Our strong focus on improving oral health in this community is really paying off. This month we added a digital x-ray system and electronic dental charting system to our clinic’s toolbox! Thank you to our many local sponsors and a $19,000 gift of PC hardware from Practice Systems Integration for allowing us to enter the 21st century! Our volunteer clinicians can now view high quality dental images right at the chair, much more quickly than ever before. Great progress for our patients and our volunteers!
Our one and only Sherry Pace and her husband Oz are walking 500 miles across northern Spain following the Camino de Santiago this month (April 2014). Sherry is a nurse, a board member, and an amazing volunteer. She sent us this picture from her last walk (I guess doing it once wasn’t enough?) and is encouraging her friends to support her efforts by giving to the Free Clinic in their honor. If you are so inclined, follow the link here to pitch in. The long miles will go by easier thanks to your support for the patients of the Free Clinic. Thank you and godspeed Sherry!
We are so lucky to have Dr. Chhitwal volunteering here once a month for rheumatology services. We think she’s world class! And is that Benedict Cumberbatch looking over her shoulder?
by Alisa Booze-Troestchel, Clinic Volunteer
It’s not about money. It’s about people. It’s about living a balanced life. Stacey Shepherd lost a lot of annual income on Oct. 4 when she began work at the Fauquier Free Clinic. But, she gained satisfaction in her roles as a physician’s assistant and as wife and mom to two girls, seven and four years old.
- Eleven-hour days at a doctor’s office in Centreville kept Shepherd away from her family. She often interacted with patients who left her feeling not valued. But folks at the Clinic are different.
“It’s hard not to enjoy taking care of this patient population,” Shepherd says. The petite woman with long brown hair and a heart-shaped face tells a story about a woman she’d seen the previous night. Even though she works both days the Clinic is open, she continues her nine years of volunteering at the Thursday night walk-in clinic.
She related a story about a recent patient encounter as an example of the kind of work she finds rewarding. This patient’s medical history was as complex as her lifestyle. A hospital had recently released her from treatment. She had no home and lived at the shelter.
The woman did have a long list of medications, and a short supply of money. Thinking out loud, she wondered which were the most critical, and which she could do without.
Tears flowed down the woman’s cheeks when Shepherd told her about the Clinic’s prescription assistance. Patients pay two dollars per medication that the Clinic stocks. They pay nothing for other medicines at a local pharmacy.
Then Shepherd told her patient that she was referring her to a specialist for treatment. As is typical for Clinic patients, she would likely receive an initial visit free of charge. If ongoing care is necessary, the patient and specialist discuss the fees.
“She was overwhelmed,” Shepherd observed.
When Shepherd was a teenager, she wanted to be an athletic trainer. An unhappy internship during her senior year of high school showed that she needed to find a different career path.
What Shepherd knew is that she wanted children. She did not want to extend her studies into her thirties, and rack up a heavy debt load that some doctors accumulate. Shadowing a physician’s assistant revealed her road to take.
“Physician assistant’s school is four years of medical school crammed into two,” says Shepherd. Students are in the classroom during the first year, and do clinical rotations in the second.
Being a physician’s assistant at the Clinic fits with what’s important to Shepherd.
“It’s about quality of life,” says Shepherd. “My first priority is to be a good wife and a good mother.”
Every night at the dinner table, each person in Shepherd’s family names one thing for which she or he is grateful. A few weeks into her employment at the Clinic, both her husband and oldest daughter said they’re just glad she’s home every night for dinner.
The Diabetes Clinic makes a focused attack on blood sugar levels
Alisa Booze Troetschel, Clinic Volunteer
According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), in 2008 close to 10 out of every 100 adults in Fauquier County had been diagnosed with diabetes. The rate is a little higher in Rappahannock County – 10.7 percent. This is on par with the rest of the United States. In 2010 the CDC said 11.3 percent of all people have diabetes.
We’re doing something about that in our neck of the woods. The Fauquier Free Clinic has many special programs for our diabetic patients.
Diabetic patients referred into the program come to see a doctor every three months – the same doctor, every time. That way they get continuity of care. They and the doctor can work together to get that blood sugar down, way down! Patients have entered the diabetes clinic with very high blood levels of sugar, and have managed to lower the levels to almost normal!
One way they do that is to by working with Aren Dodge. She’s a volunteer dietitian and diabetes educator. She gives our patients great tips on how to eat healthier and stick to a budget.
Dr. Carmen Cioceanu runs the clinic. She’s the doorkeeper. She decides who can most benefit from the program.
Dr. Patty Daly is an endocrinologist who sees our patients in the diabetes program at the Rappahannock Clinic in Washington.
Doctors Kevin McCarthy, Michael Ackerman and Bill Simpson each have volunteered to follow about 10 patients at our Warrenton site.
This team of volunteers has been working with our patients and with our clinic since we started focusing intensely on diabetes back in 2002. How’s that for a dedicated effort?!
2013 Pacemakers Run is Sunday morning June 9. Click here for more info…
Our 2013 Free Clinic Golf Tournament is almost full… Eagle sponsorship is $1000 and includes signage on the course.
Tournament is Friday May 3, check in at 10:00 am, shotgun start at 11:00. Fauquier Springs Country Club. Contact us with any questions: 540-347-0394.
Patients and volunteers: The clinics in Warrenton and Rappahannock will be closed Weds 3/6 due to the predicted snowstorm. Everybody stay safe!
Results are up! Check out the run page for links.