Monday, October 12, 2009

Fifteen Minutes of Fame

I was sitting at my desk at the Clinic, minding my own business, when the Front Desk came on the intercom.

"Channel 22ABC/45 Fox News is on the line," they said. "Can you take the call?"

My boss was in Washington, DC, lobbying Congress on health care reform, which means I was covering for her. She is a registered nurse, with 30-years experience and a PhD in health administration. I am a former computer programmer who wouldn't know cellulite from cellulitis.

"Sure," I said.

Malcolm Maddox, a local reporter, wanted to come out and film the clinic and talk about health care reform. I explained that Sharon was out of town, and it would be better to wait and talk to her. Plus, though I didn't mention this, I LOATHE public speaking.

"My deadline is 10 p.m. tonight," he said.

He wanted to pitch the story around a 22-year-old Miami University graduate who died of pneumonia a couple of weeks ago. She didn't go to the doctor because she didn't have health insurance and was afraid of incurring the bill.

"We want people who are uninsured to know they have options," he said.

The Clinic needs money. More than that, we need volunteer doctors. What we don't need: more patients. It's not unusual for 50 people to show up for one of our adult walk-in clinics. Depending on the number of doctors who've volunteered that night, we sometimes turn half of the people away.

(In case you're wondering how that works, we triage all of them. Then we select the number we can see from among the sickest, and ask the others to reschedule, or, in some cases, to seek care in a more appropriate venue, like the ER or the Public Health department.)

But when your revenue comes from grants and donations, it's not not a good idea to refuse publicity. And it's an even worse idea to piss off the media.

After explaining all this to him, I agreed to let him come.

The result:
video

23 comments:

Kabbalah Rookie said...

Fantastic, Jeanne!
The NHS might not be perfect, but how lucky we are to have it.

mo.stoneskin said...

Classic stuff, and I agree with Kabbalah, the NHS, despite sucking up all our money, has so far served us well.

Steven G said...

I have a feeling you'll end up with more than just 15 minutes of fame! Maybe you should be the one in Washington...

Ocean Girl said...

You should be invited to the garden tea party (or was it beer)!

You did it Jeanne! :)) (someone told me not to double the smile, it's an indication I have double-chin).

Maelstrom said...

Very pro, good job!

Middle Aged Woman said...

Very well done! Wouldn't it be nice if some corporations saw that and decided to send a check?

Oh My Goddess said...

That is so wonderful!
You did a great job with it, so clearly stated!
What a fabulous clinic!!

SkylersDad said...

Good job, and congrats to all that work there.

Michelle said...

Great job and it's awesome to point a voice to all the words we read!

Jane! said...

I would never guess that you loathe public speaking. You did a fabulous job!

Pseudonymous High School Teacher said...

Wow. Very cool. Hope the publicity brings in some donations...

staceyjwarner said...

Wonderful...the clinic is amazing and great job!

HoodChick said...

I still can't get used to you with no hair!

Glad I watched it here since I never pay attention to the news.

♥ Braja said...

Start your own PR company :)

Jeanie said...

What a great job you did...I hope it brings in money and not more patients. And what a wonderful service you are involved in.

Janie at Sounding Forth said...

Professional! I'm impressed!

Terri said...

I agree with Jane! ... There is no indication that you're adverse to speaking in public. You appeared calm and cool and were very informative. Great job!

Poetikat said...

Good for you! Very articulate and well-informed. I'm sure it will be of benefit to a good number of people.
You must have seen Michael Moore's "Sicko", have you? It was a shock to us up here in Canada.

Renee said...

I love you, you are beautiful and your work is incredibly important.

xoxo

Jan said...

Well that was cool. Except that I had to watch it with NO Sound. I will have to try it again later with sound. I am sure it is even better if I could hear it.

Crystal said...

Wow, you did wonderfully!! I honestly could not even tell by it that you loathed public speaking. You're actually quite good at it! Watch out, Washington DC.

bernthis said...

I am so scared of losing my health insurance. I cannot bear to hear this tragic stories of those that can't afford to get medical care. We have to change the system. Tell your boss I said, thank you for all she is doing

Far Side of Fifty said...

Well done! Raising awareness and hopefully some donations of time and dollars ! :)

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