The following story was featured in the Spring 2019 issue of the OneSpirit Magazine.
Rhonda Dixon, nurse practitioner at Conway Interfaith Clinic, has made caring for others her life’s work. Her mother was ill while she was child and passed away when Rhonda was 28 years old. She knew that she wanted to be in the medical field and extend the same kindnesses her mother had received.
“My best friend in high school encouraged me to join the nursing program with her, so I started taking classes. The funny thing is, she ended up majoring in history, and I became a nurse,” remembers Rhonda. “There wasn’t a defining moment, but I do know that this is what I’m supposed to be doing in this life.”
While working as a nurse and raising her family, Rhonda heavily invested herself in volunteering, serving on the Board of Directors for Conway Interfaith Clinic for seven years, co-chairing the Jack Logan Memorial Golf Tournament and Conway Fall Classic and serving on the Women’s Shelter of Central Arkansas board as vice-president and president-elect. Other community involvement includes work with the Junior Auxiliary, which focuses on serving children in Faulkner County. She’s also a member of Sigma Theta Tau, a graduate of the Faulkner County Leadership Institute and was named Faulkner County’s Woman of the Year in 2018.
Rhonda firmly believes that God was preparing her for her later service at Conway Interfaith Clinic, long before she ever had the idea to return to school for her nurse practitioner degree.
“There’s no doubt that my years of volunteering were leading me to go back to school and then to this clinic. I didn’t know when I joined the board all those years ago that I was on the path that God laid out for me. I feel so blessed to be part of a greater plan,” she says.
Low Cost, Compassionate Care
Conway Interfaith Clinic fills a critical need for people who live and work in Central Arkansas who have limited access to primary care services and dental care for children with ARKids or Medicaid. Serving those with and without insurance, the clinic’s purpose is to make a difference in the health of the community members – regardless of their race, religion, ethnic background or financial situation. The clinic accepts most insurances but also provides low-cost self-pay options, including a $25 initial visit with additional fees for labs and procedures.
Although she downplays the accolades she has received, Rhonda shares that the true reward of her work is to see a difference in people’s lives when they get appropriate and timely care for their acute and chronic health conditions. “Loving on my patients, developing relationships with them and helping them choose ways to improve their overall health fulfils my purpose,” she says.
When asked why people should volunteer, Rhonda is quick to give this answer. “Our community is only as good as the people who live and work here. It’s up to us to make it what we want it to be. When you come together and give of yourself to others, you’ll get much more in return,” says Rhonda. “I’m so blessed to do this work and to engage with so many people. I genuinely love and care about members of my community.”