Mary Krynitsky, a nursing student at George Mason University, grew up praying in front of the Amethyst Abortion Clinic in Manassas. It was a regular family activity on Saturday mornings, and continued with Seton school classmates and teachers during the yearly Forty Days for Life. For Mary, the clinic just seemed like something that would never change. So when it was purchased by BVM and closed, it was an unbelievable moment. As a volunteer and now employee of the Mother of Mercy Clinic, the initial joy she felt has only continued. ”To have a place of evil transform into something so beautiful is just amazing.”
Mary began volunteering at MoM in June of 2020; she had recently switched her major to nursing and the clinic seemed like an obvious volunteer opportunity where she could also gain meaningful experience. That transitioned into a full time summer position in June of 2021, and continues part time now that she is back in school with a heavy course load.
Many hats are worn by each volunteer and employee at the clinic, and Mary is no exception. She began with a mix of front desk work like scanning, reviewing charts, and looking through forms as well as basic medical assistant tasks like taking vitals, helping with the flow of patients during the day, performing point of care tests, and scribing. Her role as medical assistant and OB coordinator included all of that with the addition of doing all of the work for OB such as reviewing labs, coordinating patient care, making calls, and prepping testing. Because most patients are Spanish speaking, her high school Spanish skills very quickly transformed into near fluency so that she can now help patients in their own language, even when dealing with specialized medical situations.
The best part of the work for Mary has been seeing the patients on a regular basis, all the way through pregnancy and then seeing them with the baby. Being able to practice health care in a setting that allows a relationship to develop is wonderful for both the patient and the provider. “The Clinic atmosphere is a warmer atmosphere compared to the typical medical scenario,” according to Mary, and allows for that depth of personal connection that might not be found elsewhere.
For her it has been helpful to assess early in her career that she values a nursing situation which allows for long term care, rather than short term assistance. As she decides on which area of nursing she will focus, that consideration will play a large role. The most difficult aspect of her work at the Clinic has also been a transformational one. Because there are so many truly sad and difficult cases amongst the patients, Mary has learned in a very concrete way that as human beings we often reach the maximum level of assistance that is possible to give, and that some things must simply be handed over to God with prayer and trust. Detachment and trust in God’s plan are part of the spiritual growth that takes place in work with the sick and poor, and Mary has experienced that in her time there.
The Board of BVM would like to continue to give students like Mary an opportunity to work at the clinic by setting up internship scholarships for students in the medical field. This will be a twofold help because it will provide Alexandra the stability of medical assistance that is essential to a well-run clinic, and will be a transformative experience for someone studying to join the medical profession. Our goal is to raise an additional $50,000 to establish a fund for this purpose.
If you are willing and able to help, please contact Jenny Sladky at email@example.com to either increase your recurring donation or process a one-time donation.