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.