Healthcare position in short
*To read the full position paper, see further below…
Tremendously heightened focus on prevention strategies per nutrition, exercise, stress management, environmental pollution control…
Much more nutritious organic food and much less chemically treated and genetically modified foods.
More programs to tackle current obesity problem in our nation.
Multiple approaches to tremendously curb carcinogens in auto exhausts, cleaning fluids, paints, farm herbicides and pesticides… [This would, for instance, entail much stricter EPA standards. One in three people in America now get cancer in a lifetime.]
Shift away from Obamacare being a federal, bureaucratic leviathan centralized in D.C. Instead moving to a “Regional Healthcare System,” where the local community was much more involved with local healthcare. This would include local versions of Medicaid and Medicare as well [See below.]
Much more “healthy eating” in America’s schools, using the example of the Appleton School District in Wisconsin. This district switched from a lot of sugars and starch to whole grains and organic fruits and vegetables – with excellent results.
A key to good health is exercise. Our administration would look to such models as Gallup, New Mexico, where two Rec. Centers were developed, funded by town tax, and provided free to everyone. Likewise, in Maryville, Tennessee, a 12-mile walking/bicycle path loops throughout the town (with exercise stations), so almost everyone in the town has easy access to it.
***Our administration would have much more concern for people in Third World countries having access to adequate healthcare. [See below.]
We would propose more phys. Ed. classes in schools to promote more youth exercise and teach, among other things, “lifetime sports.”
We would get behind initiatives companies do to promote better health in their employees. During an interview with Jess Bell (president of Bonnie Bell Cosmetics), he said he put in a 2-mile rather expensive cinder track on the company grounds and employees are, for instance, given a two-hour lunch break if they want to walk or run.
At Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, we toured a “Wellness Dormitory.” Like minded students exercised together, ate healthier food together… creating a synergistic atmosphere of “good health.” We would propose every college campus have a Wellness Dormitory, or 10.
Our administration would also create much more space for “holistic health.” [Holistic health revolves around “natural” remedies for the promotion of health and help with illness. Right now, America is “top heavy” with traditional medicine – with the American Medical Association and American Pharmaceutical Association having too much influence. There needs to be much more of a balance. [Bluffton, Ohio, M.D. Terry Chappell combines the best of traditional medicine with homeopathic practices and he started a “Bluffton Natural Health Chapter,” with monthly meetings to teach local people about various homeopathic remedies, and such.
Our administration would work to ban genetically modified food.
Mental health issues (addiction, compulsive behavior, mental disorders…) can lead to a plethora of physical problems. Our administration would ramp up a drive to help local communities to tremendously bolster their mental health and addiction services.
We are a society that has become hyper-stressed in general. Stress leads to a significant break down of the immune system, which in turn plays havoc with one’s physical well-being. Our administration would taut a multitude of stress management tools, including proposing a 30-hour work week – so people were less stressed and more well-rounded.
To supplement the Regional Healthcare System we propose, we would suggest these systems be combined with community healthcare volunteer initiatives, models of which we’ve researched all around the country…
Community Pharmacy: In Monroe, Louisiana, the St. Vincent DePaul Society has set this up for low income people. The pharmacy gets financial donations from the local community and receives donations of sample medications from area doctors and left over medication from area nursing homes – after, say, a person has died.
Jericho Road practice: Dr. Myron Glick moved to the heart of Buffalo, New York and set up a practice for the area poor (including a lot of immigrants). It revolves on a minimal sliding fee and doctors come in from the suburbs to help out.
Medical Care Access Coalition: A group of private practice doctors in Marquette, Michigan, have all set aside so many hours a week to treat low-income, uninsured people.
Marillac Clinic Hospital: In Grand Junction, Colorado, a two story hospital has gone up with local donations, doctors and nurses volunteering their time, other citizens volunteering to do janitorial work, intake work, landscaping… If you need major surgery here, and are down on your luck, it could cost as little as $5.
