A Message of Health and Hope for our Community
from Executive Director, Patricia Patrón
Dear Outside In Friends and Family,
I have found myself filled with gratitude over the past month as I watched our staff overcome fear and uncertainty to deliver critical care to those who need it the most. It is in tough times like these that we get to see and experience the resilience, generosity, and kindness of our community. Many of you have reached out to check on us and offer your support, and it means the world to us. While COVID-19 has brought stress, confusion, and often despair, your acts of kindness, expressions of concern, and charitable donations inspire us and give us hope.
While I am always in awe of the dedication, creativity, and spirit of our staff, these past few weeks have been truly humbling and inspiring as we have come together in new and inventive ways to meet the needs of those we serve. I wanted to share some of these moments with you in hopes that they lift you up during this challenging time.
Devon Murray is greeting patients as they enter the clinic.
Continuing to Meet the Health Care Needs of our Patients
As the sweeping effects of this pandemic hit our patients, staff worked quickly to adjust services to meet critical medical needs while keeping everyone safe. Because our patients rely on Outside In for compassionate and comprehensive care, it is essential we maintain access to health care services such as chronic disease management, reproductive health, wound care, syringe exchange, vaccinations, and Medication Assisted Treatment for substance use. Additionally, our transgender patients cannot have disruptions to gender-affirming treatment.
Our clinic and information technology teams implemented telehealth in a matter of days so that patients could check in with Medical Assistants, Physicians, Nurses, Naturopaths, Behavioral Health Counselors, and Case Managers over the phone and via video. I later learned that Outside In was one of the first community health clinics in Portland to successfully launch telehealth!
Dr. Miguel Mitchell demonstrating Outside In's new telehealth capabilities.
A sampling of nutritious food at our school-based food pantry.
Our telehealth capacity also extends to serve Milwaukie High School students and their families, who can still access Outside In’s School Based Health Center via phone and video. Our school-based food pantry has remained open and continues to serve a steady number of students and families. Nutritious groceries alleviate food insecurity concerns during this difficult time.
Because not everyone is able to access telehealth or the downtown clinic, our Mobile Medical Outreach and Syringe Exchange teams still arrive at Clackamas Service Center twice a week to connect with patients and ensure they have access to the medical care they need. Our downtown clinic remains open for patients to visit if they need hands-on care or are unable to access telehealth.
Our pharmacy continues to dispense medications to patients, and now we are mailing out most prescriptions – ensuring our patients have what they need.
Mobile Medical Outreach staff, Marcia Brown and Karlyn Nieland, NP, practicing social distancing!
Continuing to Meet the Basic Needs of Youth Experiencing Homelessness
Whitney, Rachel, and Emily from our Youth Department have played a critical role in making sure our clients have access to food boxes!
Outside In’s youth clients rely on us for healthy meals, showers, laundry, mail, housing, counseling, and connections with trusted adults. Emergencies hit our youth clients particularly hard. In many cases, Outside In is their only support system. Our staff swiftly developed new ways of serving daily meals to allow for social distancing and also implemented new measures to ensure the safety of youth who live onsite in transitional housing.
When our college students had all of their classes switched online last month, staff acted immediately to ensure the necessary technology and coaching were accessible for studies to continue smoothly. Our instructors also jumped in to support students through virtual tutoring and career coaching – helping them stay on top of their education and job training goals.
Lead Teacher, Eva Kokopeli, in her new virtual "classroom"
The beauty of the human spirit is on full display at Outside In, within each of our patients and clients, and within each one of you.
We are grateful to be here in Portland, and to do the work we do every day. Thank you for being a part of our family
Executive Director, Outside In
It is because of you – our community –
that Outside In is able to save the lives of thousands of people each year.
We would love to hear from you!
Please feel free to share your thoughts, ideas, and questions with us.
We are grateful for your support!
Your support of Outside In creates health and hope for the more than 11,000 people we serve every year. We can’t say it enough: THANK YOU!