Within Our Walls - A Story from The Clinic

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A patient came into register for Culmore Clinic, and at the conclusion of the process, our interpreter, Caroline Hillkirk, made some small talk as the patient was exiting. Almost immediately, the patient started crying and revealed that she is the one who must go out to seek assistance because the patient’s spouse comes in and out of the home, often drinking and “does nothing.”

Caroline asked if the patient felt safe and if there was enough food in the home to make it to Saturday, when the Columbia Baptist Food pantry was open.  The patient replied that safety was not a concern, but that there was no food. 

Caroline walked downstairs to the Food Pantry (closed) and thankfully found someone who gave the patient a standard start-up packet of food, which contains 3 bags.  The patient could take only 2 bags as she has to take 2 buses to get home.

More from the story from Caroline:  

I walked her to our main entrance and said goodbye and told her to close up her coat well as it was a cold and windy day. She said the snaps didn’t work. That broke my heart, but she left with a smile.  Knowing she has a place to go every Sat for food and a clinic which can support her medical and emotional needs is a relief.

I asked Kirsten (Krowicki, RN) to make a note in her chart that the patient was emotional, so the counselor can ask further questions.