The Health Clinic complements the other services offered at the Hospitality Center by providing the on-site availability of medical services. The original idea for creating the Clinic began with the efforts of Dr. Norm Rosen. Currently, volunteer doctors and nurses from Natividad Medical Center and from the local community staff the clinic on a weekly basis. Dr. Marc Tunzi, with the Residency Program at Natividad Medical Center, has been our primary physician, staffing the clinic weekly for the last 15 years. Our health clinic is open on Wednesdays from 12:30 to 2:00 p.m. and logs about 1,300 visits every year. Our volunteer doctors and nurse practitioners are able to perform simple procedures and prescribe needed medicines. They are aided by medical residents from Natividad Medical Center and nursing students from Hartnell Community College.
Our nurses ensure that patients with chronic health conditions such as diabetes and COPD are enrolled in pharmaceutical programs that provide their medications at no cost. We are supported by financial contributions and gifts of prescription drug samples and medical supplies. Naturally, the most important gift is that of our medical staff’s volunteer time and dedication.
While the debate continues nationally as to whether or not we can afford to pay for national health care for all, we here at Dorothy's Place have realized that the real debate is about whether or not the poor are worthy as human beings. We see first-hand how gentle, early intervention can restore health, maintain health in seniors and the disabled, and increase confidence and self-esteem.
Grassroots intervention also protects the public health by thwarting contagious diseases and educating people how to care for themselves and stay healthier. It saves millions of dollars in ambulance fees, emergency room costs, pharmaceuticals, and other medical costs for the indigent that are borne by taxpayers.
Mental health needs are overwhelming here.
We are blessed to have a Continuum of Care in Monterey County that includes Interim, Inc., a private behavioral health provider that specializes in residential programs for persons with psychiatric disabilities. Recently, Interim's MCHOME program began street outreach with supervised social work interns from California State University Monterey Bay, connecting with the many chronically homeless people that come to Dorothy's Place for assistance. We are very grateful for that compassionate service, realizing that close to 90% of our guests need mental health assistance.
Our experience is in line with our fundamental conviction that every life is of infinite value, so we choose to believe in the possibility of justice and equality as dynamic principles meant to inspire and challenge all of us every day.