Welcome back, and what a month it was! I would first like to thank all of my contributors for their insights, honesty, and integrity. I think we can all agree that the path to wellness is often not as simple as one would like it to be and this, I believe, is where Osteopathic Physicians become relevant.
DOs understand that they aren’t just treating a symptom, or a disease. They understand that they are working with a human being…a whole human being…body, mind, and spirit. When treating a patient that is struggling with obesity, it would be fantastic if education alone would right all the wrongs in that person’s life, but as we’ve seen this month, it isn’t necessarily about knowing. Most patients know they aren’t eating healthy foods. Some think they are eating healthy foods, but didn’t get the proper nutritional information, as was outlined in Dr. Ross’ blog.
If your patient has all the information they need to eat healthy, and they’ve been given the statistics and the pamphlets, but continue to come in at, or above, their previous weight, then as a DO, the obvious should make itself known. It isn’t about the knowledge, it’s something else. More often than not, that “something else” is poverty…stress…trauma…environment. Most family doctors would simply get frustrated and stop trying, but a DO knows better. Empathy is the word of the day in these cases. Don’t be afraid to ask the question: “why?” or “how can I help you?”. Their answers may surprise you.
I know that as a physician, even a DO cannot solve their patients life stressors, however, I would like to visit with you about a program in the town of Canby that has seen a lot of success over the past few years, and could easily be not only a referral for a DO, but also a program for Osteopathic Medical School students and/or residents to implement in the communities they serve.
The name of the organization is “The Canby Center”. The Canby Center is a place where those who are challenged can find help, and those that have more than they need can donate. Rural towns often struggle with transportation issues. People can’t drive to the closest food banks, Goodwill or Salvation Army stores, and often times their doctor is further away than the bus can take them. The Canby Center attempts to meet these needs, including the need for fresh produce.
In some cities, such as in NYC, there are very few fresh fruits or vegetables available, even for those that can afford them. I will talk about one of their solutions in a bit…but first, The Canby Center.
Please notice the green bins to the right of the building. Every Tuesday, these bins are overflowing with fresh fruits and vegetables. They call this program “The Harvest Share”. The fresh produce comes from local farms, local residents with one or two fruit trees on their property, and even residents that live inside the city limits, but have a tomato plant that has had a really good year. The produce that cannot be used/sold is brought to the Center, and then every Tuesday, people who are in need can “shop” for free. What a lovely way to give back. This model could truly be duplicated over and over again, and the result would be so many people reached that otherwise couldn’t expect to have fresh produce on their table at home.
The Canby Center also offers the following:
– HARVEST SHARE
Every Tuesday, doors open at 9:30 am and starts at 10:00 am.
This is a free resource of fresh fruits, vegetables, eggs, bread and other miscellaneous groceries every Tuesday morning. The Harvest Share is made possible due to partnerships with local farm stands, fruit and vegetable farms, community members, Gleaners, Safeway and Thriftway.
– MOBILE KITCHEN
The St. Vincent De Paul mobile kitchen offers a free hot lunch every Thursday at The Canby Center. Come and join us!!! Lunch is also shared inside The Canby Center on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays from 12:00 to 2pm.
– CLOTHING EXCHANGE
Monday – Thursday: 11:30 am until 3:30 pm
– BLANKETS / SLEEPING BAGS
Monday’s and Thursday’s from 9:00 am to noon.
Basic toiletries may be accessed for those in challenging situations.
– EMERGENCY DENTAL CARE
Days and times vary depending on availability.
Free emergency dental treatment is available through the Medical Teams International Dental Clinic on a regular basis. Extractions and/or simple fillings are performed to alleviate pain and improve health.
To qualify as an applicant people must live within the Canby School District, become a client of The Canby Center and complete a dental application.
– UTILITY AND RENTAL ASSISTANCE
We may provide rental assistance, utility assistance, and budget counseling to individuals or families who meet the assistance criteria preventing eviction, homelessness and to help stabilize their housing. Appointments are necessary.
Vision and Medical referrals are available for those who are uninsured.
Who would argue that every city and town could use their own version of The Canby Center?
In NYC, the Staten Island Ferry terminal has a farmer’s market that, much like this program, trucks in fresh produce from area farms, only this produce is for sale. Freshly bottled honey, apples, cucumbers, and other produce, that otherwise may be unobtainable for this area. One would be shocked to know that NYC has trouble getting fresh produce. It’s not just a rural problem, it’s a systemic problem, seen throughout the United States.
Next month, the topic will be “Opiates…are there any good answers?”. We will hear from both addicts and mother’s of addicts, along with a patient who has serious pain issues, but cannot get pain medications…what will she decide to do?
Our guest DO will be Dr. Jorgensen.
He serves on faculty at Dartmouth Medical School and the University of New England. Dr. Jorgensen has lectured for Harvard Medical School, Vanderbilt University Medical School and other premier medical institutions.