:: to the teeth ::    thoughts on social justice, medicine, race, hope and beats

"Another world is not only possible, she is on her way.
On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing." :: Arundhati Roy ::

"The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don't have any." :: Alice Walker ::
Sunday, June 27, 2004  

back to back in the day

today marks a seminal event in my life as a physician activist. after years of dreaming and networking i made my first deal to open a community based, non-institutional, integrated health care clinic in albuquerque, new mexico. this ain't no woo woo boutique endeavor. we've got a mix of service, advocacy and organizing coming from a core team of providers and promotoras as well as a wide network of friends and allies. the core team of providers includes the fabulous women of the Kalpulli Izkalli, who are trained in traditional and alternative medicines, and a few allopathic providers tuned into the notion of bridging modalities.

our service goal is to provide affordable, holisitic primary and urgent care with open access evenings and saturdays for uninsured and marginalized people in our community. we'll eventually have x-ray and ultrasound available for our patients at affordable prices. we aren't taking any insurance except medicare for the elderly and i'm not paying for malpractice insurance. minimal paperwork, good charting that the patients get to keep for themselves, and payment only accepted AFTER satisfactory service. imagine that...

our advocacy goal is to help individuals and families gain access to necessary tertiary care health resources and to learn for themselves how to navigate our fragmented, racist/classist health care system.

our organizing goal begins at the level of empowering each other and our patients and families to engage in a political process pursuing a fair distribution of our immense amount of public tax dollars going into health care by holding our safety net clinics and hospital system accountable to their service missions in their policy and finance decisions. without a doubt, we also plan to be a vital and integral part of the growing universal health care movement in new mexico.

i'm gonna discuss the growth (pains and joys) of this clinic effort on to the teeth. many health integration efforts fail for all kinds of reasons from ego issues to financial bankruptcy to poor team spirit. and we've got a thick political agenda which may stabilize some aspects of the process but will certainly stress other aspects. either way, win or lose, this is happening and anyone interested in health justice and integrative medicine can learn from our mistakes and our successes in real time. i have a knack for being brutally honest, although a little circumspect with details because these posts are widely available and the politics of power come first.

so next steps for us are to rehab a house where we'll begin the clinic. it's on the property of one of the Kalpulli Izkalli leaders. That's all about hauling away old cars, painting stucco, helping neighborhood kids paint a mural on a new empty wall, landscaping, dealing with the bureacracies for permits and searching around for used medical equipment and supplies to reduce our startup costs.

i'll keep it posted here.


posted by andru | 6/27/2004 11:07:00 PM | |


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