“When asked how this clinic [Marillac Clinic} could affect healthcare on a national lvel, Schriner said that as president, he and his family would jump in the van, drive out to Marillac, and say: “Hey America, look at this. Every community should be doing the same thing.” --Jackson Hole, Wyoming News.
Healthcare Position Paper
“(Schriner) firmly believes that health care costs could be cut in half if people got more exercise, ate more nutritious foods, were less stressed and subjected to less pollution.” – The Salina (KS) Journal
*The following topics are discussed below in relation to our health care platform: 1. The Issues; 2. The Plan; 3. Prevention; 4. Exercise; 5. Holistic Health; 6. Pollution; 7. Nutrition; 8. Stress Management; 9. National Health Care System?; 10. Regional Health Care System; 11. Community Volunteer Initiatives
1. The Issue
Health care in America is mixed.
While there are some good prevention programs, there could be many more – and a more proactive focus on prevention in general. Likewise, while there is a population of relatively healthy people; there is a growing population of not so healthy people.
As an example, obesity is growing at an alarming rate in this country, attributable to increasingly sedentary lifestyles, sugar addiction, and emotional issues leading to compulsive overeating patterns.
Cancer rates are also on a steady incline, attributable, in part, to increased stress that suppresses immune systems. (With immune systems not at full strength to fight carcinogens, many will become more susceptible to cancer.)
Then there’s the actual increase in carcinogens in our society (in auto exhaust, in factory emissions, in paints, in cleaning fluids…) that are ending up in our air, our water, and on our food. We are, of late, forever “Racing for the Cure;” but perhaps, we should actually be racing to: STOP USING THINGS THAT CAUSE CANCER IN THE FIRST PLACE! I mean, wouldn’t that be common sense?
Also, while there are some quality health care providers in this country; it seems a lot of the orientation is not about getting people more prevention minded (except with a minority of doctors, and a majority of holistic practitioners). And that’s because if people are healthier, doctors, nurses, hospital personnel in general, etc. don’t make as much money, Lakewood, New York’s Dr. Rudy Mueller told me on a campaign stop there. Dr. Mueller is the author of the book As Sick As It Gets (Health Care in America).
Another issue is the rising cost of health care, ballooning, in no small part, because of what some (especially among those pushing for a National Health Care System) would consider extraneous expenses tied to things like hospital advertising, public relations, insurance paperwork, an increase in law suits…
And even more troublesome is the new Affordable Health Care Act with its tangle of regulations. While we believe everyone should have access to quality healthcare, we don’t think creating another Federal leviathan in D.C. is the answer. (Nor do we believe in things like the Act’s HHS Mandate that “requires” most employers to pay for things like abortion, sterilization, contraception... even when it is against their faith’s teachings. This is a direct affront on Freedom of Religion, which is guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution.)
And yet another concern for our administration, would be people worldwide (especially in the Developing World) who not only don’t have health care coverage; they don’t even have the basics in medical help, period. We believe Americans should be much more interested in the common good, for everyone.
2. The Plan
Our administration would look to a Surgeon General who would set the tone for an extremely proactive, and multi-dimensional, Health Care Prevention Movement. A movement that would target increased physical education classes in schools (including “sports (walking, bicycling…) for life”, Wellness classes, focused on nutrition, exercise, and stress management, and much more nutritious School Lunch Programs (low on sugar, starch and refined carbohydrates; high on whole grains and organic fruits and vegetables).
And this orientation would naturally spill over into towns, with an increase in community sponsored recreational facilities, more town walking/bicycling trails, regular public forums on Wellness promotion, community Wellness support groups…
On the organic front, our administration would aggressively promote a series of incentives to move toward much more organic growing. And as this happened prices for organic food would lessen in kind. (Genetically modified food, and chemical applications that deplete the soil, are significantly diminishing the nutritional value of food in these modern times.) We would also stridently work to legislate an end to the use of artificial hormones in poultry and cattle, which creates health hazards in consumers.
