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Staff Spotlight: Community Health Supervisor, Puppy Valentine 

May 9, 2023

St. Anthony’s Medical Clinic – Whole Person Care is our Top Priority

Throughout the month of May, we will be shining a spotlight on St. Anthony’s Medical Clinic. The bustling clinic overlooking the Golden Gate Greenway provides primary and specialty care to those who need it most in the Tenderloin community, serving nearly 2,500 individuals and families through more than 9,000 visits annually. A critical component of St. Anthony’s broad portfolio of essential and life-changing services, the clinic focuses on patient-centered primary and specialty care, with an emphasis on dignity and access. As the hands below the safety net, the clinic serves a diverse population, with 91% of patients living below the Federal Poverty Level.

Tell us about yourself.

It’s been almost a year since I returned to work at St. Anthony’s. Before joining the Medical Clinic as a community health worker, I worked for DPH, and prior to this, I was a case manager in the St. Anthony’s Resource Center.  I really liked working directly with guests. It was particularly fulfilling because I’d never done rental assistance before and it’s such a tangible way of uplifting others. Plus, the Resource Center team is fabulous.   

What do you like most about your current work?

I already knew I loved St. Anthony’s and was excited to come over to the Medical Clinic. I like working somewhere where staff truly care about people’s well-being. It’s rewarding to work in the Tenderloin, as I have the pleasure of supporting many of the same folks I know from previous jobs in the area, like at Glide’s Resource Center. And it’s an honor to work with the clinic staff who’ve dedicated so much time and their careers to helping others.

St. Anthony’s Medical Clinic, A Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) provides primary and specialty care to the Tenderloin community, serving nearly 2,500 individuals and families through more than 9,000 visits annually.

St. Anthony’s believes that serving patients with the dignity and respect they deserve and making them feel welcome and comfortable are critical first steps toward building trusting, long-term relationships that foster consistent care.

How is it going at the new St. Anthony’s Satellite Nursing Clinic at Episcopal Community Services (ECS)? 

It’s going well. A few weeks ago, we held a Healthy Eating Diabetes Training Day for the community and several residents attended. It was so popular that Jaime Martinez, our Diabetes Lead/Medical Assistant just offered the same workshop in Spanish. When residents visit us, many of them are utilizing urgent care as their primary source of medical attention. We assist them with accessing our patient-centered primary care as well as our specialty services including pediatrics, podiatry, and behavioral health.

Episcopal Community Services owns and operates new permanent supportive housing (PSH) buildings consisting of 256 total units at 1064 and 1066 Mission Street. ECS operates six PSH buildings within two blocks of 1064 and 1066 Mission Street consisting of 507 units, and we’re committed to maximizing our facilities and expertise to ensure all residents have access to the care they need.

What do you find challenging?

Many of our guests are in difficult situations. They often have multiple diagnoses, for instance, severe diabetes or asthma, plus mental health challenges. This means that the best practices for each patient can look quite different; we’re developing new workflows to accommodate their needs. It’s all about being adaptive and innovative, which is fun! 

What brought you to San Francisco and what do you do for fun?

I’m originally from Massachusetts and came here to take a course in piercing but didn’t end up working in the industry professionally. I love dancing to electronic & pop music, going rollerblading, and sleeping-in on rainy days. 

What keeps you inspired?

I really like talking with our guests, learning what makes them laugh and smile.

And each person has a different story. Lots of people from San Francisco have fun S.F. stories to tell. It fills my heart to see them succeed.

For instance, one of our new ECS patient’s health had fallen to the wayside while she was living in a Shelter-in-Place (SIP) building. At the SIP site, she couldn’t manage her activities of daily living and wasn’t engaged in her own medical care. 

Now, at ECS, she has so much more support, and her health and happiness are improving. Now she loves having the medical staff come up to her room to engage her in her care, ensuring she’s taking her medications regularly and educating her about her conditions. The intensive onsite supportive services at ECS are doing wonders for her standard of living.

She enjoys having all that company and connection.  And isn’t that what it’s all about?

We invite you to be the change you want to see in San Francisco. Interested in helping build pathways to stability for those in need in our community? Donate online here. Sign up for a volunteer shift here.

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