One of these things is not like the other!

I’ve completed my first week on my PULSE assignment at El Futuro.  So many new impressions…

#1 Leaving the “bubble” of the GSK RTP Moore Drive campus  to work in downtown Durham (which by the way is a very nice place – come visit me and see for yourself!)


PULSE assignment

Environment: A secured campus in the middle of a technology park housing global businesses, located between cities  

Environment: Downtown Durham which has a vibrant, growing culinary*, arts and music scene all within walking distance from El Futuro. [*Durham is know as the “Foodiest Small Town in America” by Bon Appetit Magazine]

Security: Guards posted as you drive in the Moore Dr. campus and at the entry for each building

Security: Key card to enter building, key to open door, alarm to turn on and off when entering the office.  Key to access the restroom

Breakroom “amenities”:

Coffee machine – YES

dispenser for hot water for drinks-YES

Bottled water-YES

sink – YES

microwave – YES

refrigerator – YES

Breakroom “amenities”:

Coffee machine – NO

dispenser for hot water for drinks – NO

sink- NO

Bottled water – NO

microwave – YES

refrigerator – YES


Parking: Parking deck with tunnel for use during inclement weather

Parking: Parking deck located 2 blocks from office (“singing in the rain”)

On-site cafeteria

Variety of restaurants in a 1-2 block radius

On-site Gym

Local YMCA

Contact with Patients:  No direct contact with patients

Contact with Patients: Clients come to the El Futuro offices to receive mental health and substance abuse counseling.

I’m not complaining, I’m thrilled to be here and the environment is very pleasant, I’m just aware of the differences.

#2 Everything at El Futuro focuses on putting the patient first. I’ve been asked to develop a communications plan for El Futuro and one of the big challenges is how to tell their story while keeping their client’s information confidential.  

I do want to share with you one of the “El Futuro Celebrations” from their last online newsletter.  

Karla celebrates a young boy** who first came to us in January with another episode of panic and anxiety. His mother looked frantic because her once eager and friendly son was refusing to go to elementary school and no longer wanted to play with friends.  In therapy with Karla, he’s learned ways to cope with anxiety.  He also takes a small dose of anti-anxiety medication.  Last week he quipped, “Storms no longer bother me” and told me of ways he is making friends.  He played in his first soccer game last week with Rainbow Soccer and can’t wait to show Karla his jersey!  But today was special because he and his mom proudly presented us with a dozen eggs from their chickens at home.  They pay $10 for appointments and are very thankful for the help from El Futuro.   

**ALL identifying information has been changed to protect the identity of the client.


  1. This is wonderful! It is truly gratifying to see the change in a client/patient/person’s life…..I also truly appreciate that you don’t even have to go far from home to make a HUGE difference in the community around you…and as I write it–I reaffirm it to myself! THANK YOU!

  2. Thank you for sharing a bit about your first week, Randee! El Futuro sounds like a wonderful place. Thank you for all that you do for others. So proud of you!

  3. I cannot wait to read your posts as you journey to make a huge difference in this organization, but more importantly the one’s you will touch along the way. Best wishes for a wonderful second week!

  4. What a rewarding experience in your first week. I am eager to follow your journey and sharing your experiences. Best of luck !!

  5. Hi Randee:
    I am enjoyed your blog and am so glad that your first week went well. How wonderful that you are in a place where they too, focus on the patient (even more “up close and personal!”) Miss you and so happy for you! Happy 4th tof July to you and your family!

  6. Hi Randee. Your blog is great and a fun way to follow your trail while you are out on PULSE! We miss you and also are proud of what you are doing – they are very lucky to have you and I’m sure you will have a great experience. I look forward to more of your blog entries and hearing even more when we get the team together for lunch. Happy 4th of July!

  7. Hi Randee,
    Great to hear from you and appreciate reading your insights about your first week. So thrilled for you and will make it a priority to come visit! All the best, Jennifer

  8. Hi, such a great story and inspiring to be part of an organization which is helping so many people, including this young boy!

  9. Hi Randee,
    Thanks for sharing your recent experiences at El Futuro! So important to highlight and remember all the simple things we have and often take for granted. Looking forward to hearing more about your experiences during your Pulse rotatio

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