It's Friday and for some that means the end of the work-week and two days of relaxation during one of the most beautiful times of the year (at least here in the Washington DC metropolitan area). The mornings are cool and pleasant, the day-time temperature just about perfect for light tweed jackets or cashmere sweaters, and the nights encourage endless glasses of full-bodied Chilean red, autumnal fare, and long conversations in front of a blazing fire. It would be naive to believe that everyone is able to just unwind on Saturdays and Sundays; for shop-clerks, wait-staff, delivery drivers, landscape workers and practically anyone who works in the retail and service industries, the pressures of getting it done (before the various holidays) has begun to be felt, and once the costumed revellers have gorged themselves on treats (or tricks), the countdown really begins in earnest.
The countdown to passing the Jobs Creation Bill seems to be stalled somewhere on the Hill, where some well-paid politicians choose to forget that for the majority of Americans, the superb medical care available to Senators and Congresspersons is sadly out of reach (or falls outside the coverage of one's health insurance plan or exceeds what can be scraped up to fulfill co-pay/out-of-pocket/deductible requirements). I know very little about economics, yet I believe that universal health coverage seems to benefit everyone, and most certainly would cost less than the burgeoning expense of keeping our troops engaged in two wars--all for the reasons of stopping terrorism or spreading 'democracy.'
Today's ICON (and my personal super-hero) is Anne Boston Parish of the Queen Street Clinic (in Alexandria, Virginia). On bestowing Washingtonian Award of the Year (2002) to Ms Boston Parish, the Washingtonian magazine wrote:
With over 30 years of nursing experience and 3 degrees under her belt, Family Nurse Practitioner Anne Boston Parish has seen almost everything, but she always had a desire to do more! She was ready to pursue her dream of making a difference in her community. In August 2001, she opened the Queen Street Clinic, a facility dedicated to providing care for the un- and underinsured. The clinic, located in Alexandria, Virginia, meets a critical need; in the U.S. alone there are more than 60 million medically uninsured individuals. Alexandria is home to more than 24,000 un- and underinsured working poor. These are the people who get up every day and go to work to put breakfast on the table, who are either not offered or cannot afford health insurance for themselves or their families.
Parish's clinic provides a full range of services-from check-ups to treatment of illness or injury. Thanks to support from local churches, she is able to offer services (e.g. mammograms) to indigent patients who reside in Alexandria. She has also negotiated agreements with specialty service-providers, including laboratories, x-ray facilities, and pharmacies, to offer their services to her patients at reduced rates . . . since the Queen Street Clinic opened, Parish and her small staff have treated more than 20,000 patients. More then 60% of all treated patients return regularly for medical treatment and consider the clinic their medical home.
Peeps, I find Anne Boston Parish to be an amazing, generous, and inspiring individual. Her little clinic on Queen Street is a beacon of hope for many (who would have no other options for health care other than the emergency room). Please visit the website at www.queenstreetclinic.com, and be sure to let others know of her services.
Hope you enjoyed today's visual treat (Minerva-Roman goddess of medicine), and have a wonderful weekend.