April 1, 2013 | By Cathy Finn
You know that cat that wanders the neighborhood, ears all torn up, a couple of scratches festering underneath his fur, but still with a swagger that defies his appearance? I spent a few hours this afternoon with the human equivalent.
When he's with me, he's extremely respectful, a great conversationalist, always gently grateful for anything I do for him. Place him back in his own environment, the streets, fill him up with the substances that he spends a good part of his life chasing down, and he's a different man.
The other day we reviewed his recent activities, things that had happened in the last year or so. "I got stabbed, shot, hit on the head with a brick a couple times, oh, and the guy dropped that cement block on my foot."
March 18, 2013 | By Cathy Finn
I was standing in a bedraggled little line, the line at the St Vincent DePaul food pantry in Hyannis. Due to space constraints, 8 or so of us had to stand out in the elements while we waited our turns to get into the warmth and walk away with a couple of bags of much needed groceries. Part of my case manager duties at Duffy is to continue on with contact and assistance after we have helped our clients find housing, including making sure they have enough food.
The gentleman I was with was clearly the local man-about-town. All the ladies in line made it a point to greet him by name and have a little chat with him.
"I have no idea who these ladies are," he quietly confided to me, "But they all know my name."
March 11, 2013 | By Cathy Finn
I have a new routine I've developed since I started working at the Duffy Health Center. When I go home at night I tend to look around my home, pick something extraneous and toss it out.
It's been much to my benefit, as some of the clutter that tends to gather around the edges of a home is disappearing, but it is also, oddly enough, because of my accumulating experience of working with the chronically homeless here on Cape Cod.
February 25, 2013 | By Cathy Finn
I was out and about one extremely windy, extremely rainy evening the other day. I had timed my visit to the NOAH shelter carefully; a while after it opened; not early enough to have to stand in the whipping rain to talk to my clients, but not late enough that I pass out from hunger on the way home to dinner. A luxury, I might add, that my clients don't have. They either stand in the rain or don't get a bed.
February 14, 2013 | By Heidi Romans Nelson, CEO, Duffy Health Center
I found this article interesting. It was written by Eugene Kennedy on Valentine's Day in 1990. The article comes from a recent post in the Chicago Tribune.
February 14, 1990 | By Eugene Kennedy
"Earth's the right place for love," wrote poet Robert Frost. "I don't know where it's likely to go better."
These are lines worth recalling on Valentine's Day in a world in which we are reminded many times each day of the worst possibilities of human nature. Indeed, love is something as near to right about imperfect men and women as we are ever going to find. Love is a powerful mystery because it co-exists with and triumphs over so much that is wrong with us.
In the ever renewed debate about what quality distinguishes us from other living beings, one might cast a bittersweet vote for love as the capacity that finally marks us as human.
December 21, 2012 | By Heidi Romans Nelson, CEO, Duffy Health Center
Reflecting on the Newtown, CT, school shooting this week - how do we make sense of it? The sadness of it is so overwhelming it’s not really possible to make sense of it, except to think about what we can do to prevent future occurrences.
In my opinion, there are four things we need to do:
December 13, 2012 | By Heidi Romans Nelson, CEO, Duffy Health Center
This week I want to reflect on the importance of consumer involvement to our work. I attended the annual meeting of the Mass Housing and Shelter Alliance (MHSA) on Wednesday, where they gave the First Annual Ed O'Neil award. The award was created by MHSA to honor people who have given selflessly to serve persons experiencing homelessness, in particular people who have been homeless themselves at one time. The award went to a staff person from the Boston Rescue Mission, who shared very powerfully his own experience of addiction and homelessness, and how much it means to him to serve others now that he is able.
December 10, 2012 | By Heidi Romans Nelson, CEO Duffy Health Center
Now that the dust has settled, literally and figuratively, on the dismantling of the homeless camps in Barnstable, perhaps we can reflect on where we are as a community in addressing the issue of street homelessness.
December 5, 2012 | By Heidi Romans Nelson, CEO Duffy Health Center
Many of us think of HIV and AIDS as third world diseases, that the pandemic is under control in the United States, and certainly in Massachusetts and Barnstable County. It is true that we have good news to celebrate on Cape Cod regarding our progress over the past ten years, due to the highly successful prevention program funded by the Mass Department of Public Health:
New infections have dropped from 55 annually down to 12.
AIDS-related deaths have dropped from 15 annually to 3.
And growth in the number of persons living with HIV has slowed. In 2002, that number was 445, today it stands at 613.
October 15, 2012 | By Elyse DeGroot, Director of Community Relations and Marketing, Duffy Health Center
Along with National Nursing Day, Breast Cancer Awareness Month and Chocolate lover’s day there is National Estate Planning Awareness week. Who Knew? But doesn’t it make sense? As major amounts of wealth are transferred by the Baby Boomer generation, non profits have an obligation to help educate their donors about possible options. Below are a few common questions and answers as well as an estate planning check list. And if reading this inspires you to consider making a bequest to Duffy, please call Elyse DeGroot at 508-771-7517 ext 104!