In regard to health care providing, we would push to help ensure that every person had equal access to quality health care. However, instead of a National Health Care System, we would propose a Regional Health Care System with the same spirit in regard to everyone being covered. This System would include a local Health Care Tax. It would subsidize local versions of Medicare and Medicade payments to lower income people. In addition, in poorer areas, this would be supplemented with a series of benevolent outreaches (from region to region) that would include things we’ve researched, like: Monroe, Louisiana’s “Community Pharmacy” for the disadvantaged; sliding fee services from town doctors in a Marquette, Michigan “Equal Access Coalition”; even additional hospitals, like one in Grand Junction, Colorado, for the disadvantaged. The Hospital is staffed with doctors, nurses, and community members doing intake work, janitorial work… all on a volunteer basis.
A National Health Care System, while attractive on the surface in regard to providing for everyone, sets up, in effect, an antiseptic, third-party giving system, removing some of the impetus for people to help the poor on their own. Help that is not only beneficial to the recipient, but help that is beneficial to the giver as well.
And finally, in tandem with this push to make sure everyone has equal access to quality healthcare in this country, we would just as stridently push to make sure people worldwide had access to quality healthcare as well, especially in Developing Countries where there currently aren’t even the basics in medicine and medical care, period. And in Waconia, Minnesota, Durango, Colorado, Bluffton, Ohio, and so many more American towns, we have found wonderful models to help effect this worldwide health care shift.
The key to good health is a combination of proper nutrition, exercise, stress management, etc. While you can’t necessarily legislate all this, you can inspire it in a variety of ways. And extrapolated out, the healthier people are the less drain on federal and state budgets for health care concerns. This, in turn, frees up more funds for civic projects, humanitarian aid, and so on. Not to mention, you have more vital, productive people in the family, in the community, in the work place…
At a seminar in Salisbury, Maryland, I heard nutrition expert George Malkmus say that exercise was as important, if not more important, than nutrition. For instance, he said a body’s VO2 max capacity is a tremendous key to good health. He explained VO2 max capacity is the maximum amount of air someone is able to take into one’s lungs, because this translates into the amount of oxygen that the blood stream is able to take to each cell. Malkmus said the key to increasing, and maintaining, one’s VO2 capacity is regular exercise.
Every community should have ample venues to exercise, venues that are available to everyone. In Gallup, New Mexico (pop. 18,000), there are two excellent, indoor recreational facilities – both free to the public. Recreation coordinator Frances Esparza told me, on a campaign stop in Gallup, the town had voted to allocate money for these centers. (For less financially well-off towns, our administration would propose some matching federal grants to help with this type of initiative.)
In Bluffton, Ohio, an ad hoc citizens committee formed the non-profit Bluffton Family Recreation (BFR) organization. Church basements, elementary school gyms, and so on, were used for a variety of sports activities for youth and adults early on. Director Carol Enneking told me that eventually the group felt it needed its own facility. Land was acquired and local fundraising ensued. And when the building started going up, some local people volunteered to help with construction. The BFR facility, which has a basketball court, weight room, aerobic room, and indoor track, was completed in 1995 and is a real tribute to grassroots, local initiative.
In Maryville, Tennessee, we walked part of a 12-mile trail (and green belt area) that winds through most of the town. With easy access to the trail from almost anywhere, a greater percentage of the town uses the trail – than if it was just isolated in one corner of the town. (Maryville local newspaper fitness columnist Joe Sneed told me obesity has increased some 25% in America since 1960 – and a significant amount of this increase has been among the youth.)
At a stop in Thorp, Wisconsin, physical education instructor Bernie Stuttgen, who had been teaching the past 30 years, explained to us that youth today are more sedentary as a whole. He said that besides increased time with the TV and computer, this is also due to the demise of the small family farm. That is, before in America, many youth grew up on farms and spent much time outside doing chores that required much physical exertion. Stuttgen’s answer is to place more emphasis on physical education in the school system. Our administration would promote curricula that included a couple phys-ed classes in a day, at the elementary, junior high, and high school levels. And we would suggest that more of the classes were geared toward teaching “life-time” sports like: distance walking, tennis, basketball, bicycling…
The walking and bicycling (including classes on bicycle types – street, mountain, etc. – for different terrains, bicycle repair, and so on) would be both about ongoing fitness, and about orienting more people toward clean, alternative modes of transportation: like walking, and bicycling. (Our administration would also get behind High Springs, Florida’s Dan Burden. On a stop in High Springs, we learned about Burden’s highly creative “Walkable Community Model” that’s intended to make towns much more walking and bicycling friendly in general.)
