By Phyllis Zorn, Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle
ENID, Okla. —
Linin Maeyashimoto is getting personalized care and help with her diabetes, even though she has no medical insurance.
On Thursday morning, Maeyashimoto sat with dietitian Sharon Karns to discuss what she’s been eating, how much she’s been exercising and what she might change to take better care of herself. Karns is a volunteer at Enid Community Clinic’s nursing clinic.
The two have been meeting together for about a year, but this week Maeyashimoto’s glucose levels weren’t hitting the target.
“Are you exercising outside of working?” Karns asked.
“No,” Maeyashimoto answered.
“You don’t want a sedentary life,” Karns said. “I want you to come and see Dr. Whitson next time he’s here.”
As the two reviewed Maeyashimoto’s recent choices in food and drink, Karns told Maeyashimoto to cut down further on starchy foods.
She also recommended small changes such as milk instead of creamer in her coffee and taking a pass on fruit juice.
The pair walked together to the front desk and Karns asked Maxine Turner to schedule Maeyashimoto for Brian Whitson’s next visit to the community clinic.
Turner, a nurse who volunteers extensively at Enid Community Clinic, said the nursing clinic sees 10-20 patients on any given Thursday morning. Whitson comes to the clinic to see uninsured patients on a regular basis, Turner said.
“Any doctor who wants to do a special clinic for us, all they have to do is call us,” Turner said.
Many patients of the nursing clinic were first patients of the Tuesday evening program.
“A lot of times we’ve seen them on Tuesday and we’ve recommended they come back,” said Janet Cordell, Enid Community Clinic coordinator. “This is the time we have to sit.”
Lola Hockman, another patient at the nursing clinic Thursday, goes there for help with her lung disease.
“This lady is an example of what a doctor can do,” Turner said. “He recommended she come down here because we have time to do the teaching. I tell them, ‘If you’re going to send them down, send them on Thursday morning.’”
The atmosphere of the Thursday morning nursing clinic is far more relaxed than Tuesday evenings at Enid Community Clinic, when the number of patients in the crowded waiting room demands that each be moved through as quickly as possible.
On Thursdays, the patient can be evaluated more thoroughly, any needed laboratory tests can be ordered, and a decision can be made whether they need to come in on Tuesday evening to see a physician. That way, if they need to see a physician, test results already are available when they are seen.
Thursdays also allow time for diabetes patients to work with Karns.
“You effect change most effectively when you have time to establish a relationship with them,” Cordell said.
The Tuesday clinic sees 50-60 patients, many of them with chronic conditions such as diabetes, COPD and the like. The clinic dispenses maintenance prescriptions for patients with chronic conditions, so they do not have to see a physician as often.
To be eligible for treatment at Enid Community Clinic, the patient must have no health insurance; meet income requirements of no more than 185 percent of the federal poverty level; and live in Garfield County. They need to provide proof of address, proof of income for the entire household and two copies of federal income tax forms.