An interview with Patrice McDonald – Nurse Supervisor
Patrice McDonald is our nurse supervisor. Thanks to Patrice — and our medical team — our clients can heal and return to a healthy life. Our clients have experienced homelessness — been discharged from an area hospital and need a place to recover and heal. I recently talked with Patrice about her role at the Center.
How long have you worked for the Center?
I’ve been here for 15 years — and started when the Center was in Avondale.
What does your day generally look like?
I answer the phone take referrals — from different hospitals and speak with different social workers. I determine who we can take in and the details.
I remind the clients about their daily appointment’s refills and physical therapy appointments. I help to get our clients on a positive footing.
What types of challenges do you often encounter?
People come into the center without transportation, so it has generally been hard for them to get diabetic or wound care supplies. They come in with no insurance. We work to sort both challenges out.
How long do most people stay with us?
Most people say at least 30 days. Everybody’s situation is different. Some people stay three months — some even longer.
What is the primary service that we provide to our clients?
Medical help and medical teaching along with support for their social needs. We want our clients to be independent by the time they leave us.
Describe the situation most people are in when they come to us:
They have to be homeless to be here. Most do not have anyone or anywhere to go. There’s no home or housing plan in place. We are the place that bridges the time between challenged health and healing.
What is a day in the Center for someone who is one of our clients?
They get up and bathe, eat breakfast, and then take their meds. They go to their appointments — to take care of the things that they need to do. This includes medical or maybe going for that apartment application. They then do their chores and eat lunch or dinner.
Doctor Donovan (medical director) usually makes that decision when they’re medically ready for discharge. This means that they’re almost near or about their 30 days and they’ve done all their appointments— including having housing plans in place.
Which organizations do we work with to support our clients?
Saint Vincent de Paul, Free Store-Food Bank, and most recently Hospice.
Thanks to Patrice for ensuring that when people who are experiencing homelessness are released from the hospital — without a place to heal — we can provide stellar care and time to recover.