And our agricultural platform promotes a return of the small family farm, which would also spell much more physical activity for many more youth and adults alike.
Our administration would also suggest work place incentives for employees who opt for more physical activity. In Westlake, Ohio, I interviewed Jess Bell, president of Bonnie Bell Cosmetics. Mr. Bell gives employees two hours for lunch, if they want to exercise. He built a $2 million dollar track around their corporate headquarters, and offers employees 25 cents a mile for walking and 50 cents a mile for running – whether on the track, or on the way to work, etc. In return, he told me there is less absenteeism, more energy on the job, and clearer thinking.
And as Bonnie Bell has created a positive, synergistic atmosphere around health for their employees, Miami University in Oxford, Ohio has created a similar environment in several of its dormitories, “Wellness Dormitories.”
On a stop in Oxford, we toured one of these dorms and learned that students here tend toward doing athletic activities together, compare notes on eating in a healthy fashion, and so on. In effect, the students inspire each other. In St. Martin, Ohio, Chattfield College instructor Margo Lewis told us students in her Wellness Class learn about healthy lifestyle choices in regard to: physical, spiritual, social and emotional areas.
With the Wellness Movement moving into the collegiate level, we believe it also needs to be inspired on a high school and grade school level as well. In tandem with the increased phys-ed focus, we suggest classes on stress management and nutrition for youth as well. And, we suggest healthier eating in the school cafeterias.
5. Holistic Health
In Coshocton, Ohio we interviewed Kathy Strausbaugh who works at a health food store there. She said to be “good stewards” of our bodies common sense would say we are to watch what we put in them. She continued that she believed the American Medical Association, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the pharmaceutical industry are lining each others’ pockets – and downplaying the significance of nutrition, stress management, natural healing remedies… to one’s health. She added there are now homeopathic colleges throughout the country, and would like to see more.
Our administration would push for grants to help establish more of these types of colleges, and we would try to mobilize more recognition for them.
Bluffton, Ohio’s Dr. Terry Chappell went to the prestigious University of Michigan Medical School. However, instead of just using straight medical practices, he told me his Celebration of Health Clinic uses the best of both traditional, and homeopathic, approaches. In just treating the symptoms, Dr. Chappell said traditional medicine is short sighted. (He, too, believes in nutritional therapies, herbal therapies, stress management, exercise…) For instance, Dr. Chappell, who is the author of Questions from the Heart (Hampton Roads Publishing), which is about safe alternatives to bypass surgery, writes that red yeast extract will lower cholesterol sometimes much better than conventional drug treatments – which are often much more expensive and come with various side effects.
Dr. Chappell has also helped spearhead the Greater Bluffton Natural Health Chapter, which meets monthly and is a collective of Bluffton citizens supporting each other in health-oriented choices. Meeting topics have included presentations on: strong bones; the “cholesterol puzzle”; healthy diets; the benefits of herbal teas… On a stop at the White Earth Reservation in northwest Minnesota, we learned Winona LaDuke, who ran for vice president with Ralph Nader on the Green Party ticket in 2000, is spearheading an initiative to get the Ojibwe Tribe there to go back to using herbal, and other traditional cures. And she is urging the Tribe to go back to organic growing, for the benefits to one’s health, and the benefits to the land. She told me she believes she has a responsibility, not only to this generation, but “…seven generations to come.”
Another topic at one of the meetings of the Greater Bluffton Natural Health Chapter was toxicology. That is, they talked about toxins that enter the blood stream from any number of sources. Bluffton’s Whole Foods Store owner Linda Houshower told me that a study at the turn of the 1900s showed an average person’s body tissue had about 12 chemicals, at most. Now it’s 200.
