Agape Quarterly Report/Update


 

July-September 2006

Numbers for July-September: These do not count health education classes, screening, and other community health activities. Note that we are counting immunizations vs. children immunized. Also please note that the clinic was closed for repairs for more than half of July.

 

Date

Sick/Phys exam

F/Us & HVs

Immunizations

SW/Chaplain

July

August

September

253

357

460

8

14

21

162

360

218

44

58

40

 

1070

43

740

142

 

Clinic update

 

Probably the biggest operations news is that we have reopened on Wednesdays. You will recall that Agape opened on Wednesdays last fall in response to the presence of Katrina evacuees in Dallas and that we maintained this extra day of services until May 2006 (well past most other organizations providing services to evacuees). Reopening Wednesdays is due largely to pediatric nurse practitioner Pat Boland’s generous offer to come in on Wednesdays to see children with chronic health problems such as obesity and asthma. In addition, Pat, Nora Avila, promotora, and Mary Horn, RN are making home visits to children with chronic health problems. We are also seeing adults with chronic health problems on Wednesdays. Last Wednesday was our first ingrown toenail clinic (ouch!) – thanks to Lori Spies, FNP.

 

Wednesday is also the day that we give health classes (diet and exercise, women’s health issues, depression, family violence, and so on) for parents at two neighborhood elementary schools. At one of the schools we also are holding ongoing brief support meetings with parents who are learning ways to increase their children’s chances of success in school (reading every day to toddlers and young children; for school-age children, homework every day, homework before play, limiting TV/video time and content, and so on).

 

Taken together, these are efforts to work upstream to address health problems before they occur or early in their development. When, for example we read about an “obesity epidemic” in America, we understand that the problem leads straight to diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and other problems. Early (childhood and family) intervention is clearly the best plan!

 

Mrs. Rodriguez (not her real name) was sent to Parkland by a neighboring indigent care clinic after a pelvic exam showed cervical dysplasia. Mrs. Rodriguez is mentally challenged and was not able to complete the application process for Parkland HealthPlus coverage although she tried twice. She then came to Agape seeking help. We tried to get the referring clinic to assume responsibility for following through on their referral but were told by the staff physician and support staff that they do not “offer” the assistance necessary to get Mrs. Rodriguez seen at Parkland. We contacted eligibility staff at the East Dallas Health Center and negotiated documentation to prove Mrs. Rodriguez ‘s residence and inability to work. Nora Avila, Agape’s lead promotora took the patient to EDHC to apply for Parkland HealthPlus, which she did receive that day. We were then able to get her a same day appointment with a physician at EDHC who did a biopsy and set up a following week appointment at the GYN clinic at Parkland where she is being treated.

 

Whatever you do (or don’t do) unto the least of these

you do (or don’t do) unto me

 

Baylor students and the UTSW Mobile Mammogram unit held a health screening event on September 6. Screening parameters included breast cancer, diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular risk, depression. Information and referral as well as breast self-exam teaching was also offered. There were 22 people with positive findings for whom treatment was started that day. Photo: Nico, UTSW medical student; Dora, promotora; Sonia, El Centro student; Pat, PNP; Kate, Chapel Hill student

 

Things happen in different ways. One of our issues is that everyone involved with Agape is working at close to their personal limits, so new efforts or services are a challenge. At the same time, however, there are things that we really should be doing. Thanks to pushing from several Baylor students we are adding this to the questions that every patient is asked:

 

Have you ever been physically or sexually abused?

 

Putting the question on the patient documentation form is not that big a deal. It is what will happen over time when this question is asked of every person we see. Every person who answers “yes” will receive assistance – beyond information and referral.

 

Volunteer and related news

 

Meg Kaufmann, Cheryl Maloney, Kay Dial, and Aletha Beane (board vice-chair) are working together to host the first “Meet Agape” luncheon scheduled for Friday, October 20th.  These luncheons are an opportunity to thank people who have supported Agape, provide others with options on how to support the clinic, meet staff and volunteers, and update people on Agape. Thank you to an anonymous donor who is underwriting the first event.

 

Mary Horn, our volunteer RN arranged for a consultation with Bob Shaw, an architect with HS Architects (specializing in healthcare facilities). Bob made recommendations for paint colors and a revision of the waiting room arrangement. The clinic has been repainted and we are looking at options for waiting room revision. Several volunteers from Highland Park United Methodist have expressed interest in taking on this project.

 

The Cornerstone Congregation at Highland Park United Methodist funded an excellent video on Agape. We are hoping to have the video on our website in the future. Thanks to Rankin Hobbs, Ross Mason, and the others who made this happen!

 

We have received notification that Agape has been designated as a facility where physicians can work to repay medical education loans. This has been a 2+ year process that was completed (on our end) in April 2006. Mark DeHaven, PhD, Agape board member and Chief, Division of Community Medicine at UTSW is working on this project.

 

Welcome to new board member Rankin Hobbs and congratulations to newly elected board vice chair Aletha Beane.

 

There is a trend that is partially shown here: We are seeing increased involvement on the part of board members and volunteers. Call Leslie at 214 824 2533 if you are interested in being involved.

 

Clinic Needs:

·      Volunteers, always volunteers, especially physicians

·      Contacts with potential donors, foundations, or corporations – if you are interested, please call Charles at 214 801 3627 to receive a list of people who serve on foundation boards: anyone you know? (Thanks to Rankin Hobbs for pushing this effort forward.)

·      Financial investment in the work of Agape and the community we serve.

 

Welcome to Gail Harlin. Earlier this year we completed a survey of physicians who have volunteered at Agape. A consistent response was a desire for greater organization and support, e.g., assistance in the pharmacy and translation assistance. Based on this and the potential for increasing numbers of volunteers we have hired Gail Harlin, RN as Saturday coordinator. Gail is a masters prepared nurse who is currently enrolled in the Baylor FNP program.