take care of our fellow New Yorkers.
As a Patient Care Coordinator, I love interacting with patients and providing them with the help they need as they begin using medical marijuana as a treatment for the first time. I find that as a Spanish-speaking coordinator, I’ve been able to communicate and guide our Hispanic patients that come through Vireo’s doors. A language barrier is something we don’t want as a obstacle to using medical marijuana as treatment. We want to provide our patients with an experience that is smooth and well guided.
Having a team that is so diverse allows for an environment in which we are able to share different working styles and ideas. It allows for a comfortable environment in our dispensaries in which patients from all different backgrounds are welcomed and can receive the life-altering medications that improve their health.