Monthly Archives: February 2013

New Herbal Donations

file000267364900(1)Occupy Medical thanks Timeless and Daughters, the makers of the Burden Cloth and topical herbal medicine, for donating to our clinic. This is a small, local company that generously opened their hearts to the plight of the suffering in our community by offering a bag of topical herbal medicine to the clinic.
As is typical of every clinic donation, the Sunday following this donation was filled with patients sorely in need of the very items that were brought in. Our volunteers barely had time to even remove the herbal salves from the bag as patients appeared in the treatment station with a request from the doctor to get topical herbs for their injuries.
Green Comfort salve ,Herbal Liniment, Unburn Gold, and Mind Soothe all proved to be the perfect medicine to save the day. Thank you all at Timeless and Daughters!

Twelve points: Meeting minutes

2/20/13, 7-9pm, New Day Bakery
In the house: Leigh, Benjamin, Becca, Brooke, Arwen, Wayne, Jerry, Andrea, Elliott, Karen, Intake Donna, Sue

1. Meeting change: We consensed to change our meeting place to the campus Glenwood Restaurant, 1340 Alder St. (at 13th, near LTD “UO Station South,” 28 bus) unless they decline to give us a standing reservation for every Wednesday 7 pm. Sue will request.

2. Gorilla Hair Salon: Benjamin needs help as he has more clients every Sunday than he can minister to. OM will reimburse him for the purchase of disinfectant solution, combs, clipper heads, and shears.

3. Mental Health Team: will meet at 11 Sunday to work on their protocols. Becca reported a “significant escalation” in needs for mental health interventions. Long wait times for clinic contribute to the problem. Some patients need to be seen off the bus, and a fast and flexible liaison is needed between medical (mostly on-bus) and mental health (mostly off-bus) services. We consensed on establishing the position of Resource Nurse to fill this and other roles (see below, Nursing). Becca suggested that collecting some preliminary medical data while folks are waiting would allow Mental Health to make contact with patients while assuring them that they will receive medical care when it’s their turn. Leigh volunteered to provide a sample template form, simpler than the regular Patient Encounter Form, for their use.

4. Nursing Team: The position of Resource Nurse was invented, to be scheduled and briefing/debriefing to be delegated by Karen. The Resource Nurse will liaise between all the teams, assiting with triage, supplies, and flow.

5. Wound Care Clinic: originally was going to be nurse-staffed, but 1-2 MDs have stepped forward to help too, so Nursing will discuss what scope of services will be offered. We discussed two possible locations: the Sprout farmer’s market site at 418 A St in Springfield (market open from 3-7 Fridays year-round), or the Whiteaker Community Center at the corner of Clark Street and N. Jackson Street in Eugene. Both sites have necessary amenities and are interested in the collaboration. We consensed that the Springfield site is preferred as the need in our sister city is tremendous, plus the wound care nurses mostly live in Springfield and are familiar with the community there, while the Whiteaker community already has access to our Sunday clinic downtown and we would be somewhat duplicating services. Donna agreed to contact the coordinator of Sprout.

6. Triage: much discusion of expanding the role of Triage to do more, well, triage (“the process of determining the priority of patients’ treatments based on the severity of their condition”). The team will meet and determine, in addition to how they want to perform triage, also how they want to store supplies, what support from other teams they need, what training they’d like, what responsibilities are appropriate for the team to maintain, etc. Example: should Triage determine who is ok to be seen on the bus, and can this determination be made on the bus, or should triage take place off the bus, and how? Leigh offered to help set up a preliminary triage “decision tree.”
We also had extensive discussion of problems related to patient flow. Effective triage would send appropriate patients directly to Nursing, Treatment, Mental Health, Psychohairapy by Ben, Social Work, Dental, et cetera. We have multiple bottlenecks. We consensed that Brooke would perform an informal efficiency analysis at the next one or two clinics, and report her observations.