Ms. Houshower said we ingest many of these chemicals in the food we eat, because they’ve been treated with pesticides, herbicides, and so on.
Some of these chemicals come from all kinds of other environmental pollution as well.
In Marquette, Michigan, we learned there were “abnormal” amounts of mercury. According to an article in Northern Michigan University’s newspaper, the National Weather Service Station on campus was reporting on the mercury. According to the article, mercury gets into the air and water from burning coal. And there are a number of coal burning plants in the area. Marquette’s Dr. Hillary Gagnon told me that among a number of physical maladies mercury can be responsible for, a major one is: mercury is known to affect an unborn baby’s development in the womb.
Another source of these chemicals is auto-emissions, which contain known carcinogens. Likewise, we take in these toxic chemicals from chemically laden paint, toxic household cleaners, insect repellants, and on, and on…
Our administration would stridently work to fund more research to identify these toxins – and prohibit their use through legislation. We would also seek to inspire “Eco-Home Remodeling Clubs,” from town to town, for idea exchanges about things like: environmentally safe paint, natural cleaners, energy conservation ideas, etc.
Our administration would also push for more stringent EPA standards on factory emissions and motor vehicle emissions. In addition, we would work aggressively toward reorienting the society toward using much more clean, renewable energy (sun, wind, water…) – all to cut down on the potential toxins we’re exposed to.
In Wisconsin, Sturgeon Bay’s Fred Wittig, a health food storeowner, explained the Appleton, Wisconsin School District stopped serving items with refined sugars and starches. In their stead, there were salad bars, whole grain foods, natural juices… Wittig said not only did the students’ health improve on the whole, but so did their behavior (not being wired on sugar, for one) and ability to concentrate. It is our belief there should be some government funds to help more schools move to this type of school lunch model.
As we would try to inspire more of the Appleton, Wisconsin model, we also believe our eating patterns should include a steady diet of organically produced food. In Yorkshire, Ohio, we interviewed Dan Kremer, who has helped develop an organic co-op among farmers in Yorkshire, Ohio. He also does blood analysis testing at his “Eat Food For Life Farm.” Kremer, who is the oldest living hemophiliac in Ohio at age 45 (A tribute to a focus on proper nutrition, he says), explained to me that genetically modified food, which seems the agricultural rage these days, is really counterproductive. That is, when you change the molecular structure of the food, you deplete its nutritional value. What’s more, using chemical pesticides and fertilizers is depleting the soil, which also detracts considerably from the nutritional value of the food.
In Oldenberg, Indiana, at Michaela Farm (an organic teaching farm), Franciscan Sr. Anita told us because of all the chemical applications on modern farms these days, there are fewer and fewer minerals in the soil anymore. “We’ve become a society that lives on supplements,” she said. (And that is only the more ‘advantaged’ of America, as well.)
Also, studies are starting to show that chemicals being used on the farms are creating a variety of health hazards. We stopped in Oberlin, Ohio where we met with David Orr, the head of the Environmental Studies Department at Oberlin College, and author of the book Earth in Mind. Orr believes all the chemicals being used in the fields these days are creating “chemical cocktails” in our systems that are overloading immune systems and leading to all sorts of health problems, like cancer.
With the increase of cancer in our society, besides “A Race for the Cure,” our administration would try to inspire: “A Race for Prevention.” That is, common sense would indicate that we push for the stoppage of things that cause cancer in the first place.
And we believe there should be a lot more attention to nutrition education, and nutrition help, for those on the lower end of the socio-economic spectrum. In Bluffton, Ohio, we learned Bluffton College’s Nutrition and Dietetics Department does nutritional education for people at a Soup Kitchen in Lima, Ohio. In Oregon, Ohio, we interviewed Patrice Powers-Barker, who works with a program to set up community gardens all over the city. One of the organic gardens, she said, is at St. Louis Catholic Church on the city’s east side. The fresh produce from the garden goes to a nearby Soup Kitchen.
