Madigan employees are engaged community partners
April 13, 2010
- Employees at Madigan Healthcare System go above and beyond to give back to the community
- Madigan Family Medicine residents donate time to Heatlhcare for the Homeless
- Sharing positive stories about Madigan is an integral part of informing our civilian counterparts of the great things happening at the hos
- Nurses help Girl Scouts
Employees at Madigan Healthcare System take part in many different community events, but some employees go above and beyond to give back to the South Sound community.
Healthcare for the Homeless
Dr. Armando Quiroz, Department of Family Medicine physician, for instance, has spent the past two years involved with the non-profit Metropolitan Development Council providing free health care to Pierce County's homeless population on his off-time. The Metropolitan Development Council's mission is to develop innovative programs that promote self-sufficiency and remove individuals and Families from poverty. One of those programs is Healthcare for the Homeless, established in the late 1980s, to help the increasing local homeless population stay healthy, said director Sheri Adams.
The program offers displaced citizens medical care, substance abuse treatment, behavioral health services, case management and dental services. The Tacoma Healthcare for the Homeless chapter sees about 3,000 patients annually.
Quiroz receives assistance from residents in the Department of Family Medicine in helping administer care. Using an old Airstream van that has been converted into a mobile clinic, Quiroz and the residents can provide homeless people basic Family Medicine services. Once a month, several residents and Quiroz park the van outside the Salvation Army on 6th Avenue in Tacoma to deliver these services as part of the program.
The van allows the MDC to go to areas where people do not have access to medical care during business hours or keep them out of the costly emergency room, which can drive up health care costs for the patient when they don't need to use the ER. A federal grant funds the program, but it's the Madigan volunteers who provide the real value, Adams said.
Quiroz believes Family Medicine residents who decide to volunteer with the MDC to help with the mobile clinic pick up medical skills they can't get at the hospital. Most of the patients the residents will see at Madigan have a well-documented medical history, have health insurance and have access to good health care. But at the mobile clinic, these factors may not be present. Family Medicine Resident Capt. (Dr.) Sterling Brodniak can attest to this, as his first patient with the MDC did not know his medical history, what medications he had been taking, etc. "This opportunity has allowed me to see what delivering health care outside the military population is like," Brodniak said.
Brodniak said the majority of the patients he sees in Tacoma are children needing immunizations. The clinic offers only basic immunizations, so he spends most of his time giving out information. "Some of these people have not been to a health care facility in quite some time, so we try to help them here, provide information on how to take care of them and set them up with follow-up appointments," Brodniak added. "I really enjoy giving my time to the community, and plan to continue doing so after I finish my residency."
Another "engaged community partner" is Madigan's own community theater actor John Miller. He is a Webmaster working in Madigan's Automated Management Office by day, and moonlights as a thespian by night. Miller has performed in more than 30 productions in 40-plus years of acting. In everywhere he has lived, from being part of a four-part quartet with his Family at 5 years old to his many assignments during his 21 years in the Air Force, Miller has been singing, dancing and acting his way into the hearts of the community. "I do this for fun and I guess it does impact people; I just never think about that," Miller said. "You don't think about the ramifications; you just do it and good things come from it."
There aren't many plays and operettas Miller hasn't done - his resume rivals those of the major Broadway actors. He has had parts in "Jesus Christ Superstar", "Fiddler on the Roof", "Scrooge", "The Wizard of Oz", "I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change", "Guys and Dolls" and currently "HMS Pinafore" at the Lakewood Playhouse in Lakewood, playing through April 17.
Sharing positive stories about Madigan is an integral part of informing our civilian counterparts of the great things that happen at the hospital, he said. So Miller makes it a point to let not just the audience know where he works, but also his fellow actors. "Many people think Army medicine is like (the television show) M.A.S.H. - but their eyes get so large when I tell them I work at one of the best hospitals in the nation," Miller said. "It's a state-of-the-art facility, dude."
Miller's many years of community service has given him a lifetime of memories and experience, and what's most surprised him is how his acting affects the audience who comes to watch. "I've met lots of people in the community, and I'm always amazed of how I remind them of a time when they saw this show and how that was a great time and I think, 'Gosh, that really touched you,'" he said. "When you really touch someone on that level, it's so rewarding, and it's something you want to do again and again."
Nurses help Girl Scouts
Four students in the M6 Practical Nurse Course volunteered at a Girl Scout First Aid Badge day in January. The students spent the day discussing basic first aid, life in the military and what they liked about their assignments as an M6 practical nurse to more than 60 Girl Scouts, aged 6-12 years old. The Soldiers brought demonstrations and visual aids to help the young girls learn. "The students were very knowledgeable and well-prepared," said Troop 403332 Leader Bettye Craft. "I am sure it made the Scouts and their Families from Joint Base Lewis-McChord especially proud."
Carol McKenzie, PNC instructor, coordinated the community event. Participating in the event were Sgt. Daisy Galvan, Spc. Ryan Estrada, Spc. Theresa Miller and Spc. Juana Silva.