At a clinic in Oakland, patients who once lived on the streets are helping to improve care for the unsheltered
(CHCF) It’s just after noon on the third Wednesday of the month, and at the Trust Health Center in downtown Oakland, California, patients are sharing pizza around a conference table. Meet the Trust Partners, the clinic’s patient-based board of advisers. The role of the eight-member board is to provide patient feedback to assure that the clinic stays meaningfully connected to the community it serves.
One of the partners, William Terry, tells the group about the years he was homeless, living in a run-down minivan. The unregistered van was such a wreck that whenever he moved it for street cleaning, it left a trail of oil. In eight and a half years, he never got a ticket. “I should be in the Guinness Book of Records,” he said with a laugh.
Terry can reflect with humor on his time living on the streets because now he has an apartment, thanks largely to the Trust Health Center. This Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC), which is operated by LifeLong Medical Care, opened in November 2015 to serve adult residents of Alameda County who have no home or who are at risk of losing their home. LifeLong provides primary care services, mental health care, and social services support.
Lifelong has a separate governing board overseeing the entire organization that meets the Health Resources & Services Administration’s requirement that the majority of a health center’s board must be its own patients. By law, patients must hold a majority on Lifelong’s governing board. Trust Partners offers an additional way to obtain specialized input from patients who have lived on the streets.
Marty Lynch, PhD, Executive Director and CEO of LifeLong Medical Care for the past 38 years, was recently presented with 2019 Outstanding Achievement Award by the National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC).
Lynch received the national award for “excellence and commitment to America’s Health Centers and the people they service.” NACHC President and CEO Tom Van Coverden presented the award to Lynch at the 2019 Community Health Institute and Expo.
“I’m so very honored to receive this award and to have had the opportunity to contribute to the health of the communities served by health centers,” said Lynch.
Saying he had one of the “luckiest jobs ever,” Lynch noted that through collaboration with the Alameda Health Consortium and the California Primary Care Association, LifeLong Medical Care has been able to accomplish “amazing things together” to improve the health of their communities.
Lynch spent most of his life working with aging populations and the homeless. “When I started at LifeLong, the elderly were 5% to 6% of the community health center population. Now it’s 10%,” he said. Nationwide, that translates into nearly 3 million low-income older people who get excellent health care in the community health center system.
“I’m so proud of us for doing that,” he said.
Community health centers continue to face challenges, among them immigrant health, women’s health, and an epidemic of homelessness. But the biggest threat of all, he said, is climate change. Air pollution, mostly caused by carbon pollutants, aggravate a range of ailments including everything from heart attacks to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, asthma, stroke, lung cancer, type 2 diabetes, and pneumonia. And low-income communities served by health centers will suffer the greatest health consequences, not only from unhealthy air, but also from searing heat, increased wildfires, high winds, and flooding that come with climate change.
Lynch got his start at the Over 60 Health Center, which later became LifeLong Medical Care. He co-founded the Healthy Aging Subcommittee of the National Association of Community Health Centers and is past chair of the California Primary Care Association. He was recently appointed by Governor Gavin Newsom to serve on the California Master Plan on Aging Advisory Committee. Lynch also serves on the boards of the Oakland PACE health plan for disabled elders and the Alameda Alliance for Health Plan that serves Medi-Cal recipients.
Lynch received his Ph.D. in Social and Behavioral Sciences from the University of California, San Francisco, and an MPA from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard.
In addition to health administration, Lynch is involved in public policy and research activities related to health access for the uninsured, long-term care models, chronic care, and financing care for disabled populations. Lynch also is a Lecturer at the University of California, Berkeley.
VIDEO (Marty starts @ 8:20)
Marty Lynch, PhD, Executive Director/CEO of LifeLong Medical Care, has been appointed to the California Master Plan for Aging Stakeholder Advisory Committee. The advisory committee will work across sectors to develop a road map to build environments where Californians can grow old safely, with dignity and independence.
