Sunday, May 10, 2009
Thursday, May 7, 2009
It's been a tough day, week, month, quarter... As all of us experience the effects of The Great Recession, my practice has been feeling increasing pressure. We're seeing more uninsured patients, without any increased funding to do so, and we are watching our state cut $1,000,000,000 ( yeah, one billion dollars) in healthcare resources from the next biennium budget. That means many more currently insured people will become uninsured. You can read more about some of the implications here.
Needless to say, it's been a difficult time. We've had two rounds of layoffs, in a practice which has always been rather "bare bones" in our staffing, and leadership staff has all taken a pay cut. Don't worry - no corporate jets and huge executive bonuses here!
But, in the middle of this, I'm reminded this morning of what makes us different, and why I feel a calling to be here.
I saw a patient several weeks ago, a young woman, not unlike one of my daughters. She appeared well. She was dressed in clean and fashionable clothing. She has a strong supportive family, in the middle class. But, she was struggling with an addiction problem. We talked about some options for treatment, which are few, and I planned to see her back in the office in follow up. She didn't come back. But, she hasn't been far from my mind these weeks. I've called a couple of times, just trying to check in with her. No response. And, then today, I felt compelled to call her back. I left another voicemail.... and then, I got her call back! She's been doing well. She's in a treatment program.
I felt so relieved to hear that she's well. It's Good News! And, a reminder that my partners are doing good work each day, for all kinds of people who need our help. People in harm's way. It's a privilege to be able to work for them, to serve them, to see them come to safety and health.
Friday, May 1, 2009
Thanks for Infrogmation (http://www.flickr.com/photos/infrogmation/) for posting this hand washing poster, from the CDC, circa 1964...
Back then, "CDC" stood for "Communicable Disease Center": http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/00042732.htm. It wasn't until 1970 that it changed to "Center for Disease Control" and then in 1981 became "Centers for Disease Control and Prevention" (note the plural).
Despite the name changes, things sure haven't changed much, huh!