Heather Miller was on Route 322 headed home toward Mechanicsburg, stressing about her degree from Penn State University in business and art and how it wasn’t what she wanted to do anymore.
All of a sudden, she came upon an accident that had just happened. One vehicle swerved off the road, hitting a guide rail. The other overturned and the driver was slowly pulling himself from the wreck. In the first car, sat an older female driver who had seat-belt burn and the airbag had deployed. She was cold and in shock. So Miller pulled some of the newly-cleaned towels out of her laundry basket and wrapped her up, keeping her company until emergency personnel arrived.
Back in the car, she called her friend who was a pharmacist – to relay the story of what just happened and just talk about how powerful it felt just to be there and help in any way possible. Having worked as a pharmacy technician in high school, could there be a future in medicine, she wondered. And around 2 a.m. one morning, she found a website talking about nurse practitioners and physician assistants. A light bulb went off.
After finishing PA school at Penn College (where her father teaches) in 2014, Miller worked as a hospitalist – doing internal medicine for patients at University of Maryland Medical Center. There, she worked with case managers and behavioral health to provide overall care for those in the hospital with other issues. That’s one of the things that would later excite her about Family First Health.
From there, she worked at Express Care in Hanover until a day when her fiance stumbled across a job at Family First Health. He’s also a PA, but the job asked for experience, and he had just graduated. So he told Miller about it, encouraging her to apply. She did her research and did, and now she’s going to be the second provider at Family First Health’s new Columbia Center. Though she won’t admit it was because of him.
It was Family First Health’s dedication to coordination of care that had Miller excited to become a part of the team. “Especially for that population,” she said. “They need assistance but don’t know how to get or sometimes that it even exists.” When she was working at the hospital, people would come in as they were falling apart, and FFH’s goal is to reduce that by working on preventative, overall care, she said.
When she’s not working (or planning her May wedding), Miller spends her free time sleeping,cooking, attending PSU football games, visiting family and friends and touring wineries. She enjoys going to the gym and has taken on running. She recently completed a few virtual 5Ks for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.