Our administration would push for significant subsidies to farmers choosing to grow organically. And as this shift started to happen, en mass, it would also drive down the price for organic food – making it more affordable for everyone.
8. Stress Management and Self Esteem Building
We have become an addictive/compulsive society. In her book When Society Becomes an Addict, author Anne Wilson Schaaf writes that some 90% of the people in America have developed some form of addictive/compulsive behavior along a spectrum that can include: drug addiction, compulsive work habits, compulsive gambling, compulsive overeating, addictive television watching, compulsive shopping, compulsive debt accumulation… We have become an increasingly fast paced society that feeds off stress connected to these activities.
The problem (and how this relates to health care) is that sustained levels of stress weaken the immune system. And the weaker the immune system, the more susceptible someone is to disease. As a former mental health counselor, I have also observed, time and again, how sustained levels of stress can lead to a variety of mental health problems as well.
Our administration would provide more grants and other incentives to move mental health counseling to a par with physical health care providing. We think this is one of the keys to breaking these addictive cycles (along with healing the family in America – see position paper on this).
Also, our administration would work to help reduce precipitating, societal factors that lead to excessive stress. In 2002, the country of New Zealand’s Health and Safety in Employment Act was amended to include both the mental and physical harm resulting from work-related stress, according to the Dominion Post newspaper. And just as safety is weighed in connection with physical hazards at the workplace, now job stressors (employees being overloaded with work, not enough breaks, too many hours…) are all weighed as well.
Our administration would push for adoption of a version of this New Zealand Act – and we would propose a 30-hour work-week, I told the Salina (KS) Journal newspaper. (An average American’s work week is currently around 46 hours, and that doesn’t include commute time, and so on). Being overworked these days is often synonymous with being over-stressed.
Yet despite all this, people are going to get sick, they are going to have accidents. And what we need is comprehensive health care coverage, for everyone.
9. National Health Care System?
There are currently 46 million Americans without health care insurance. We don’t think there should be one person, either child or adult, without health care insurance. One of the proposals we’ve researched is a National Healthcare System, like they have in Canada and a number of European countries.
In Jamestown, New York, I met with Dr.Rudolph Meuller, who practices internal medicine and is the author of As Sick As It Gets (Healthcare in America). He said he is passionately pushing for a National Healthcare System where everyone has equal access to healthcare – because he said he’s heard too many “horror stories.” A local woman had cut her leg. It got infected. She didn’t have health insurance or any extra money for a doctor. She thought, hoped, it would heal. It didn’t. Gangrene set in. By the time she made it to Dr. Mueller’s office, there was only one course of treatment left. Her leg had to be amputated.
Our administration would be concerned about this type of story, and all the stories of children from poorer families who lose a parent to cancer because it was detected too late – because of the parent hesitating to go in: because there was no insurance. Or there are the low-income, family children who go untreated for any number of diseases (cancer, respiratory problems, diabetes…) and end up living debilitated – or dying. And the list goes on.
While in Alabama, I interviewed Auburn University professor Rene McEldowny. Professor McEldowny specializes in teaching about economy issues around healthcare, and has traveled internationally to research other health care systems. She told me, for instance, that Holland has a socialized healthcare system for everyone. This means the citizens pay more in taxes, but many believe the byproduct of their work should be about improving the whole of society, as opposed to work primarily being about accumulating money.
Professor McEldowny said the Dutch healthcare system has little “waste.” She said a whopping 30% of the current U.S. Healthcare System is about “pushing paper around,” not direct health care delivery. What comprises some of this waste, said the professor, is money for advertising and other public relations expenses. Then there are budgets for personnel to deal with insurance paper work, lawyers to deal with law suits, CEOs who are making six figure salaries to oversee all this… And all this, inevitably, drives up the healthcare costs more.
10. Regional Health Care System
While not going to a socialist model like in Holland, our administration’s approach would be to recommend the establishment of a “Regional Health Care System” that contained much of the spirit of a National Health Care System in regard to everyone having access to quality healthcare.
