When life gives you lemons, you hire Dr. Latrina Lemon as the medical director for the University of Richmond Student Health Center.
Lemon began her new role at the beginning of this school year, but for her medicine and working closely with people is anything but new.
Her mother was a registered nurse, so growing up she had exposure to health care from a young age, she recalled.
“I was definitely one of those kids in kindergarten who said, ‘I want to be a doctor,’” she said.
On her road to accomplishing that dream, she also joined Girl Scouts, connecting deeply to the community service aspect of it. That sense of community is something she has not lost while pursuing her career.
Lemon is no stranger to the Richmond area. She became fond of the city through her time as a student at Virginia Commonwealth University’s School of Medicine. Her connection to the city is something she loves about her work, she said. One of the most rewarding parts of her career in the medical field has been watching her patients grow, she said.
From delivering babies earlier in her career to now caring for college students, Lemon enjoys helping out people at all stages of their life.
“I like being able to see patients from when they’re first born until they’re at the end of their lives,” she said.
She practiced in college settings before working at UR, as she completed her residency training at the University of Maryland, working as faculty in the Family Medicine department. Lemon was the inaugural medical director for the first state employee clinic in the Commonwealth of Virginia when she took a position with VCU in 2015. She spent about seven years working in that position before coming to UR.
From her fantastic team to the positive workplace environment, she said she has loved her experience working at UR so far. Since working at UR, she has wanted to make students comfortable with coming to the health center and connecting the center with other health care locations off campus or other organizations on campus such as Counseling and Psychological Services, she said. Caring for the whole person is something she has always prioritized and something she knows is very important for college students navigating their early adult years, she said..
“I can definitely say that the Student Health Center wants to work with students, especially to ensure that we’re addressing physical, mental and emotional health as well,” she said. "So, we’re definitely on board of that integration between physical health and mental well-being.”
Lemon’s hard work early on in her time at UR has not gone unnoticed, as Tom Roberts, associate vice president of the Health and Well-Being and Lemon’s supervisor, has seen the ways that she has invested in her work and the community.
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“Dr. Lemon is making some much-needed organizational changes and working closely with the leadership of the counseling center to become better integrated to provide, coordinate and improve care for our students,” Roberts wrote in an email to The Collegian.
Roberts also mentioned that even in her short time on campus, Lemon has already begun to form positive, strong relationships with people on campus, as well as gain their trust and respect. In the workplace, Roberts thinks of Lemon as a positive, keen and savvy person to work with.
Outside of work, Lemon loves to explore the city of Richmond and connect with the community and family. She has volunteered at the Children’s Museum of Richmond for the past five years, as she loves being in the community — and not only in a health care role — she said. Lemon’s extended family also lives in the Richmond area, so she enjoys being able to spend as much time with them as possible.
Lemon also loves exploring all the fantastic food spots Richmond has to offer, with two of her favorites being The Daily in Carytown and Lunch and Supper. And while at work or at home, Lemon loves to walk around and explore Richmond. She cites this as being a good practice for relaxing and lowering your blood pressure, a good thing for both physical and mental health.
Lemon hopes to continue to meet more students and invest more in the UR community, something that has stood out to her since the beginning of working here.
“There’s a great sense of belonging here, something I haven’t felt as strongly at other places of employment,” she said. “[UR] feels like home.”
Contact managing co-editor Westen Doran at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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