Volunteer Spotlight: Raymond Huang, Health Advocate

As a classically trained pianist, music has always been a big part of Raymond’s life. When he was matched with David, an older adult in Cambridge, after joining SCES as a Health Advocate, the pair didn’t know how important music would be in their relationship.  

“Music is the big thing David and I have in common,” said Raymond. “It was an excellent pairing in that we both love music.”  

Two men sit side-by-side in front of a piano in a dimly-lit apartment.
David and Raymond enjoy the piano before each of David’s appointments.

When Raymond met David, David struggled with medical anxiety and white coat syndrome. David’s anxiety made it difficult to go to his appointments, so he often canceled them and avoided making new ones when he could.   

As a Health Advocate, Raymond attends appointments with David. He helps arrange transportation for David through SCES. During appointments, Raymond takes notes on what the doctors say and helps David ask questions. This is especially helpful when David has medication changes. It was concerning to know that David would miss appointments, so Raymond found a way to connect over something they are passionate about—classical music.  

“Every time I see him, I offer to play music,” Raymond said. “It helps ease his anxieties so he can make it to his appointments.”  

Each time Raymond visits David before an appointment, he plays a piece of classical music on David’s piano. Recently, they’ve enjoyed Beethoven’s Sonatas and Chopin’s Preludes. It’s a ritual they’ve come to treasure. In the year that Raymond and David have worked together, Raymond has seen a huge improvement in David’s anxiety. He rarely cancels appointments these days and is more confident going to the doctor.    

As an aspiring doctor, being part of the Medical Advocate program also helps Raymond better understand what the patient experience is like. Raymond has also volunteered with SCES’s SHINE (Serving the Health Insurance Needs of Everyone) Program, so he has experience providing Medicare information and assistance to older adults.   

As for David, he’s grateful for Raymond and his willingness to go the extra mile to make a difficult task more manageable.  

David said: “You’re at a loss for words when someone comes into your life who makes a difference.”   

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