Occupy Eugene opens new weekly free medical clinic

EUGENE, Ore (KMTR) — Occupy Eugene has moved back in to downtown Eugene once again, but now with a different purpose as medical staff with the movement have created a new weekly, free medical clinic.
The new Occupy Eugene medical clinic opened up Sunday afternoon at the corner of 7th Avenue and Pearl Street in downtown Eugene.

The clinic is an off-shoot of the services volunteers were offering in the middle of the Occupy Eugene camps that existed throughout Eugene.

The plan is to open the clinic up every weekend to help those in need.

Several local medical professionals are running the clinic, including registered nurses, doctors, EMT’s and alternative medicine professionals.

All of the work is volunteer and legal.

“There are some free clinics, but we’re not doing a near enough job to take care of all of the people who need it,” says Dr. Peter, a medical professional volunteering with the Occupy Eugene medical clinic.

Volunteers say while this is a great first step, they already have their sights set on making a more permanent “street medicine clinic,” to offer help for those who have no way to afford it or even get to it.

“There will be an opportunity to go to some of the people who aren’t able to get care, to go to them, keep them out of the emergency room, and kind of help the whole medical system and the problems that we face a nation, trying to provide cost effective care to all of our people,” says Dr. Peter.

With the current Occupy medical tent at the Federal Building. Volunteers are helping treat minor ailments, illnesses and injuries and do basic screenings.

Supply wise, Occupy Eugene has a small budget for the medical clinic. It is looking for more donations though.

Occupy Medical Offers Free Healthcare

What began as a temporary first aid tent along the Occupy Eugene movement in October 2011, morphed into the Occupy Medical clinic in February 2012. It’s there that every Sunday from noon to 4p.m., volunteers gather at their mobile clinic to make a difference by offering free healthcare in downtown Eugene, Oregon.

Sue Sieralupe, a certified herbalist, was one of the founders of Occupy Medical. She has been the clinic manager since it started.

“What we are trying to do is show Oregonians what it looks like to have single-payer,” she says, a system in which the government pays for all health care costs. “It doesn’t matter how much money you have, how much insurance you have, what your background is, if you need help – you get help. That’s it .”

With around 30 volunteers, including ten nurses, three doctors, three people on the herbal supplement team, four people in the mental health committee and two people on the pharmacy team, Occupy Medical provides 100 percent free treatment. If the volunteers can’t offer the service needed, they also go “behind the scenes” in other organizations to help people through it.

As the clinic manager, Sieralupe solicits funds, donations and supplies. She looks at the volunteers’ background to put them in the right job. She is also the spokesperson for Occupy Medical. She attends panels with other healthcare advocates, and gives classes at OSU on how to open your own clinic.

Upon entering the mobile clinic, you’ll first meet with a nurse who makes an assessment. Then you’ll see a doctor, and afterwards a nurse will take you to the treatement station where you can choose from pharmaceuticals, herbal treatment, nutritional support and homeopathic aid. People come to the clinic for everything from ear infections to more serious conditions.

While Sieralupe hopes that others will follow her lead and open free clinics all over the country, she says “My hope is that eventually there will be no use for us.”

Original Article: http://occupyamerica.crooksandliars.com/diane-sweet/occupy-medical-offers-free-healthcare

Occupy Medical: ‘If you need help – you get help’

EUGENE, Ore. — Every Sunday from noon to 4pm, volunteers gather at their “mobile clinic” to make a difference, and offer free healthcare in downtown Eugene, Ore. What started as a temporary first aid tent along the Occupy Eugene movement in October 2011 became the Occupy Medical clinic in February 2012.

Sue Sieralupe, a certified herbalist, was one of the founders of Occupy Medical. She has been the clinic manager since it started.

“What we are trying to do is show Oregonians what it looks like to have single-payer,” she says, a system in which the government pays for all health care costs. “It doesn’t matter how much money you have, how much insurance you have, what your background is, if you need help -you get help. That’s it .”

With around 30 volunteers, including ten nurses, three doctors, three people on the herbal supplement team, four people in the mental health committee and two people on the pharmacy team, Occupy Medical provides 100 percent free treatment. If the volunteers can’t offer the service needed, they also go “behind the scenes” in other organizations to help people through it.

As the clinic manager, Sieralupe solicits funds, donations and supplies. She looks at the volunteers’ background to put them in the right job. She is also the spokesperson for Occupy Medical. She attends panels with other healthcare advocates, and gives classes at OSU on how to open your own clinic.

Wearing her t-shirt “Healthcare is a human right” with pride, she estimates she spends 20 hours a week to keep the clinic running, and, along with her full-time job, she still has kids at home. “And yet, somehow I end up here every Sunday. I’ve had two Sundays off since it started,” she says.

