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678-280-6630 (West) | 770-806-0162 (East)

Make An Appointment
678-280-6630 West Gwinnett clinic
770-806-0162 East Gwinnett clinic

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A Different Job Experience

Good Samaritan Health Centers of Gwinnett (Good Sam Gwinnett) is full of staff members and volunteers who feel called to serve in ministry and believe in our mission to demonstrate the love of Christ to the working poor and uninsured of Gwinnett County. This empowers us to train future healthcare workers who see patients as people made in the image of God. 

This kind of workplace was new to Andrea Abella, a medical assistant who has worked at Good Sam Gwinnett for the past two years. She and her husband have made their relationship with God an important part of their lives and want to exemplify a genuine faith in Jesus. 

Abella hails from Miami, Florida, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in public health. She wasn’t sure exactly what she wanted to do in healthcare, but after moving to Georgia, she learned of an opening at Good Sam Gwinnett for a dental coordinator and took the job. Eventually, she moved to the back office assisting medical providers.  

A Different Culture

Living in a new state can be lonely, but Abella quickly made friends at work, and Georgia started to feel like home. The office environment was welcoming and helped her grow spiritually. 

“I had never really known myself in a work setting where I can express my faith, and I learned that here there’s nothing for me to hide,” she said. 

She did not know how much this freedom would impact her. Being able to pray with patients and pray for coworkers has allowed her to be the person who God made her to be.  

Andrea Abella with other medical assistants at Good Sam Gwinnett

Andrea Abella (left) with other staff she has worked and developed friendships with at Good Sam Gwinnett. From left to right: Gloria Cruz, Kendrick DeCastro, Arturo, Jackie Tizol, Arturo Reyes, Juanita Giraldo.

Nonetheless, her experience at Good Sam Gwinnett has not come without some stretching. Shortly after Abella began working in the back office, she began working with two young girls from Guatemala who needed vaccines to attend school.  

“I hate making kids sad,” Abella said, but the girls were terrified of the shots. Abella kept administering their vaccines every three to four months to get them up to date with their school’s requirements. Little by little, however, the girls became more comfortable with her.  

“The last time they came, something that for me was so special was they said my name like, ‘Andrea!’” she recalled. “Their mom told me they were excited to see me.” 

This experience reassured Abella despite the challenges she faced with this part of her job. Also, she says this story is just one example of how patients build relationships with their providers and feel like home at the clinic. 

A New Career

In January 2022, Abella will begin a nursing program at Kennesaw State University. Working at Good Sam Gwinnett has helped her see that nursing would be a good fit.  

Abella hopes to work in a nonprofit clinic in the future and address health disparities and inequities in her career since she is still passionate about public health.  

“I learned that when it comes to filling the gaps in the healthcare system, it takes a team of compassionate individuals working together,” Abella said.  

She’s grateful that Good Sam Gwinnett has provided a welcoming environment for her, and that staff also pushed her to grow both professionally and spiritually.  

“Every day, I came to work excited to learn from my co-workers and watch them step up and advocate for our patients,” Abella said. “They pushed me to become a better version of myself. There is something so special about working alongside people who really love Jesus and want to share that love with others. “

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