As explained above, the Regional Health Care System would include a local tax that would go into a pool to cover a local version of Medicare and Medicaid for low income, uninsured people. (This would be administered by regional governments.) As this system was phased in, we would propose phasing out the national Medicare and Medicaid programs, evoking a shift to more: “local care for local people.” (At a stop in Tennessee, we learned this state has done a partial version of what we propose, only on a statewide level. Their “TennCare Program” is subsidized by a state tax and is designed to expand healthcare coverage to those who might otherwise fall through the cracks because of a lack of private healthcare insurance, or their Medicare or Medicaid payments not stretching far enough.)
However, in the poorer areas of the country, we realize that a regional area’s tax base might not stretch far enough when paying for everyone who needs health care. So as a supplement, we propose a series of community initiatives from county to county that would include components from some of the following grassroots health care models we’ve researched.
11. Community Volunteer Initiatives
In Monroe, Louisiana, we interviewed Cindy Smith who is on a Pharmacy Board for a “Community Pharmacy” in this town. The Pharmacy, which is a non-profit effort coordinated by the local chapter of the St. Vincent De Paul Society, provides affordable medication to low income people in the area. The Pharmacy gets financial donations from the community and beyond. It also receives donations of sample medication from area doctors, and left over medication, often from area nursing homes. (Louisiana also has a “Senior RX Program,” which is a cooperative between the state, pharmaceutical industry and senior organizations. It is administered by the Governor’s Office of Elderly Affairs. And in a two year period from the program’s inception in 2003, it had paid for 74,892 prescriptions for 5,000 uninsured Louisiana seniors.) This is part of the governor’s “war on poverty.”
In his own “war on poverty,” Dr. Myron Glick has rolled up his sleeves and moved his Jericho Road practice, and his family, into the heart of the inner city in Buffalo, New York. With Buffalo being a port city, there is a tremendous concentration of new immigrants here (he’s seen people from 50 countries so far in his practice). While we were on a stop in Buffalo, Dr. Glick told us he’s a Mennonite and believes his faith calls him to help the poor with the talent God has given him. (He operates on a minimal sliding fee scale, doesn’t turn anyone away, and his work has inspired some suburban doctors to come into the city regularly to volunteer at his practice.) “Every person is entitled to quality health care,” said Dr. Glick. “And anyway, what would Jesus do if He was going to start a medical practice?”
The “Medical Care Access Coalition” in Marquette, Michigan believes everyone should have access to quality health care as well. Dr. Fritz Hoenke told us the Coalition provides medical care and medication for low-income, uninsured people at little, or no, cost. He said most doctors in the area are involved, and patients are screened for a financial assessment before becoming involved in the Coalition system.
The uninsured in Grand Junction, Colorado are also taken care of by local people. While we were on a stop in Grand Junction, Dr. Carl Malito told us local doctors and nurses volunteer time at the Marillac Clinic (a two-story hospital with complete services) here. Likewise other local people volunteer as intake workers, secretaries, janitors… What’s more, regular fundraisers keep the clinic afloat. Dr. Malito said not only do the uninsured of the county here get medical help, but the intangible (as far as town camaraderie goes) is that they also get the assurance their neighbors are concerned about their welfare.
“When asked how this clinic [Marillac Clinic] could affect health care on a national level, Schriner said that as president, he and his family would jump in the van, drive out to Marillac, and say: “Hey America, look at this, every community should be doing the same thing.” – Jackson Hole (Wy.) News
Mankato, Minnesota: Readying for another day of our 2,000 mile bicycle campaign tour of the Midwest. (A big part of our platform is prevention: better nutrition, more exercise, less stress).
Dr. Myron Glick told us he rolled up his sleeves and moved to the inner city of Buffalo, New York to start his Jericho Road Family Practice so everybody there could have access to adequate health care.
Photo by Joe
In the Upper Peninsula of Michigan we toured the Phoenix House for recovering alcoholics and addicts. Addiction is a huge drain on the healthcare system in America and we would do a number of things to address that. (See below.)
Photo by Joe