7. Security: Due some stressful incidents at our last clinic, we reviewed the idea of having formal security personnel at clinic. Big John had performed this role in the past but wasn’t needed for a while. Sue agreed to contact him and see if he is interested in returning. We also discussed the idea of having a safeword or panic-word – a code word or phrase that would mean “I need help NOW” and evoke an instant response from all nearby personnel. We couldn’t consense as to choice of safeword, and tabled discussion til next meeting.
Arwen will make a sample Incident Report form to document anomalous events at the clinic.

8. Recruiting: Brooke offered to post “want ads” on OE-announce listserv. Teams should write up their “want ads” for recruiting purposes and send them to Brooke. Example: Can you drive a bus? No special license necessary. 2 hours a week to drive and park the Occupy Medical bus. (or something like that).
Jerry is in the process of contacting professional organizations and training programs to offer preceptorship as well as seek volunteers. “Two hours ain’t bad!”
Jerry also mentioned that professional newsletters sometimes offer free ad space to worthy causes, and these might be good places to recruit caregivers.

9. Medical Team: we reviewed that we have a policy of never prescribing scheduled medications, and why (our followup and monitoring resources are inadequate, patients are vulnerable due to the high street value of scheduled meds, and word gets around, attracting drug seekers to the bus, who then sometimes become belligerent when denied medications). We reviewed that patients who disagree with this policy can discuss it with a physician, but the policy is not changing.
We also discussed the difficulties surrounding prescription of antipsychotic and mood-stabilizing medications: they are dangerous if not taken properly, followup and monitoring are not adequate, and they are often very expensive, and our rx-voucher contacts may not be able to fill them on an ongoing basis. Unfortunately, the local safety-net mental-health clinics are closed to new patients, according to an administrator from White Bird last month. It is going to be a judgement call on the part of physicians whether they can ethically prescribe some of these meds. Caregivers should never assure any patient that they will be able to get a refill for any medication – the patient will have to negotiate their care plan with the physician, and await voucher approval via the Treatment Team.

9. Road crew: an entire 2nd road team is needed if we are going to have the Wound Care Clinic in addition to Sunday Clinic. Hat Donna might volunteer to drive the bus Fridays.

10. Dental: Oral Care Access is a mobile dental unit in PDX that is interested in driving down and parking by us. Jerry and Lina are working together to arrange this.

11. Intake: Donna asked for assistance in physical organization of triaged charts, which also has to protect privacy – no small task in a confined space. She was reimbursed in advance for 10 more clipboards.
Donna also asks that everyone occasionally drop by Intake and tidy up the food table, as she is unable to leave the charts unattended to do so.
Donna also agreed to begin, on a trial basis, to give patients estimated waiting times, based on an average patient flow of q 12-15 minutes. It is impossible to predict how this will interface with patients being triaged. Perhaps Triage should assign estimated waiting times?

12. Labs: access to labs are pending: Sarah has been unable to attend meetings due to conflicting responsibilities, but is working on obtaining matching funds from Legacy Lab for the $1500 generously donated by a benefactor and dedicated to providing labs.
Meanwhile, we have an acute need for tests for specific individuals. Leigh and Sue are working together to get these ordered and funded, with results to be sent to Leigh.

OM Meeting Notes 2/13/13

Occupy Medical 13 Feb 2013
Campus Glenwood upstairs
Attendees: Andrea, Jerry, Karen, Sue, Brooke, Elliot, Bill
Note taker: Brooke

Friday clinic:
Staffing: Karen, Dr. Mark
We need solid staffing before we start up Friday clinic
We discussed other locations that would increase foot traffic and visibility
Donna Riddle talked to Sprouts- Springfield Farmers Market 3-7 on Friday, Sprouts location is free and has electrical hook up.
Majeska talked to Red Apple: extension cord issue.
Elliot : If we set up Friday clinic – we need people to drive the bus and set it up.