“This is our time to come together to build an age-friendly California,” said California Health and Human Services (CHHS) Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly “Government cannot do this alone — I challenge all Californians to join us in building a California Dream that is inclusive of our older and disabled neighbors.”
Said Lynch: “I welcome the opportunity to collaborate with others across the State to find ways to build a community that supports and cares for our older adults no matter what their income or immigration status.”
“The Golden State is getting grayer and we need to be ready for the major population changes headed our way,” stated Governor Newsom in announcing the Master Plan for Aging. “An aging population will introduce new opportunities for economic and community growth but also drive increased health and long-term care costs. We need a plan that brings everyone to the table – local communities, labor, private sector and philanthropy – to help us understand what’s coming and guide us toward taking better care of older Californians.”
Lynch started his career at LifeLong’s Over 60 Health Center in Berkeley in 1982. He has since grown LifeLong Medical Care, a Federally Qualified Health Center, to include 16 health centers, mental health services, three Dental Centers, an Adult Day Health Center, four School-Based Health Centers, a Supporting Housing Program, and Urgent Care services serving Alameda, Contra Costa, and Marin Counties.
Dr. Lynch co-founded the Elderly Sub-Committee of the National Association of Community Health Centers and is past Chair of the California Primary Care Association. He recently served on the state task force to examine policy changes necessary for the integration of primary care and mental health services and worked to develop a California plan for Alzheimer’s disease.
The San Pablo Lytton Casino will hold the 16th Annual Charity Golf Tournament, benefiting LifeLong Brookside Health and Immediate/Urgent Care Centers, on October 28 at the Richmond Country Club.
(UCSF) — It was a cold and rainy day when the doctor found Alvin on the streets of Oakland, months out of jail, off his psychiatric medications and considering taking his own life.
“I was at my wit's end. I was tired of getting high. I was tired of not being on my medication, not being normal,” he said.
Alvin had become a dark statistic: one of nearly 3,000 people living unsheltered in Oakland and one of the 45 percent who report problems with psychiatric or emotional conditions.
When psychiatrist Aislinn Bird, MD, MPH, and her street medicine team discovered Alvin on that gloomy day, he also became another statistic: one of the 14 percent of homeless in San Francisco and Alameda counties who receive mental health services.
Bird is the staff psychiatrist at the LifeLong Medical TRUST Clinic, which provides physical and mental health care for the homeless in downtown Oakland, and the founder of the StreetHealth program, part of Alameda County Health Care for the Homeless. Every weekday morning, a team of doctors and social workers visit homeless encampments, handing out basic necessities like clean socks and granola bars, but also medications to treat depression, anxiety and nightmares from post-traumatic stress disorder. People aren’t always receptive, but the team comes every day offering help, hoping to build enough trust that people will visit the clinic for care.
(KPIX 5) — People have been lining up at hardware stores and other locations in the Bay Area to snap up face masks to minimize their intake of unhealthy air. But the N95 respirators, so called because of their ability to filter at least 95 percent of airborne particles, need to fit well in order to work.
Some people use one instead of two straps because they are uncomfortable. But doctors are saying that’s a big no-no, and say use both straps, pinch the metal on top of the nose, and try to seal the mask around the face. If it’s done right, there should be no gaps.
“We’re supposed to breathe in oxygen and nitrogen. Now you also have this particulate matter that your lungs do not like. And once you breathe those chemical irritants in, they’re distributed throughout your body,” said Dr. Desmond Carson, Medical Director for wellness center LifeLong Medical Care. “Those irritants are not supposed to be in your body and that’s why people get headaches.”
OAKLAND, Calif. (KTVU) - Consumer Reports, a non-profit consumer protection organization, released a study Thursday saying they found heavy metals in all 50 packaged baby food items they tested for lead, cadmium or inorganic arsenic.
The study says even the organic products had measurable levels of a heavy metal. Two-thirds of the products tested had "worrisome" levels.
