Occupy Medical’s Annual Review 2015

Occupy Medical’s Annual Review 2015

Occupy Medical’s year included the recognition of our 501c3 status
. This has been a project that took much longer than originally expected for a variety of reasons. One of them was that the IRS changed its rules about the expected paperwork for organizations such as ours after our 1st draft was completed. Many hands went into the completion of this project and it is opening many doors for us financially. A big sigh of relief goes out now that we have attained this tax status.

Retreat/Training – April of 2015 held a big retreat and training opportunity for volunteers. We not only learned about HIPAA, deescalation techniques, harm reduction and OM’s history but we had a visioning segment that resulted in practical options for the future. We refined our mission statement and another job description as well as establishing official contact with the local SEIU reps. We look forward to holding another retreat/training next year.

November had another training and potluck for volunteers. This was held at a local neighborhood association building and offered a chance for attendees to share what brought them to OM before learning HIPAA basics from Dr. Bruce and OM history and structure from Sue.

We also joined Nonprofit Network at Donna R’s suggestion as they offer cost effective and valuable training which caters to organizations such as ours.

Other trainings in the community have been attended by OM volunteers in order to share this knowledge with the rest of the group. De-escalation techniques, for example, were taught to Ben and Ken of the Support Service team and they have done a fine job of sharing these principles with the team.

We forecast more trainings such as cultural sensitivity training and effective communication training along with updates of the traings mentioned above for 2016.

OM Teams – Currently, we have basic teams: intake, triage, prescribers, treatment, wound care, hospitality and now a combined team support/peacekeeping/translator team. Each team has at least one team lead. The combined team has 3 lead positions. These teams combined as their work interconnects fluidly during clinic. The requirements for each position are different but working together makes this team more efficient.

The treatment team took on another project: Rescue Packs under the guidance of treatment team member Dandy. The rescue packs consist of a bag of basic survival items such as toothbrushes, water bottles and nutritional supplies to be handed to unhoused “panhandlers”. The project was originally inspired by the death of an activist for the unhoused and veterans. It was clear that we needed to take an extra step during the week to keep our citizens set up with basic supplies. Originally put together to aid unhoused vets, this projects has broadened its reach.

Each team is working on their own protocols. Some have their approved version of protocols on our website for other agencies to use a template for patient driven care. More protocols are in process and we look forward to a finished copy in 2016.

Outreach – We have always strived to affirm healthy connections with other service organizations in our community. We believe that mutual support makes for a healthy community. Our work with St. Vincent de Paul, Hearts for Hospice, CALC, the Rotary Club, Egan Warming Center, Food not Bombs, and Burrito Brigade has resulted in more help for those we serve. This year we met with HIV Alliance to strengthen our bond. They have in turn, invited us to trainings and enjoyed sharing donations.

A new ally this year is Catholic Community Workers led by Brother Charlie. He and his crew serve breakfast to the hungry at the Park Blocks as we are setting up clinic which has resulted in toning down some behavioral issues stemming from malnutrition for the unhoused. We strive to make more allies in 2016.

Our members sent representatives to serve at a free clinic in cooperation with Centro Latino Americano this fall. This was a success and we look forward to extending this project with more volunteers from more teams in 2016.

Outreach is often achieved via speaking engagements, rallies, conferences and the media. To this end, both Sue and Ben have spoken at events and to the media on OM’s principles and concerns. Many members of OM have written op-eds and letters to the editor on topics relating to public health topics. Every month, we have at least one member of OM speak during the public comment section of city council (such as Crys, Lonnie, Terra, Donna R and Sue). We have attended and tabled at many conferences and rallies. Social media has been kind to us. Our website and Facebook group are active with new members seeking inclusion every week. We started a Facebook page at the advice of Connor and this is growing steadily. A feed from this page is included on our website. Twitter may be the next social media step for OM.

Bus Development – The bus has been getting regular maintenance work over the years and a few minor improvements but 2015 brought us a gift in the guise of Carrier RV Service. They offered to do the remodeling of the bus at cost for supplies and not charge us for the labor. The first improvement was installing much needed heat. The source is a propane heater system that solves several problems at once. This was the brain child of Scott, our hospitality volunteer. It was tried out this November and worked like a dream.

The future remodeling will include better shelving and room dividers.

Grants/Awards – This year started with a grant from Church of the Resurrection. We are looking to write more grants for paid staff and, ultimately, a brick and mortar.

