Who are we?

An ever-expanding list of Clinic personnel. Profiles are subject to change without notice!

Jerry Zook
1. What do you do at the clinic?
The Treatment Station is the final stop before leaving the clinic. I consult with the physician and review the patient chart for any medication related issues that need to be addressed. If there are over-the-counter or herbal medications to be dispensed at the visit, either I our resident herbalist dispenses, counsels the patient on their proper use, and documents this in the patient chart. When prescription medications are called for, and patients need help paying for them, I collect the required patient information to obtain a payment voucher from a social service agency, and then take the prescription to a local pharmacy to be filled, usually the next day. Finally, I give the patient my contact info encourage them to contact me if they have any questions or concerns.

2. Why do you do it?
I do this because, in view of this country’s dysfunctional healthcare delivery system, someone needs to and I’m in a position to help.

3. What do you hope for the future?
Nothing would make me happier than “retiring the clinic” because the USA has finally adopted universal health care, making us redundant.

Karen A., RN.
1. What do you do at the clinic?
Triage, wound care, and fill in where needed.

2. Why do you do it?
In my job I have to deny some health care d/t lack of insurance coverage. I hate that part of my job. At the clinic everyone is cared for and this is the way it should be.

3. What do you hope for the future?
I would like to see easy access to health care for all. I think a single payer system will make this happen. Until that becomes a reality in the USA, I hope to be part of bringing wound care to the people who can’t get access to it in as many places as possible.

Leigh Saint-Louis, MD
1. What do you do at the clinic?
I am a Board-certified Family Physician. This means I am specially trained to provide primary care of acute and chronic illness to people of all ages. I do not specialize in any one set of diseases or age group of people: I give holistic care.

2. Why do you do it?
I don’t think anyone should delay seeking medical care just because they can’t afford it. When people delay necessary care, the damage to health, well-being, and finances is terrible. I have been surprised to find that working in the clinic is fun. The patients are interesting people who are serious about working collaboratively to improve their health, and it’s an intellectual challenge figuring out realistic solutions with minimal resources.

3. What do you hope for the future?
If my colleagues commit to donating only two hours a month to working on the bus (or in the tent) – “Two hours ain’t bad!” – it will combat the helplessness that many doctors feel in confronting the huge socioeconomic conundrums of healthcare delivery in the US. Instead of endlessly speculating about what is to be done, I hope that my colleagues will simply pitch in. It’s empowering! I also want to establish a Triage Medic Program to train “Village Health Workers” who can help us deliver services, and to expand patient education for medical/wellness self-help and self-care. This is especially needed by people who have fallen through the cracks of today’s economy.

Sarah Macrorie, CPM, LDM
1) What do you do at the clinic?
Float between Triage and Treatment, and perform data collection.

2) Why do you do it?
Because I believe that healthcare is not only a fundamental right of all people, but also that there is a special imperative to provide care for those of few resources, for whom the consequences of neglecting medical problems can become even more costly, in terms of money and long-term health outcomes.

3) What do you hope for the future?
That all people will be able to maintain their dignity, regardless of income.

Sue Sierralupe
1. What do you do at the clinic?
Clinic manager, Certified Herbalist. I organize volunteer duties and see to it that everyone is properly trained. I do a lot of behind the scenes work with finance and paperwork, such as obtaining necessary permits for the Clinic to park downtown. I speak to the Press and serve as liaison to donors and allies. As the herbalist, I work with doctors and our pharmacist to provide appropriate herbal and nutritional supplements and dietary options for patients.

2. Why do you do it?
I love serving the community via Occupy Medical. I am inspired by my fellow volunteers’ dedication and the courage of our patients. I want Oregon to offer holistic care to every citizren regardless of income. This is the only way I know to make this happen.

3. What do you hope for the future?
What we do is inspirational. I want single payer healthcare for all Oregonians. I want holistic care made available to more than the wealthy few. I want to live in a state that cares for its citizens.

