Dinner with a Doc Expands Valley’s Homeless Outreach Efforts

Valley Medical Center has long supported Renton RotaCare, a free Saturday clinic for families and individuals who are unable to obtain health insurance but are in need of non-emergent care. Earlier this year, the RotaCare model was used to pilot an extension program called “Dinner with a Doc,” to bring care directly to patrons of the Renton Salvation Army’s community dinner.

Using RotaCare’s infrastructure and volunteers, the RotaCare Dinner with a Doc clinic operates on the third Monday of each month from 5:45 to 7 p.m. Dinner with a Doc was spearheaded by Valley’s General Medicine unit Assistant Nurse Manager Trevor Lanz, RN, BSN, MSN, who developed the homeless health clinic program as part of his master’s in nursing thesis. Lanz, a long time RotaCare volunteer wanted to help expand access to care for those in need.

“For me, an important aspect of life is service to others, that’s one of the reasons I volunteer,” Lanz says.

Dr. Michael Hori, Medical Director for Valley’s Infectious Disease and Wound Care clinics has been the “Doc” for Dinner with a Doc on several occasions. “I have participated in RotaCare since Dr. Bob Thompson and Judge Robert McBeth started it at Renton Technical College,” says Dr. Hori, “so I was familiar with the concept and enjoyed participating. The clientele was amazingly varied and generally really needed help. Unfortunately, work and life did in my Saturday mornings, so I haven’t been able to make it to the usual RotaCare clinic for some time. So, when Trevor put together this clinic at a time when I was available, I jumped at the opportunity. I have not been disappointed. I have been endlessly surprised at the people I meet and am gratified that I may be of service to some of them.”

Clinic and Pharmacy Staff and Pharmacy Residents Give Time to Offer Free Flu Shots
During the October Dinner with a Doc, Pharmacist Peter Tran and pharmacy residents Jane Chang, Tristan Curtis, and Shauna Leggett volunteered their time to make flu shots available free of charge for all adult patrons. This was the third time Valley staff and pharmacy residents offered free flu shots during the Salvation Army Community Dinner, after Renton Mayor Denis Law and the Renton City Council identified the need for vaccinations to help our most vulnerable residents prevent the flu. He requested the hospital’s assistance to protect  those who are homeless or without insurance from this potentially life-threatening illness.

Outreach Efforts Include Pursuing Donations of Socks and Toiletries
In addition to providing medical services, Valley is actively pursuing items that could be of use to the homeless population within Valley’s hospital district. Led by Community Outreach Coordinator Betsy Kirichenko who contacted numerous companies for donations, efforts thus far have garnered a generous in-kind donation of 1,000 pairs of warm socks from Bombas, and gift card donations from Fred Meyer and Bartell Drugs.

Bombas started as a company with a mission in mind, helping supply the number one requested item at homeless shelters, socks. Their business model was built so that every pair of socks that is purchased one pair is donated. Since their start Bombas has donated 10 million socks and counting. The socks they donate to homeless shelters are not the same as the ones they sell online. They specifically designed these with anti-microbial properties and are suitable for people who many not have the opportunity to put on a clean pair everyday. Bombas partners with over 1,700 organizations throughout the United States, Valley Medical Center now being one of them.

With the donated gift cards, Valley’s Outreach team purchased 40 deodorants, 21 shave creams, and 126 razors for Dinner with a Doc patrons. Kirichenko continues to pursue additional avenues of in-kind and monetary donations for items that will be of use to local homeless services.

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Valley Medical Center's Marketing and Community Outreach Office


    1. Valley Communications

      Hi Tony,

      We don’t have any toiletry donation drives planned at the moment, but you can contact our Outreach Coordinator Betsy Kirichenko at betsy_kirichenko@valleymed.org for information on how to help in our homeless outreach efforts.


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