She suspects the community sees them as a first aid tent for the homeless. “This is a great delusion, the fact is that 40% of our patients are homeless, and the rest have homes. A huge chunk of them have insurance but they can’t use it,” she says.

Occupy Medical clinic is a holistic clinic. “Holistic medicine is a system of health care which fosters a cooperative relationship among all those involved, leading towards optimal attainment of the physical, mental, emotional, social and spiritual aspects of health,” as defined by the Canadian Holistic Medical Association, according to Sieralupe.

When you enter the mobile clinic, you meet a nurse who makes an assessment. The next station is with a doctor, after this a nurse takes you to the treatment station where you can choose from pharmaceuticals, herbal treatment, nutritional support and homeopathic aid.

“Every week we get more opportunities to offer more complex care,” she says. Other clinics are even referring their patients to them.

“I am glad they are here,” Aaron says, a social worker  recommended to help by personnel from White Bird Clinic in Eugene. Aaron has a job, a home, but he can’t afford healthcare.

People come for ear infections, sore throats or more serious conditions. “It just takes a few minutes and we offer them options,” Sieralupe says. “And make no mistake, it’s first aid but we are also saving people’s lives.”

Sieralupe hopes that people will follow her lead in the future and create free clinics all over the country. “My hope is that eventually there will be no use for us.”

 

Original Article: http://www.kval.com/news/local/Occupy-Medical-goes-mobile-If-you-need-help-you-get-help-198618321.html

Occupy Medical Ready for Next Phase

By Susan Latiolait for Eugene Daily News

Since its start in October of last year, Eugene’s Occupy Medical Clinic has continued to serve Eugene residents who do not have health insurance. Located at the Park Blocks on 8th and Oak between 12pm and 4pm every Sunday the clinic started as a simple first aid tent. Today, Occupy Medical aims to model the single payer health care system, as they believe it is best for everyone. They have not only grown in the amount of patients they are able to offer and the amount of volunteered help they receive each week.

First serving about 16 to 18 patients each Sunday, the clinic is now serving about 20-25 patients, due to the exponential amount of volunteer support and help that certified health care members are able to provide.

Consequently, Occupy Medical is looking to possibly open a Friday clinic as well.

Sue Sierralupe, the Occupy Medical Clinic Manager, is overwhelmed with the continued growth in volunteer numbers, and she is grateful to see how willing these “cream of the crop” workers are to provide care to the Eugene community.

“These health care providers who are volunteering for us are relieved to finally have a place where they can open up and advocate for their patients,” said Sierralupe. “And that is what we do, we are all about the patients. Insurance companies don’t tell us what do, we just offer the best patient care.”

As their services grow, so does the support from the community. This is not to say the clinic has not had its fair share of trouble. In December of 2011, the Occupy Medical Clinic faced initial trouble from Eugene police due to the fact that around 40 perfect of the patents were homeless.However, Sierralupe has noticed a tremendous difference in the community’s reaction to their services.

The Occupy Medical tent in Eugene. Photo courtesy of Occupy Medical.

“The police, like the general public, seem to have completely changed their views from what they initially thought Occupy Medical was. Now, I see nothing but support. They realize we are there to help just like they are,” explained Sierralupe. “That kind of evolution is what I really love.”

With strong community support, Occupy Medical is now looking to provide even further care, particularly to their high percentage of homeless patients. Sierralupe said that helping the homeless is deep in her heart, and with colder months ahead, she is specifically concerned with diseases such as whooping cough and pneumonia affecting Eugene’s homeless population.

“They can’t get the required bed rest, the can’t stay warm, they can’t get a good night sleep, so you can bet they will have hard time getting the proper medication and they will catch these diseases and they will die,” stated Sierralupe. “And this is why Lane County Health is so interested in helping our community before it comes around.”

Along with offering vaccines and possibly opening a Friday clinic, Sierralupe and Occupy Medical are hoping to have open and available public bathrooms for both patients and workers. Furthermore, they are looking forward to continue their alliance with St.Vincent de Paul with their dental clinics that they offer four times a year, with their next clinic being held on January 12th.

Eventually Sierralupe would like to see Occupy Medical clinics spread out among the community. She is also looking forward to and hoping for the day when health care is provided to everybody without any exceptions.

“In the long run, I don’t want the need for Occupy Medical,” Sierralupe explained. “I would like to see the right to health care for all. It is unhealthy to have un-managed health conditions around our community, not for anyone. It is our belief that everyone should have health care. You cannot survive as a community with unhealthy members, and I don’t think health care for everyone is that much to ask.”

If you want to learn more about the Occupy Medical Clinic or want to support their efforst, visit their site at www.occupymedics.wordpress.com.

Original Article: http://eugenedailynews.com/2012/12/03/occupy-medical-ready-for-next-phase/