A chance to heal

Some of the surgeon wannabes are already saying “a chance to cut is a chance to heal.” Which is great, if you don’t mind having your skin sliced up.

Me, I’m more of a chat over coffee guy. That’s why I’m looking forward to Sunday, when I and a few dozen other OHSU and Portland State students will offer health screening and information to underinsured people in downtown Portland. For several years, OHSU students have been coordinating this free health fair as part of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Cover the Uninsured week.

The count of uninsured Oregon adults is over 500,000. As of 2009, there were 100,000 uninsured kids, too, though every Oregon child now has access to insurance. About 80 percent of these folks belong to working families. This is probably not news to anyone involved in health care, but it is a good reminder why we still need to get folks out of the classroom and into a parking garage to check blood pressure and offer dental work and eye care (and haircuts, and housing information, and aspirin, and first aid kits – it’s going to be a pretty comprehensive deal). There’s even a free hot meal at 3 p.m. if you’re hungry.

The fair runs noon to 4 p.m.  in O’Bryant Square at SW 8th and Washington – in the garage under the square if the weather is still lousy. I’ll be at the BMI booth from noon to 2. If you’re around, stop by and say hello. I won’t tell you your BMI if you don’t want to know – just don’t ask mine. Turns out winter in med school is not kind to the waistline.

One response to “A chance to heal

  1. This great event has been an annual feature for a number years now, and We have registered over 130 students to participate this year.

    It would be even better to be able to say that there was no longer a need for this kind event, but as long as there is, clearly our students – and their volunteer faculty mentors – are stepping up. Thanks for the shout out, Andy.

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