Heavy metals are of particular health concern for babies and toddlers, according to Dr. Eric Henley, Chief Medical Officer of Lifelong Medical Care in Berkeley.
The San Pablo Lytton Casino held the 15th Annual Charity Golf Tournament, benefiting LifeLong Brookside Health and Immediate/Urgent Care Centers, on October 29 at the Richmond Country Club with 162 golfers participating. Thank you to everyone who made this event a real success.
LifeLong Brookside Health and Immediate/Urgent Care Centers are grateful to the following organizations for their generous underwriting of San Pablo Lytton Casino’s Annual Charity Golf Tournament.
A Special Thank You to the following Individuals and/or Organizations for Their Kind Donations
Ainsworth Game Technology
Alliant Insurance Services
Alpha Gaming, Inc.
Bay Area Distributors
Bay Cities Produce
Big 5 Sporting Goods
City of San Pablo
Community Clinic Consortium
Curiale Wilson, LLP
Cypress Private Security
Deep Eddy Vodka
DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Berkeley Marina
EMCOR Service/Mesa Energy Systems, Inc.
Evergood Fine Foods
Everi Games Inc.
Golden Gate Fields
International Game Technologies (IGT)
Jelly Belly Factory
Leavitt United Insurance Services
LifeLong Medical Care
Mutual of America
Oliver & Co.
PT Gaming, LLC
Regal Wine Co.
Richmond Country Club
San Francisco Bay Area Provisions
San Pablo Lytton Casino
Silverado Contractors, Inc.
Southern Wine & Spirits
St. George Spirits, Inc.
Stidham Law Offices
Suhr Risk Services
Sysco San Francisco, Inc.
The Swenson Group
Wareham Development Corporation
We had a tremendous gala event on March 2 at the Claremont Club and Spa in Berkeley. The sold-out event raised much-needed funds for the organization. We also doubled our impact for LifeLong’s Respite Care Program, thanks to a matching grant and your support. You can see the video we shared at the event, click here.
Special thanks go to our Benefactors Sutter Health Alta Bates Summit Medical Center and Kaiser Permanente, as well as to all of our sponsors. It takes a village, and we are grateful for everyone who supports LifeLong Medical Care.
To view the event’s photobooth gallery, click here.
Event photos © Studio-FAB
Thank You to our Sponsors
School’s out and kids will have lots of time to enjoy the outdoors. Make sure to keep them safe and healthy with these tips from Eric Henley, MD, Chief Medical Officer at LifeLong Medical Care.
Swimming can be a great way to get the exercise needed to live a healthy life. Keep these tips in mind:
- Keep kids safe in pools with life jackets. Drowning is a leading cause of death for toddlers ages 1 to 4. Wearing a properly fitted life jacket – not air-filled water wings or inner tubes – can help keep kids safe. Adults should always be on hand to supervise children in a pool and should not be texting, reading, or anything else that is distracting. Drowning can happen fast. An adult should be within arm's length of a child who is an inexperienced swimmer, even if a lifeguard is on duty. If necessary, perform CPR immediately on someone who has gone under, even before the emergency squad arrives. This can save a life and help prevent brain injury.
- Stay safe while boating by wearing a life jacket. Properly fitted life jackets can prevent drownings and should be worn at all times by everyone on any boat.
Throw some shade!
Just a few serious sunburns can increase a child's risk of skin cancer later in life. Adults and children need protection from ultraviolet (UV) rays whenever they’re outdoors. Remember to do the following:
- UV rays are strongest and most harmful during midday, so seek shade or play inside during when the sun is at its strongest.
- Wear a hat that shades the face, scalp, ears, and neck. If one's child chooses a baseball cap, be sure to protect exposed areas with sunscreen.
- Use a sunscreen with at least SPF (sun protection factor) 15 every time your child goes outside. For the best protection, apply sunscreen generously 30 minutes before going outdoors. Don’t forget to protect ears, noses, lips, and the tops of feet.
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