:: 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 ::
Thursday, November 23, 2006
Topahkal Clinic growing and moving
We are approaching the beginning of our third year of business as a fair priced, hassle-free, primary care clinic offering holistic same-day medical services to low-income people in New Mexico. Our patients have come from as far away as Juarez, Mexico and Denver, Colorado, people referred to us by family or friends. We are seeing 20-25 patients daily, totaling about 5,000 visits each year with 1-3 hour wait times. We've collected over 95% of our fees and made the up other 5% by small and large donations from patients and friends. We started working with medical students and residents at the local public hospital and we are developing a staff of work-study students who are mostly pre-med and pre-nursing students helping us as health workers and medical assistants.
All in all, it's been an amazing two years for me. My patients have been kind, considerate, appreciative, and gentle with me when i've made mistakes. We have a diverse patient population with problems ranging from substance abuse to miscarriage to complex gynecologic issues to dermatology, wound care, chronic pain and chest pain. We've sent 5-6 patients to the Emergency Room for serious illnesses including stroke from brain cancer, subtle myocardial infarction, new diagnosis of acute leukemia, profound cholecystitis requiring a 9 hour surgery, and wolf parkinson white syndrome.
We have outgrown our little casita and have a daily whirlwind of too many cars trying to fit into too few spots.
It's definitely time to move! We searched for over 8 months to find an appropriate location and will be moving the clinic right around the corner to a building that was originally built as an urgent care in the 1980's. It was built small (but is three times larger than our little house) and abandoned by the hospital that built it for a much larger building futher down the road. Parking is GREAT. Location is GREAT. The building is kinda dumpy and constructed with no windows. i'm still wondering if that was for security or privacy or to save money.
We have a plan in place to remodel. Tile the floor, cut in windows, paint the walls, landscape, decorate, tea and footbaths. Transform the building from a windowless office to a homey, welcoming, warm, holistic clinic. That work outlines the entire month of december and probably well into the future.
We have to leave our house clinic. Our neighbors have had enough, and rightly so. The traffic is overbearing, the parking is spilling out to neighbors yards, the trash is piling up from all the sodas and bags of chips that patients eat before they come into the clinic and are told they have diabetes. Our last day in our little casita clinic is Decmber 22. We open in the new building January 3rd, 2007.
Wish us luck, this is gonna be quite a journey to get that building ready in so short a time.
posted by andru | 11/23/2006 12:23:00 PM | |