Cindy Hardin is really excited about helping. Community Health Outreach worker at Peacehealth. She can get prescriptions for non-PH patients. High risk, low-income, no insurance patients. Case worker and CNA.

Data collection: what neighborhood did you come from?

Notes on Sunday 10th:
A new volunteer – Wayne – knows how to get people on Social Security and get them to services.
FYI: 15 and up can make medical decisions by themselves.
David Garcia Health & Human Services from Welfare office – will send us clients.
42 people on a skeleton crew. People felt frantic.
How do we streamline the process?
Were more people vets? –> someone from the VA has been spreading the word.

Nurses need more room: as it gets warmer we can set up a second tent? Karen thinks that is a great idea.
We can start lab services as we Sue just deposited a nice donations! Whoo hoo!

Accounting help:
We are cleared of tax obligation from the county. Nice note: The staff was very helpful and was familiar with our work.
Maybe Brooke’s stepfather who lives in Newport could be a good candidate to help with OM finances.

Social Justice, Real Justice
Washington Jefferson Park

We need to recognize volunteers
Thank you for volunteers
Brooke will help with new volunteers when they come on Sundays (this makes sense since she helps with intake).

Volunteers needed for:
Tent team
Bus team
Pharmacy support team
Mental Health team: Psychologists, MSWs, Counselors, etc..
Care, feeding, health and design of Bus team -> mechanics, carpentry, electricians, engineers
Messaging and recruitment team
Legislature team

OM Goes to the Healthcare as a Human Right Rally in Salem, Oregon

“There’s a war on the poor and we’re the MASH Unit of the war on the poor. The insurance companies have deserted our patients and we are patching people up as best we can until we get single payer healthcare for all Oregonians. We need you to support healthcare for all. We want you to put us out of business,” – Sue Sierralupe, Occupy Medical (OM) Clinic Manager

Oregonians Speak Out – Charlotte’s Story

Here is a personal testimony from one of our faithful donors.
“My employer switched to United Healthcare a few years ago. Fortunately, I haven’t had a major medical issue since then. I actually get a little anxious sometimes wondering what would happen if I did. Three years ago, after I had a seizure, I missed a lot of work over the year from medication changes/withdrawals and lost $10k in income that year, I almost lost my house! The #1 cause of personal bankruptcy in this country is medical costs!!! We are the only developed nation in the world without a universal health care system and we rank 37th in overall quality. Our infant mortality rate is higher some of the Scandinavian countries. This is ridiculous! SINGLE PAYER NOW!”
When I asked Charlotte if we could reprint her story onto our website, she agreed wholeheartedly. She understands that these stories need to come out into the open so that we can resolve our healthcare crisis. Charlotte continued in her typically eloquent way:
“It’s IMMORAL that 93% of the wealth creation in this country that’s occurred since 2008 has gone to line the pockets of the 1%. Economies don’t do well when there is such an extreme disparity of wealth. Personally, I am now required to work MORE for the same amount of money, which is outrageous.”
Thank you for sharing your story, Charlotte. Together, we can win this!
*If you want to share your experience with the degraded state of health insurance with our community, please reply to this post. Remember to keep your story simple and short. Also be sure to include your permission for us print it on this website. Let us know if you want your name attached to the post and how to reach you if we have a question before we print it. Remember that this is intended to support the cause of single payer healthcare for Oregon. This is voluntary. No payment will be given for posts.