December 10th, 2015 Occupy Medical is receiving the Humanitarian of the Year award by the city of Eugene’s Human Rights Commission.

Note: This review is by no means complete but serves as bare bones assessment of the year from the clinic manager’s perspective.

We’ve got mail, Thank you S.

This wonderfully kind and thoughtful letter of support has finally made it’s way to us after winding around the country! We are so glad to hear from S., thank you so much for your support.

Letter from S.
Letter from S.

“Hi great people:
I was deeply moved by the article written by Clinic mgr. in current Eugene Weekly! I chose to be homeless from 20-23 during my California and Hawaii hippie years and I remember much freedom and fun – but also much cold, hunger, being soaked & danger! Keep up your excellent & kind work!
-S”

Annual Membership Meeting & Board Elections

Hello all Occupy Medical members!

We are having our annual membership meeting this Wednesday, February 24 at 6:00pm!
This is when we hear from leadership concerning the state of Occupy Medical and the vision for 2016.
We are also going to review Occupy Medical’s Bi-Laws and this is our opportunity to amend them.

In addition, this meeting will hold our elections for seats on our board of directors.
If you’d like to run for an available board seat, please announce on candygram and/or tell an existing board member.

Your participation is needed and appreciated!

It will held at “The Campus Glenwood” at 13th & Alder.

Hounds and Homeless

Our wonderful allies at Hounds and Homeless stopped by clinic with a bunch of goodies for the furry companions of those on the streets. It was quite the pleasant surprise and the pets at the park blocks were especially excited for delicious treats and lots of love!

“Helping to improve the health and safety for Homeless pets and their people, in the Eugene and Springfield area,” the mobile volunteer organization recognizes barriers the homeless/houseless community faces when accessing care for their cats and dogs and the group assists where they can by provides food, flea medicines, general supplies, and the occasional vaccination, spay/neuter, and emergent vet service.

Follow this link to learn more about them and how you can help!

Thank you, Hounds and Homeless, for your dedication! Health care truly is a right for all.

2015 International Human Rights Day Award

On December 10th, the Eugene Human Rights Commission awarded Occupy Medical for our commitment to the human right to health care!

The volunteers of Occupy Medical would like to give a huge thank you to our supporters who have helped us thrive throughout the years. Because of you, we have grown so quickly! Next step: brick and mortar?

It has been an incredible honor to serve our community and will continue to fight for universal health care for all.

In solidarity!

Sea Willow Herbs

Happy holidays one and all!

We at Occupy Medical received a surprise in the mail from a tiny herbal company on the East Cast. The owner was impressed with our work of bringing integrated healthcare to our community. She feels this is an honorable and far sighted project. She donated a good sized bag of muscle rub balms and a bunch of warming pine oil. She and I had a conversation about the pain that we treat at OM. It seemed clear that soothing topicals were important for the patients we serve.

Please join us in thanking the good people of Sea Willow Herbs for caring enough to send a box of their handcrafted natural medicine all the way from the East Coast to Eugene, Oregon. If you are interested in how they make their medicine, please click on the link below. This is their blog which includes basic instructions on making infused medicinal oil. Healthcare for All!
http://seawillowherbs.blogspot.com

The Gift

We get a lot of wonderful donations at Occupy Medical. We are moved to see how much love and support this community shares with those in need. When this particular donation came through the door, it struck us for its innovation, generosity and clear thoughtfulness. All of the items when new or newly made. They covered a wide spectrum of needs.
I knew that one of the donors had experienced homelessness as a youth. It occured to us that this meant that these were items selected through hard wrought compassion. The donors were all currently housed but hardly what could be called wealthy. It was a gift of the heart indeed. The donors gave us names that they felt comfortable posting on our site but were not looking for further recognition. We want to thankĀ  Mr E Mann, Christie and Mary for their generosity and inspiration. Below is a list of the items they donated.
Blessings to all!

Hats (some were handmade, some store bought)
Sterno containers
Water bottles
Toothbrushes
Gloves
Combs
Razors
Deodorant
Dental floss packets
Soap
Flashlights
Perfume
Hair ties
Cologne
Batteries
Garbage bags
Tissues
Socks for both women and men

Rokz Donates to OM

Rokz, a local manufacturer in Eugene, surprised Occupy Medical today with a generous donation. Hospitality will be better stocked with food and hygiene supplies and the Treatment team got a few gifts as well. The company even tossed in doggie treats which are always a hit at clinic!

