Operation House Call (OHC) is grateful for the continued support from the Doug Flutie, Jr. Foundation for Autism through their annual community grants.
This year’s grant funding is particularly special because it focuses on supporting the journey of our OHC co-teachers through the creation of the Operation House Call Ambassador Program.
The OHC Ambassador Program helps elevate self-advocates who wish to mentor others. Through our OHC lectures, the Ambassador practices sharing their lived experiences with medical students and nursing students. They also reach out to other co-teachers to work together on best practices for sharing their stories, provide tips on the best types of healthcare stories to share, and even offer support regarding working through the anxiety of public speaking.
Jonathan Gardner is our first OHC Ambassador and he fittingly tells his own story of being an OHC Ambassador below:
My name is Jonathan Gardner. I am a 20-year-old Self-Advocate, Decision Maker, and Cancer Survivor who happens to have autism. I am also an official Ambassador for Operation House Call for The Arc of Massachusetts. This is all made possible through the grant from the Doug Flutie Jr. Foundation, where I am also a proud Flutie Fellow. It makes my heart happy that two of my favorite organizations support me and so many others to live their best lives.
With the Ambassador position for Operation House Call, I am able to be a mentor to other self-advocates with autism and/or intellectual and developmental disabilities. This is so important to me, that I am able to help others have their voices heard to make a difference.
Advocacy gave me hope and purpose while I was battling cancer. Having my voice heard and respected is so impactful and helps me to fulfill my vision of helping others anyway I can.
I am looking forward to continuing to co-teach and mentor others along the entire spectrum of disabilities so that everyone gets the health care they deserve.
Thanks to the Doug Flutie Jr. Foundation’s generous grant, I am able to do this. Together we really all can make a positive difference in this world!