:: 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, January 04, 2007  

We did it! Our clinic has a new home.

I've been silent the past two months. Activity at the clinic has boomed and during the month of December we began moving the clinic to our new building. I probably put in 16 hour days for the past month working with 30-40 other volunteers doing tiling, bamboo flooring, wall painting, moving massively heavy x-ray machines and hydraulic exam tables, and setting up a clinic. There were so many wonderful moments I could never find a way to express them all but i'll share a few because it was such an inspiring and unbelievable process.

I have to give thanks to the building owners and occupants who let us "push them out" early so that we could get our remodeling work done!

And thanks to the core volunteers, members of the Topahkal Health Collaborative who put in weeks of backbreaking work. We know every grout line, every groove of the bamboo flooring, every layer of paint on the walls, every wrong cut on the 800 pound doors. If i never had to cut another 36inch heavy wood door again, i'd be a happy man.

Thanks to the christmas eve crew of tile volunteers who took a bunch of beautiful donated tile, 5 different kinds, that together barely covered the last room needing tiling, and made a gorgeous design to welcome out patients into the clinic. it converted the place from a beautiful clinic, to the "beverly hillbillies" clinic. we were all so exahusted by that time that we would never have been able to finish the remodel work before opening without their generous help.

thanks to the children who screwed down backerboard, but the fridge doors on and cut tile on the wetsaw.

thanks to the detention kids who came by and helped us move thousands of pounds of heavy equipment from the casita clinic to our new space.

thanks to the hardy souls who showed up after a foot of snow fell and we still had two solid days of work left.

thanks to the lock and key guy who came and changed our locks and then told us that he wanted to do it for free to honor the work we are doing in the community.

thanks to our patients for putting up with our dirty, calloused hands, our dusty clothes, our muddy parking lot, our scattered brains. even though we were closed, patients kept showing up with urgent issues and we would just find a quiet spot, sort thru boxes to find the gauze and take care of business.

thanks to the carpenter who worked thru snow and ice to put in our new windows. because of the snow the windows were delayed and arrived the day before we were to open. He got two of the windows in before we opened and the third went in as patients began to show up yesterday.

thanks to the health worker who is now answering our phone for us in the mornings.

thanks to our work study students and pre-medical volunteers who put in tons of hours, learning skills they never thought would be a part of taking care of patients. it was great seeing students learn to drill, cut backerboard, tile, paint, put in wood flooring. :>

thanks to my family and friends and the supporters of the Kalpulli Izkalli for all the financial and material donations that helped us pay for the cost of the move.

We opened yesterday and saw 20 patients on our first day. our patients all like the new space even though it's still a bit rough around the edges and two cars got stuck in the snow/ice.

Personally, i LOVE the new clinic building. it is 2200 square feet of "homey hassle-free medicine." i no longer have to move my desk out of the way to open the closet to get the ultrasound machine out to do an exam for a pregnant patient! we also no longer have to store our medical supplies on shelving in the shower! :> yehaw! we now have a triage area, a gynecology room, three exam rooms, an x-ray/ultrasound room, two traditional medicine rooms, a kitchen and three bathrooms! and we have a huge parking lot and tons of space for gardening outside, once the snow melts.

so many blessings, so much love and kindness and good work done. i am pleasantly exhausted and beginning to physically recover from the work.

i wish joy and peace to each person on your journey for a better world.



posted by andru | 1/04/2007 09:38:00 AM | (0) comments |

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