Let me introduce myself: my name is Dr. Tom Harburg and I have been on the board of directors for ShelterCare since June, 2018. I work for Kaiser Permanente, and am the medical director of the Downtown Kaiser Permanente Medical office. I became very interested in supporting ShelterCare because I see homeless and unsheltered patients in my office every day.
The ShelterCare Medical Recuperation program (SMR) has been operating since 2013. It is one of the few programs of its kind that does not receive grants for funding from the county or state. It is funded entirely by PeaceHealth and Trillium. SMR takes in medically fragile clients who are discharged from the hospital or emergency department but have nowhere to go to get care. Admission to the program is usually arranged by a social worker at the hospital or in emergency. While at the SMR facility, clients receive therapy or are taken to therapy via Ride Source.
SMR is housed in an old motel at 780 Hwy 99 N in Eugene. It is currently being updated with a new roof and gutters, repair of the stucco walls, and will have new staining of walkways and a new paint job this summer. SMR has 8 units with 18 available beds. The units have bathrooms and a common room.
There is a recreational room with a TV, pool table and space for working or games. Clients receive two hot meals and a boxed dinner daily. SMR is open seven days a week from 8am to 4:30pm. The staff is made up of three community health workers, one community support specialist, one counselor advocate, and a cook, along with the team lead, William King, and program manager, Cara Ashworth. I have taken care of at least one patient who was admitted to this program for his post-hospital wound and infection care. A home health nurse came twice a week to the facility to see him. The patient successfully recovered.
The ShelterCare Medical Recuperation program is one major reason I am on the ShelterCare board of directors, to promote and support the care of vulnerable members of our community.