City Council Notes: Sep 8th

My name is Sue Sierralupe. I am lucky to live in Council member Brown’s ward. I also serve as the clinic manager for Occupy Medical. The clinic is shoring up for the winter at this time. We offered a very successful demo clinic in Florence with the help of St. Vincent de Paul last month. The citizens of Florence are interested in having us return and help them set up a duplicate clinic. They, like other areas of Lane County, are struggling to find enough health providers for an increasingly underserved patient population.
Last Sunday was probably our last calm clinic day before our “busy season” sets in. We served 47 patients within an age range of 18 months to 75 years. We also feed, thanks to community donations, between 100-150 people every week all within a 4 hour clinic day. The work that my volunteers do every week is nothing less than awe inspiring. I welcome each of you to come down any given Sunday for a tour. Occupy Medical is best witnessed in motion.
Our concerns for the winter are numerous. Our county is still vulnerable to the dangers of pertussis, H1N1, and other respiratory illnesses. We are now concerned about a new virus which is creeping its way through the midwest towards Oregon: Enterovirus EV-D68. D68 is an intestinal virus that manifests in the respiratory system. This makes it very easy to spread. It hits children and those with conditions like asthma the hardest. Those of you that have enjoyed the air quality this week are reminded how fragile Oregon’s air quality is.
We need to protect our citizens but, I fear that we don’t have enough providers in this county to treat those in need. Speaking personally, as a private citizen, I do not feel comfortable with offering treatment to our patients and then sending them back into the situations that worsen or caused the problems in the first place. This is why Occupy Medical works so hard to build alliances with other service organizations that can meet the needs of the vulnerable populations we serve.
I am grateful for your support of Occupy Medical. I cannot thank you enough for the new public bathrooms and our little hand-washing station. Hand-washing for 20 seconds with soap and water will stem the spread of viruses such as D68. I am personally asking you to open another rest stop before winter strikes us again and to stop the criminalization of homelessness by lifting the camping ban. These changes will make our service at Occupy Medical easier and it will make our community a healthier place to live in.

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