October 9, 2012 | By Pat Cawley, Director of Case Management & Integrated Services, Duffy Health Center
In January 1997, I "temporarily" moved from Boston to Miami to provide consultative services to a substance abuse treatment program that serves people who are homeless. I believe I was seduced by the Miami weather and the program I worked for, Camillus House. Camillus' mission is to serve the poor and homeless in Miami. Fifteen years later, the pull of family ties and the desire to be amongst New Englanders again brought me back to Massachusetts. With anticipatory excitement, I applied for the position of Director of Case Management and Integrated Services at Duffy Health Center.
October 1, 2012 | By Su Wasseluk, Nurse Practitioner, Duffy Health Center
There is a lot of interest on the Cape in Duffy's Mobile Health Clinic. We thought readers would like to know about what the day-to-day experience is like for our roving clinicians. Su Wasseluk, Duffy's Nurse Practitioner, has offered to write regular updates on the "View from the Bus."
Monday Morning: Duffy's Mobile Health Clinic rumbles to life in the back corner of Cape Cod Hospital's parking lot. Coffee in hand, Jan maneuvers our clinic on wheels through and around obstacles as gracefully as a deer runs through a forest. We watch the seasons' change reflected in the traffic patterns as we wind our way down to Falmouth Service Center. We set up camp in the corner of their parking lot. Often, there are clients waiting for us.
September 24, 2012 | By Heidi Romans Nelson, CEO Duffy Health Center
For a few years now, I have toyed with the idea of taking up yoga. We folks over 50 years of age sometimes worry about flexibility, strength and balance as we grow older. My New Year's resolution for 2012 was to walk-in to the yoga studio nearest my home, and try it just once. That was in January, and I've kept my resolution with a weekly class ever since!
September 19, 2012 | By Heidi Romans Nelson, CEO Duffy Health Center
You may be aware that last week was Suicide Prevention Week. The following piece from the National Council on Behavioral Healthcare caught my eye. The President of this Association reported on the results of a study that showed that guns are not only a popular means of suicide, but that access to firearms is strongly associated with the increased risk of suicide.
September 14, 2012 | By Elyse DeGroot, Director of Community Relations and Marketing, Duffy Health Center
We had the great pleasure of witnessing the ribbon-cutting for the ‘new’ Pilot House Shelter on August 30, at noon. You may be aware that Housing For All Corporation (operator of CHAMP Homes) has assumed the responsibility for Pilot House Shelter. After much discussion, Community Action Committee of Cape and Islands (CACCI) decided that operating Pilot House Shelter was not within the scope of their mission, and that their projected financial position would not allow Pilot House Shelter to continue as a CACCI program. Duffy Health Center, Housing Assistance Corporation (HAC) and the Regional Network to End Homelessness met periodically over the spring and summer to discuss possible scenarios.
September 4, 2012 | By Elyse DeGroot, Director of Community Relations and Marketing, Duffy Health Center
As we wind down from the summer, it’s easy to look back and remember all the cook outs, days at the beach and other fun activities we were involved in. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all of you who gave up your Saturday on August 11 to help with the First Annual Stand Down Cape Cod 2012. Please save the date – August 10, 2013 – for the Second Annual Stand Down Cape Cod!
Here are some thoughts about the day from two of the coordinators:
August 27, 2012 | By Jerry Forman, Esq., Member, Duffy Health Center Board of Directors
When Elyse DeGroot, Duffy’s Director of Community Relations and Marketing, asked for board members to help with the Clinic’s blog calendar, I wondered what I would have to say that anyone would want to read. Then I thought a little more and remembered why I had joined the board in the first place and it all boiled down to wanting to make a difference.
August 22, 2012 | By Heidi Romans Nelson, CEO Duffy Health Center
On August 7, 2012, we lost an important member of the Duffy family – Bach Charon, a beloved board member and patient.
August 3, 2012 | By Elyse DeGroot, Director of Community Relations & Marketing
Next week, August 5 – August 11, is celebrated as National Community Health Center Week in all 50 states. Events ranging from health care fairs to walks and other group activities are planned to help highlight Community Health Centers as cost effective and accessible providers of health care. It's also National Health Care for the Homeless Day on Wednesday, August 8. The staff at Duffy Health Center work incredibly hard and it's great that they get a day where their work is truly appreciated. If you know one of our staffers, please give them a shout out and celebrate their good work.
August 1, 2012 | By Heidi Romans Nelson, CEO Duffy Health Center
When Duffy Health Center moved into its new building last April, we expanded our capacity to serve patients by 25%. Where will those new patients come from?
July 24, 2012 | By Elyse DeGroot, Director of Community Relations & Marketing
As the excitement finally settles from the Duffy Health Center’s Evening of Stars Gala benefit, we have already begun to hear “What will you do next year to top the Bermuda trip?” Yup, it was quite the event. Bobby Orr and Derek Sanderson signing autographs; a private Rectrix Aviation jet just waiting to whisk eight people away for the weekend in Bermuda; and lots of great auction items. The food was great too! My personal favorite was the make-your-own-chowder station.
July 23, 2012 | By Heidi Romans Nelson, CEO Duffy Health Center
Welcome to the first edition of our Duffy Health Center blog! If you know us, we hope to deepen your understanding of and connection to Duffy Health Center. If you are new to Duffy, we hope to bring you closer into our circle.