OM Meeting Notes – 2/6/13

OM meeting notes – 2/6/13
Attendees – Donna G., Donna R., Leigh, Aimee, Majeska, Susan, Sue, Karen, Brooke, Elliott, T., James
Monday Rally – Donna gave a glowing report of the Rally. She gave tours of the bus during the meeting times at the Rally. Brooke reported on the representatives that we met with to push the healthcare for all bill in Oregon. Karen volunteered to go to Salem to meet with Rep. Floyd. We need to have a meeting to agree on talking points to reintegrate our focus. T stated that others on the tour noted the shoestring budget that we operate on makes duplicating this clinic doable.
Friday wound Clinic – There are some logistical problems in a variety of areas with Friday Clinic. We need to let this project rest for a few weeks so we can solve the problems before restarting it. Consensus for a new location for this Clinic was achieved. The new location will need a large enough space for the 35″ bus. We would like an electrical outlet. Bathroom, visibility and safe access.
Sunday nurse – We are going to restructure the nursing station to further the resources available to the patients. Nurses should be the mandatory station between doctor and treatment. Triage will add the job of introducing the patient to the doctor.
volunteer orientation – we will talk about the volunteer orientation after the messaging committee meets
501c3 committee – Aimee and Barb have joined the 501c3 committee with Sue. Sue is super psyched to have their help.
Insulation – We have denim insulation to sew into sheets to make into insulation panels. Donna G. and Elliott will help with getting these panels sewn.
permit renewal – Jerry is an official key holder of the electrical permit
James has removed himself from the OM team to catch up on other projects. He will be missed.
Dental – Sue and Donna met with Kim from white bird dental clinic to establish the next dental extraction clinic. It would cost $1500 + the hourly wage of one staff member for the day. Donna knows a variety of dentists to ask for help with this endeavor.
Statistics – Brooke and Donna R. are eager to put together the statistics. We consensed that we moving ahead with the statistics.
Messaging Committee- Leigh, Brooke, Karen, T, Sue, Donna

Donations to OM

Emerald FEAST award 1/31/13

Emerald FEAST award 1/31/13

Thursday was a red letter day for Occupy Medical. We received support for 2 of our treatment programs – prescription and herbal medicine are now funded. The uncanny part of this announcement is that the details matched so closely.
I asked Mt. Rose Herbs if they would care to offer another $200 of in-kind donations to our herbal treatment program. We use herbs such as milk thistle, dandelion, echinacea and osha with a great deal of regularity for our patients. Some patients are more comfortable with herbs as treatment instead of prescription medication. Since both programs work wonders for treating illness, we seek out donations that we can offer patients for free to use in conjunction with the doctor’s diagnosis.
Mt. Rose Herbs is well known in our town for actively supporting community health projects such as ours. They stepped bravely to the plate last year to help us out in our time of need. I asked for another donation of capsules, salves and essential oils for 2013 and waited for a reply.
I had assumed that our request was rejected when I got a call from the Mt. Rose office. They had good news. They met and decided that since we are an ongoing project with strong community support, we would be granted $500 instead of the $200 that I originally asked for. I was stunned. The faces of the patients that so desperately need these herbs swam before my eyes. I couldn’t say thank you enough.
Later that night, OM fielded another surprise. A volunteer, Arwen, and I presented a presentation to compete for an award of $500 from Emerald F.E.A.S.T. that we hoped to use to sponsor our prescription medicine program. Currently, we can get the first $50 of a prescription covered for patients without insurance through neighborhood voucher programs. The rest comes out of our donation jar or, more commonly, the pockets of kind-hearted volunteers.
Arwen and I heard the programs that the other presenters were running. It didn’t seem like we had a chance to win but we loved the idea of sharing OM with a captive audience. Healthcare for all needs buy in from Oregonians. This was a chance to pitch our cause.
When our name was called out as the winner of the award. Arwen and I just stood there. We blinked. We turned to each other hoping the other person would know what to do. I don’t even remember what I said when I thanked the crowd. Hopefully, it came out in complete sentences.
We have struggled as Occupy Medical for so long on so little for a community that needs so much. The idea that we will have the supplies that we need to help our patients is still a difficult one to fathom.It is an idea that we can get used to.
Thanks again to all those from Mt. Rose Herbs and Emerald FEAST that made this possible for our little clinic to make our city a healthier place. Thank you also to CALC for walking us through the system of donation management.