Thank you so much to the Arcora Foundation for a grant helping us to purchase some much needed dental equipment!
Denny Murphy Clinic’s existing dental equipment, some of which has been in service for 20+ years, has been well-maintained to maximize the full life of each piece. However, the equipment is coming to its end of life. Upgrading and modernizing the clinic’s equipment will ensure continuity in access to integrated medical and dental services for the underserved, high-risk patients in Spokane’s downtown core. Moreover, new technologies will greatly improve workflow efficiency.
New cutting-edge equipment will provide for earlier detection of tooth decay and significantly improved patient experience. It will enhance teamwork and make dental care easier for patients, dentists, and hygienists. Accordingly, it also will make it easier to recruit and retain dental staff. Above all, new technologies will greatly improve staff workflow efficiency, meaning more productive patient visits and increased oral health for patients.
At CHAS Health, our work is guided by our mission and core values. Two of those core values that are particularly relevant now are Social Responsibility and Respect for Human Dignity. We believe that Black Lives Matter. The recent and deplorable death of George Floyd at the hands of law enforcement is the latest example in a long history of racial injustice and discrimination in our country.
As a community health center, we have endeavored to reduce health inequities in the communities we serve over the last 25 years. We know that health inequities disproportionately impact people of color and people with lower incomes. While we have worked hard to strengthen these particular threads of our social safety net by providing universal access to primary care services, we were not expansive enough in our objective. Although we understood that the root causes of health inequity are inextricably linked to systemic issues that support racial and income inequality, we failed to call it what is – a public health crisis.
We need to confront the fact that the underlying foundation of health equity will never be stable until issues of systemic racism, injustice and respect for human dignity are rectified. Acknowledgement is step one of this journey. Next steps include listening, taking action, and sustaining that action. CHAS Health is committed to increasing our staff’s awareness and engagement in activities that promote racial equity, diversity, and inclusion. CHAS Health is also committed to working with external partners in the communities we serve to build a new foundation that addresses the deficiencies of our criminal justice system and law enforcement, to promote income equality, equal opportunity, and health equity.
CHAS Health makes this commitment to the black community, communities of color, and to all the communities we serve.
One of our participants from our very first (Pilot) Pathways to Wellness program, has a very impressive success story. When she first started, she shared that she did not graduate from high school but did get her diploma. She confesses to starting drinking and using illegal drugs by the age of 14, in turn, she ending up being a drug addict. Not able to get away from this life, she moved to Las Vegas but was not able to make it there either so, she moved back to the Seattle area. Struggling to stay sober, she decided to leave everything behind, and move to Spokane. She was living in a group home.
On May 29, 2018, she had her New patient visit with Jason Wright and by June she saw Erica Baty. They talked about our Pathways to Wellness Program. She was very excited to start in July and determined to graduate. She was able to learn many things about eating better, shopping on a budget, preparing healthy foods, and much more. The accountability for workouts helped her to be more motivated. At Graduation, she stated that this program came along at the perfect time for her. It gave her something to focus on and kept her from falling back into her old habits. She is very proud to be a Pathways to Wellness Graduate and continue her journey, using the things she had learned.
During this quarantine time, I have been reaching out to our Pathway to Wellness graduates, to see how and what they are doing during these uncertain times. When I talked to her, she shared that she has lost another 25+ lbs. and continues to try to eat healthy. Workouts have been a struggle with the YMCA being closed but has created a few of her own. She finally shared that she is one quarter away from getting her MA certification and is very proud that she was able to accomplish this. At the end of our call, she said “There is a whole other world out there, that I never thought I could be a part of but now I am empowered to take advantage of every opportunity I can. Life is much better now and have Pathways to Wellness to thank for getting her started on her new life’s journeys.