Click here to read the full list of donations they kindly provided.

Occupy Medical is grateful for the wonderful people at Rokz and everyone in the community who has supported us in our journey. It’s because of you that we are able to thrive.

Want to donate? There are many ways to help! If you plan to donate items, please take a look at our FAQ for instructions.

City Council Notes: Dec 8th

Hello,

My name is Sue Sierralupe. I have lived in Council member George Brown’s ward for over 20 years. I am also the clinic manager for Occupy Medical which has been serving the public as a free integrated health care unit for 3 years now.
We have been enjoying the break in the weather lately. It gives us a chance to catch up a bit. We did not have new frostbite patients this week. We can continue to treat the tissue damage from frostbite victims of November and the pain expressed as peripheral neuropathy from last winter’s victims. One must be grateful for the small favors the weather grants us.
There are some wonders of holiday season if you are a public servant. Citizens open their hearts to the plight of those that are less financially fortunate than themselves. We have had complete strangers and familiar faces like Ms. Dotson, show up with bags of donated socks, hand warmers and gloves. How nice to see that girl scout troop here looking for the same items that we need.
Our clinicians will note on their paperwork when a patient needs these warming items along with needed medication. The treatment team walks the patient to the hospitality tent to suit them up. Gotta follow doctor’s orders.
We were tickled to have a visit from a home-school group. Our board president, who is a loving father and a real kid person, delighted in giving them a tour before the clinic started. These children donated hand stitched portable sewing kits for the population we serve. They made them from felt and each had buttons, thread, pins, and sewing needles. Very handy for a population that wears tattered hand me downs. Each kit was a little different. Some had decorative ribbon. Some had fabric swatches used as covers. One of them had a rainbow drawn on the felt with a magic marker. What treasures!
I was happy to be in the room when you, city council, made the unanimous decision to approve these 2 new rest stops. Thank you so much! We see people make a big turn around in their lives when they are offered a place to safely sleep the night. It is an unpleasant fact that violence against the unhoused increases around this time of year too. We have not puzzled the reason for this trend out yet but I will let you know when we do. Having a place that allows our citizens to safely store their necessary items such as medicine, eat food that can be properly heated, change into dry clothes, sleep a full 8 hours and have protection from the elements. Bless you all for the work that you do to help our people. It makes a world of difference.

City Council Notes: Nov 24th

My name is Sue Sierralupe. I live in George Brown’s ward. I also have the honor to serve in this ward as the clinic manager of Occupy Medical. This is the week of Thanksgiving and I am here to count my blessings even though I should, by rights, be home baking pies for the oncoming horde of hungry relatives.
I am grateful for many things. I am happy that the Poverty and Homelessness Board has assembled to problem solve on the plight of economically desolate in our area. I was able to take off work long enough to attend one of the meetings. It was a brain storming session. We were lucky to be able to take some of these ideas to the University of Oregon the following week. My prayer is that they will act on these ideas and, at the very least, open a rest stop for unhoused students on their property. I would hope that students from all the local colleges would qualify to take refuge there.
I am grateful for the news that the county proposed a new rest stop at the Serbu/LCBH site. As a member of Occupy Medical, I have noticed that we will get visits from patients with serious conditions until they get housed at OVE or a rest stop. Then the visits slow or stop. The reason is that a sheltered person is able to set up necessary service and have the stability to heal.
I am grateful that Occupy Medical was honored with another award this year. Our clinic is an integrated health clinic meaning that we have complimentary holistic care along side “regular” medical care much in the same way that the Mayo Clinic is run. The American Herbalist Guild is the alternative care equivalent to the AMA. They gave us their annual community service award which delighted and encouraged my staff.
I am grateful that we had another celebrity visitor to our clinic this Sunday. Batman came by with his dad. Unlike what you may have learned in movies and comic books, Batman is actually 5 years old and sometimes substitutes a plastic sword for his utility belt.
This little superhero was very good at defending his father from evil and also took my advice about crime fighting more quietly in the clinical setting in stride. It is not easy to raise a child on the streets. There are some places to find shelter for families but those are challenging to find during this weather. Until their names come up, Batman and his dad have to hide. It is still illegal to camp in our fair city. I know that there are many reasons why the city is reticent to lift the camping ban for the winter. I could not find a good way to explain this to Batman. He is just too young to understand. I ask you to reconsider your position. We would all be grateful.