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HRSA Project TeamUP Stipend Recipient Spotlight: Hugo Gozos

HRSA Project TeamUP Stipend Recipient Spotlight: Hugo Gozos

Hello everyone, my name is Hugo Gozos and I am graduating from USD’s Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program this May 2020! I am specializing as Psychiatric & Mental Health Nurse Practitioner. I am originally from the Philippines, but moved to San Diego about eight years ago. I have truly loved my time at this University. 

For the past year and a half, I have been placed at Crownview Medical Group for my clinical placement. This site serves all ages and all disorders. About 30-40% of our clients are also struggling with substance and opioid use disorders, as well as other mental disorders such as depression, anxiety, and schizophrenia. I’ve been very blessed to be at this site! I get to work alongside psychiatrists, nurse practitioners, and psychotherapists as I’ve been learning how to best care for these patients. I’ve also gotten the opportunity to work at Alvarado Medical Center in their psychiatric inpatient unit. There, we treat mostly geriatric patients, who are typically homeless and struggling with substance and opioid use disorders. 

The biggest lesson I’ve learned from being in this program is how important it is to truly know your patients. There are no black and white medications or treatment options, and understanding that each patient is unique and deserves patient-centered care has been so eye-opening. I’ve also learned that one caregiver cannot solve a problem. It is important to learn how to collaborate with other fields such as educators, social workers, and various healthcare providers to learn how to best serve all patients. 

Being a recipient of the OWEP grant is a wonderful opportunity for me. It has given me more awareness of the prevalence of substance and opioid use disorders. There are so many individuals suffering with these disorders, and I know the trainings I will receive through this grant will give me more insight on how to best serve this population. Receiving the grant has also gone towards paying my tuition, and easing a financial burden so I can focus more on my classes and my patients this semester.

My future plans are to work with an organization that provides care to individuals suffering with substance and opioid use disorders. I want to always promote this issue as a mental health disorder, and work specifically with early detection and prevention. I always want to provide care to this population, as it is very close to my heart and I have personally seen how it can affect individuals and families. 

My advice to future students: Stay open-minded. Allow yourself to become fully aware of mental disorders; particularly substance and opioid use. Dealing with individuals suffering from these disorders may be very challenging, but they deserve our knowledge, compassion and understanding. You must have the resources and referral systems to give the best care you can. And most importantly of all, have a genuine willingness and heart to help! 

begin quoteReceiving the HRSA grant has allowed me to fully dedicate my time and effort to my practicum site. It has given me freedom from needing a job outside of my practicum.

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Chris-Marcus Kitchings
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