Occupy Medical Clinic is Born
by Sue Sierralupe

Occupy Medical started as a humble first aid tent at the Occupy Eugene site on October 15, 2011. A handful of medically trained volunteers began to serve the movement with their specialized skills. We had a pop-up canopy, a few blankets and donated medical supplies from the local emergency clinic. Mostly, we had enthusiasm.

The Occupy Eugene camp included a wide variety of people, ranging from street kids to middle-aged elders. As people learned that Medical was there to treat patients and not to judge, our client load increased.

The complexity of the medical conditions that we treated increased as well. We tracked patients with hepatitis, MRSA, HIV, and pneumonia. Our medical staff saved lives by sending Occupiers to the hospital for conditions that they were unaware of. We also saved lives by CPR. Our volunteers restarted the hearts of three patients during our brief occupation.

On Christmas Eve, the Eugene City Council shut the camp down. The homeless disappeared into the night. They are used to being invisible. As Medical took down the tent and packed away the bandages, we wondered what would become of our patients.

We tried offering clinics at OEV (Occupy Eugene site 5) but it was obvious that we had to go back to the streets to directly help those in need. On Sunday, February 5, 2012, Occupy Medical set up a tent on the steps of the Federal building. The weekly free clinics were open for business.

We ran a tight ship. Patients checked in at the intake card table, gave us a name and we recorded their complaint and general health information.

Then we sent them to our makeshift waiting room to have their vitals taken by the nurse. While waiting, they could get a drink of water or a plate of free organic food from our ally Food Not Bombs. The doctor saw them in the privacy of the tent. After their check up, patients received direct treatment, herbal or nutritional supplements, or a prescription for their condition.

Medical also provides follow up. We give prescriptions to the volunteer pharmacist, who is part of a program that offers $75 off medications for low income individuals. If the patient needs information on community services, the intake volunteer walks the patient through their options.

A few months after running the clinic at the Federal Building, we decided to move deeper into downtown. The Federal building Plaza offered no protection from the elements. The arrangement of the buildings constructed a wind tunnel that threatened to lift our tent off the ground even when it secured by bricks. Our patients had suffered enough. They needed the protection of the trees and access to a water fountain.

We moved to the Park Blocks. The move paid off immediately. Our patient load increased dramatically. Even though we are only open 4 hours at a time, we started seeing 15-20 patients in shift. People were lining up outside. The park offers bench in the shade to wait comfortably.

The increase in clients wasn’t good enough for our volunteers, they proposed increasing our services. We offered free haircuts one Sunday. We collected braids longer than 8″ to donate to an organization that fashions hair into wigs for cancer patients. By the end of the day, I had a box with 2# of ponytails to donate. With this response, we had to offer this service again. Our brave Occupy stylist started showing up every other week to offer more free haircuts and well toned self images.

Setting Up for Free Massages

The next step was in the hands of our Reiki trained volunteer. She knew first hand how people suffered from chronic back pain. People that can’t afford groceries certainly can’t afford to pay for a massage. She talked another Occupier trained as a massage therapist into offering free body work at the clinic for the day. 17 patients later, Occupy Medical’s Body Work Day was born.

Occupy Medical is growing. Every Sunday, we have more patients. Every Sunday, we have more volunteers. People want to help their neighbors. People want to connect and make a difference. Occupy Medical opened a door. All it took was a tent and a little enthusiasm.


3 responses to “Who are we?

  1. How wonderful is this? Thank you for the bottom of my heart, not just as a nurse who believes in adequate health care for all, but as a wife and mother who held her irreparably ill husband in the ED waiting room, watching patient after patient come in asking for basic services, while my husband sat in the waiting room, with irreparable brain injury a result. Emergency rooms are for emergencies. Basic health care must be easily available to all, in order to serve the needy efficiently and free the EDs up to serve the truely emergent tragedies. .

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